Boat Insurance Finder™

Compare Australian boat insurance policies to protect yourself from damage, theft and more

Boat insurance, just like car insurance, covers your boat in the event of damage, theft or any other unpredictable circumstance. It covers things like:

  • Fire, flood, storm or other weather events
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Vandalism
  • Natural wear and tear

In addition to these some types of boat insurance will also cover:

  • Death, injury or property damage caused by your boat
  • Pollution by oil, fuel or other waste following an accident
  • Towing, salvage and recovery costs associated with your vessel

Similar to car insurance, boat insurance also covers liability costs for damage caused by your boat to others, or your passengers’ injuries.

Compare marine insurance options and apply

Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
Details Features
Third Party Property Only Boat Insurance
Third Party Property Only Boat Insurance
Protection against the cost of third party damage that your boat causes.
  • General liability cover up to $10 million
  • Watercraft liability cover up to $10 million
  • $200 ANSA fishing record reward
Go to site More info
Third Party Fire and Theft Boat Insurance
Third Party Fire and Theft Boat Insurance
Protection against the cost of third party damage caused by your boat along with additional cover.
  • Fire, theft and earthquake cover
  • General liability cover up to $10 million
  • Watercraft liability cover up to $10 million
  • Emergency accommodation, transport and repairs
  • Option to cover up to $1,000 per item inside watercraft
Go to site More info
Comprehensive Boat Insurance
Comprehensive Boat Insurance
Youi's total package policy to cover damage caused to your boat and protection against damage to someone else's property.
  • Accidental and intentional damage cover
  • General liability cover up to $10 million
  • Watercraft liability cover up to $10 million
  • Emergency accommodation, transport and repairs
  • Option to cover up to $1,000 per item inside watercraft
Go to site More info
As always, the exact things covered and the maximum amount that can be paid out will vary depending on your insurance policy. Always make sure you know what is and is not covered by your boat insurance. Wear and tear, for example, is not covered by most standard policies.

Not all boats are covered. Motorised water vehicles such as fishing boats and yachts are included, but others like canoes and kayaks are not. Smaller motorised water vehicles like jetskis can be covered under your boat insurance by some policies. If you’d like to insure these, it’s usually more cost effective to include them in a larger boat’s insurance policy whenever possible.

How does boat insurance work?

The main purpose of boat insurance is to protect your boat from accidental damage, to cover third party damage to other vessels and to protect you and your passengers. Boat insurance can cover  the costs of injuries incurred, including loss of income, anguish and legal fees, up to the maximum amount payable by that specific policy. This coverage applies to both you and any third parties involved.

Just like car insurance, boat insurance policies will only pay out if the person driving the vessel at the time of the accident is covered by that policy. But unlike car insurance, compulsory third party boat insurance is not a legal requirement in most places. It is included in almost all policies though. Given the risk of boating accidents and the potential for extreme costs incurred by injury or death, you should always make sure you get it.

  • One of the most important things to consider is what you use the boat for. Fishing, racing, pleasure cruising and transport all pose different risks, which will affect the price and conditions of your insurance policy. Some types of cover can be extended to give protection for more than one use, as well as to cover possessions stored onboard.

What are the different types of boat insurance?

Typical boat insurance is structured in two parts: the basic coverage, and a number of additional options to fine-tune your policy.

Basic boat coverage consists of:

  • Protecting the boat's value from fire, storm and flood, accidental damage, vandalism, etc.
  • Theft or attempted theft.
  • Liability cover for events like collision, and third party property damage or physical damage.
  • Protection against uninsured boaters, in case of damage from another boat, jetski or aqua scooter. Even if the other boater has third party liability insurance, their policy might not be enough to cover all the damage, or might be invalid if, for example, the other boat driver was inebriated at the time.

When you get a quote from an insurance broker or agent, it’s generally for the basic coverage. From there you can ask for extras called optional or specialised coverage. These additions include things like:

    • Contents: Covers all personal belongings on the boat. Check the terms carefully to know whether this covers theft, damage or anything else, and what conditions apply. Most policies will require your belongings to be stored in the locked cabin when the boat is unattended in order to cover theft, for instance.
    • Total loss replacement: Your insured boat can be replaced with a brand new one of similar quality.
    • Emergency towing: Towing service in case you need it.
    • 24-hour assistance: If necessary, trailer and towing costs are covered.
    • Wreckage removal costs: In case of an accident.
    • Replacement cost of fishing equipment: Often more at risk of damage than the boat itself.
    • Lay up: Insurance premium is reduced if the boat is put in storage and not used during a certain agreed-upon period of time.
    • Racing (sailboat): Provides cover for loss or damage incurred while racing, particularly to sails, rigging and other vulnerable parts.
    • Waterskiing or floatation devices: Provides liability cover if waterskiing or using floatation devices.
    • Environmental damage: Covers costs associated with environmental damage caused by oil or other waste leaks after an accident.
    • Trailer: Covers you boat trailer from damage, theft, vandalism, etc

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How to compare boat insurance

When comparing boat insurance policies there are some factors you need to consider:

The coverage

To find the policy that’s best for you, carefully read through the terms and conditions to get a clear understanding of when you will actually receive payment for a claim and what exactly is covered. Each policy will have a set of exclusions that are important to review prior to application.

You must also consider whether the boat is insured at an agreed value, meaning the value agreed upon between the the insurance company and yourself, or at the current market value, subject to depreciation.

Some policies allow you to insure only certain parts of the boat. For example, you may wish to reduce your premiums by insuring the hull but not the sail.


The premium depends on the kind of boat you need to insure, the engine, and the use of the boat (private, commercial, racing or business). It also depends on whether you have just the basic coverage, or if you have also purchased additional coverage. Each special condition will increase your total premium by a certain amount. Certain special conditions, such as wear and tear on high value vessels, will increase premiums more than others.

How easy are claims?

This depends on the quality of the insurance agent, broker or company. Ideally you need to make sure that any eventual damage will be covered by your insurance.

The most frequent boat insurance claims are the result of hitting an underwater object, theft, collision between boats and storm damage. As such, all of these are covered by basic policies.

Whenever possible, you should immediately file the claim to your insurance agent or broker and follow the required steps to receive reimbursement.


Where your boat is stored is important in determining the cost and the terms of the insurance policy. If you live inland you could store your boat in a shed and transport it from your home to the water. If you live in a coastal area, you could store your boat in a covered boathouse. If you keep your boat moored, it’s at risk of a range of other problems. If your boat is damaged while being transported on a trailer, it’s usually not covered by boat insurance, but instead by car insurance.

The location of the storage facility is an essential factor in calculating the insurance premium, and some boating facilities will require your vessel to be insured under certain conditions.

How do I find the best boat insurance?

Step by step guide to getting the best boat insurance

  1. Make sure you know how much your boat is worth, and that your insurance policy can cover it. Plan who will be driving it and where you’ll be taking it. Remember to decide on either agreed value or market value.
  2. Ensure that you have all the right facilities ready, including a place to keep your boat. This place needs to be secure, or you won’t be covered for damage and theft.
  3. Decide on a basic policy and then choose your extras. Most basic policies give good coverage of the essentials. Recommended extras include things like rigging and sail damage cover for racing sailboats, loss of income for commercial vessels and the inclusion of personal water craft (PWC) cover for jetskis.
  4. Make sure you thoroughly understand the insurance policy before signing up. There will almost always be a time limit after which you can no longer claim the full value of a boat, a geographic area outside of which your vessel is no longer covered, certain storage conditions that you must fulfill and certain approved uses. Any damage incurred during races, for example, probably won’t be covered if your policy doesn’t clearly include racing.
  5. Once you know everything you need, it’s time to shop around for the best option. Always get quotes from a number of different providers. Usually the best value comes from specialised marine insurance companies, but if your chosen home or car insurance company also does boat insurance, it might be possible to get a discount, although the cover might not be as good.

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The different types of boat and their insurance

There are a lot of different types of boats, and they all have different insurance options.

  • Yachts: Yachts are boats typically geared towards high performance, but in some locations any sailboat over a certain size limit is classified as a yacht. Due to their high value and more intensive use, yachts have fairly high insurance premiums. Many carry additional luxuries, so customised insurance policies are usually the best way to protect these valuable assets.
  • Personal Watercraft (PWC): This category includes jetskis, aquabikes and other small motorised vessels. They tend to be purely recreational, and are often owned alongside other boats. There are a range of insurance options to cover PWC alone, but if you have other boats it can be a good idea  to cover your PWC under the same policy.
  • House Boats: A special type of boat that needs a special type of insurance. Dedicated marine insurance companies are often best suited to handle the unique requirements associated with these vessels, but they aren’t the only option. Their value varies widely, and the cost of insurance depends on a lot of different factors. It’s important that you’re intimately familiar with all the features of your houseboat before selecting a policy.
  • Professional Vessels: Charter boats, guides, tour vessels, deep sea fishing, pro racing and more. If you depend on your boat for income, it’s exceptionally important that you have good insurance. Personal injury, damage and loss of income coverage is essential, as are most other benefits.
  • Sailboats: A broad category that covers boats of many shapes, sizes and values. The key to finding the best value insurance for your sailboat is to know exactly where, when and how you plan on using it, and shopping around extensively for the best value.
  • Dinghies: Small boats, often towed by larger vessels. This group includes inflatables, rowboats and small sailboats. Relatively fragile and unsuitable for use in bad weather, it’s  not really worth insuring these by themselves. Fortunately there are a lot of options for including them on insurance plans with other boats, or with home and contents insurance.


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How do I reduce my boat insurance premiums?

Taking action to make yourself a safe and effective boater can pay off both in safety and cost.

  • Have a storm plan. Knowing what to do in order to stay safe and minimise damage to the vessel if you get caught in a storm is important. By having a storm plan, sharing it with your insurance company and following it closely in the event of bad weather, you’re more likely to be able to claim on damages. Some companies will give discounts to boaters who follow storm plans, while others won’t let you sign up without one.
  • Stick to safe locations. Conditions on the water vary widely depending on where you’re boating. If you only intend on going out in safe and calm locations it’s usually worth finding an insurance plan that recognises it.
  • A good driving record, both in a car and on a boat, can reduce your insurance premiums.
  • Restricting boating to certain seasons. Some seasons are more dangerous for boating than others. If you only intend to take to the water in summer, on clear days that aren’t too windy, then you can usually pay less for insurance than someone who wants to keep their options open in all weather. This is called a lay up period, and is a fairly common feature of marine insurance.
  • Are you boating in fresh water or salt water? Salt water carries a lot of additional challenges and causes more wear and tear to your boat over time. An insurance policy for a boat that’s only used in fresh water should have lower premiums than an ocean vessel.
  • Store your boat carefully. Leaving your boat moored day in and day out will cause it to degrade faster than a well-maintained boat stored in a shed or boathouse. You may wish to keep your boat in the garage to extend its lifespan and reduce insurance premiums. If you’re a long way from the water, however, the cost of boat trailer insurance will increase as a result of exposing your boat to more damage on the roads, and higher recovery expenses in the event of an accident. Regularly check for damage so it can be fixed before it gets worse, and when you store your boat away on dry land, always rinse it off.

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When will boat insurance companies not pay out?

Your insurer may not pay out if:

  • Your boat is improperly secured. Most insurers require a minimum level of security. Boats on trailers are typically required to be stored in locked garages, or if in the open air (carports, etc), secured with approved anti-theft devices. Simple padlocks and chains usually do not meet security standards.
  • You were using your boat in an unapproved fashion at the time of the accident. For example, if you were racing it at the time, your insurance policy must clearly cover racing.
  • You were outside the approved areas. Always know the geographic limits of your insurance policy.
  • Your boat was attached to a moving vehicle at the time.If you reverse into another car while towing your boat, for instance, your policy won’t cover it unless clearly stated otherwise. Because it was on the road at the time, this is a matter for car insurance.
  • Your boat was improperly stored or maintained. If your boat was registered as a trailer boat, but was moored at the time of the accident, the insurance company may refuse to pay out. Similarly, an improperly maintained boat can be used as a reason for the insurance company not to pay out.

For a clear idea of what will and won’t be covered by your boat insurance, contact an insurance company representative for more information.

Katherine's Boat Insurance Claim

Even if claiming goes wrong, insurance still pays off.

On June 29 2014, Katherine struck a submerged object while boating. The motor stopped working almost immediately. After making it to dry land and filing with her insurance company, she thought it was just a matter of waiting for the payment. Unfortunately the company denied her claim, saying the damage was the result of wear and tear, not a collision. This was difficult to prove one way or another, as natural wear and tear can make impacts more damaging.

This disagreement resulted in the need for an independent investigator, but while all this was going on Katherine had to pay for the safe storage of her boat out of the water where it couldn’t suffer any more damage. The investigation was inconclusive. There may have been an impact, or it might have been wear and tear. Despite this, the insurance company agreed to pay for half the cost of the repairs and the full cost of storage. The insurance company had helped and retained a customer, and Katherine had the bulk of the costs paid for.

While it’s not unusual for insurance companies to reject claims, they may be willing to come to an agreement with you and having a policy is still a good investment, even if it doesn’t cover everything.

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Advantages and downsides of boat insurance


  • It’s useful against unexpected events or accidents, so you can enjoy your boating stress-free.
  • It covers you even if the other boat or its owner is not insured.
  • It can provide cover for total loss.
  • You can decide the eventual value.
  • It protects against potentially devastating liability costs.


  • Depending on the type of boat and its use, policies can be quite expensive.
  • Each policy will have its own set of exclusions, where costs cannot be claimed.

The three most common boat insurance mistakes

 Avoid the following things when you are purchasing boat insurance:

  • Forgetting to install safety features such as alarm systems and safety gear, as this could be used by the insurance company to reject your claim.
  • Basing your decision on what cover to take out purely on price. Choosing the cheapest policy may leave you underinsured and forced to pay exorbitant excess charges in the event of a claim.
  • Buying an "add-on" policy. Do not extend your home or car insurance to cover your  boat. It is much better to get stand-alone coverage for your boat, as this will have better conditions. A possible, but rare, exception to this is companies that provide hefty discounts if you insure your boat with them as well as other possessions.

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Your boat insurance questions answered

Roughly how much will my boat insurance cost?

It depends on the type of boat and its value, your boating location, whether you’re racing, fishing, cruising or doing anything else, the storage location, your insurance history and more. There are too many variables to give a rough cost, so you should always get clear quotes for your own circumstances from a number of different insurance companies. Then you can compare them side by side to find the best deal.

Is boat insurance mandatory in my state?

You should check this and verify it with your vehicle registration office as it varies between locations. While boat insurance is typically not mandatory, it is strongly recommended as even a single accident in a cheap boat or PWC can cost an extraordinary amount if you hit a larger vessel or someone suffers an injury, and most basic policies include third party liability coverage.

What's the difference between agreed value and market value?

The agreed value is the amount you and the insurer agree the boat is worth before signing the policy. The market value is the current value at the time of the accident or loss.  For example, if your boat is destroyed by a storm, in the first case you will get the agreed value as compensation. In the second case you will get the market value of the boat at the time of the loss. Market value typically uses a predetermined depreciation figure, but even agreed value may include certain time limits or depreciation potential

How much liability do I need?

It depends on the damage you could cause or on the value you want to protect. If you want to be safe, you may wish to choose liabilities over $1,000,000.

How far can I take my boat?

It depends on the conditions. When you complete the questionnaire, you can choose where to take your boat (i.e. regional, national or international waters). The further the distance, the more expensive the insurance premium will be. Some policies have strict limits, usually referred to as geographical limits. If you intend to keep the boat close to home and in calmer waters, you can usually pay lower premiums.

Are waterskier injuries covered by my insurance?

Not unless clearly stated. If you intend to tow waterskiers you may wish to ensure that your policy clearly covers this.

Is lay up worth it?

Lay up is when you agree not to use your boat during a certain period and your insurance company agrees not to charge you premiums during that time. Lay up is always a great way to save money, but only if you know you’ll be able to stick to it. If you decide to risk it because the boating weather is particularly nice that day, it means the water will be more crowded and you’ll be at an abnormally high risk of accidents without active insurance.

Does boat insurance cover passengers?

Passengers on the boat are covered under the liability part of the insurance agreement, which is why it’s important to make sure your liability is high enough. While they’re being towed, waterskiers and wakeboarders don’t count as passengers. If you wish for them to be covered too, you need to make sure the policy clearly includes this.

Can I get boat insurance for a single, one-off trip?

Yes. Whether you’re taking a fully insured boat outside of its usual range or otherwise making a one-off voyage, it’s possible to buy single-trip insurance to make sure you can travel with peace of mind.

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10 Responses to Boat Insurance Finder™

  1. Default Gravatar
    Doug | May 5, 2016

    I am looking to re-insure my boat, and want to view a review page that allows people to rate insurance companies according to their own experience.

    I’ve seen 1 page that rated one of the top marine insurers in Australia, and the reviews were 1 good out of 19 bad experiences. No good going to a top insurer,if you going to have to battle for every penny in the event of a claim.

    Can you direct me to a page or two that might help make these comparisons


    • Staff
      Richard | May 6, 2016

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, the only insurance brand in our panel offering boat insurance is Youi. If you would like to contact them directly you can do so by calling 1300 256 859.

      All the best,

  2. Default Gravatar
    Adam | March 8, 2016

    I found a boat for sale im interested in, approx $15000 it has registration but the boat brand in unknown.
    Can this boat be fully insured? Ive been informed that boats with no known manufacturer cant be insured. The motor is evinrude.


    • Staff
      Richard | March 9, 2016

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your question. is a comparison service and not an insurer. Currently, the only insurance brand in our panel offering boat insurance is Youi. If you would like to contact them directly you can do so by calling 1300 256 859.

      I hope this was helpful,

  3. Default Gravatar
    Yolanda | November 30, 2015

    My partner and I have recently bought a new car and boat. We are trying to find the right kind of insurance to cover both the boat and car as well as household contents insurance. My partner wants full comprehensive on the car and boat etc. Is there one that will cover all three or What is the best kind of insurance for our needs? Is there anything we should be aware of ? Price? Thank you.

    • Staff
      Richard | December 1, 2015

      Hi Yolanda,

      Thanks for your question. There are many insurers out there that offer multi-policy discounts for combining car, boat and home and contents insurance. Unfortunately, none of the insurance brands has access to are offering boat insurance at this time, in addition to the other services your require.

      However, there are insurers out there that may be able to help you including:

      • GIO. If you combine three policies with GIO and you’re eligible for a 10% multi-policy discount. Eligible policies are GIO home, contents, landlord, car, motorcycle, caravan and boat.
      • Suncorp. When you combine three or more policies with Suncorp Insurance and you’ll be eligible for a 15% multi-policy discount. Policies include home, contents, landlord, car, motorcycle, caravan and boat.
      • RACQ. If you have at least three RACQ insurance policies, you’ll get up to an additional 5% off each of your eligible policies, which includes comprehensive car, home and boat insurance.
      • Bupa. Existing members are eligible for a 10% discount on both home and contents and car insurance. is a comparison service and we do not currently provide quotes for these products and we are not permitted to provided personalised financial advice.

      I hope this was helpful,

  4. Default Gravatar
    Vicky | April 9, 2015

    Can I purchase boat insurance in Canada to go boating in Florida (while vacationing)?

    • Staff
      Richard | April 9, 2015

      Hi Vicky,

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, the products in our panel are for Australian residents and we go not currently have a provider that offers international boat insurance.


  5. Default Gravatar
    Marissa | February 18, 2015

    I have a 1980 Whitley inboard ski boat with a 350 chev engine. It has current rego and insurance and just passed a machinery inspection. As we don’t have access to a marine mechanic in Roma my insurance was removed. The boat only goes to local dams from October to April.
    Just need insurance that includes waterskiers liability so we can ski in our local dam.
    Can you help

    • Staff
      Richard | February 19, 2015

      Hi Marissa,

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, does not currently have an agreement with any boat insurers at this time.


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