Is it mandatory to insure a boat?
It is a legal requirement that ALL VESSELS with an engine Horse Power exceeding 9.9 are insured for at least THIRD PARTY risks with a minimum limit of liability of Eur 235,000 each and every occurrence. This legal requirement applies irrespective of the whether the vessel is registered abroad or in Malta and whether the registration is Valletta, Small Ships or Fisheries.
What types of insurance cover are there?
You have a choice of either Third Party Only cover or Comprehensive cover.
The former will only pay out for damages and/or injuries to third parties and for which you are found to be legally liable. The latter covers both your legal liability to third parties and specified damages to the insured vessel. These would include perils of the seas, fire, theft, malicious damage and collision.
When is the vessel covered?
The vessel is covered whilst on the hard in its usual place of storage, whilst in transit within the Maltese Islands, whilst commissioning and decommissioning and whilst at sea. Depending on the cover agreed this could include cover whilst the vessel is left afloat unattended on a specified mooring during a specified period.
How is my premium calculated?
The premium is usually a flat charge for Third Party Only coverage and a percentage rate of the total insured value for Comprehensive policies. The rate is usually inversely proportional to value and decreases as the value increases. The rate is also determined by a number of factors including the type of vessel, the construction material, the year of manufacture and the maximum designed speed. Loadings for young drivers, extended In Commission periods and navigation outside Maltese Waters usually apply and No Claims Discount is usually available.
What happens if I have a road accident whilst towing my boat?
Road accidents should be treated like normal motor vehicle accidents and a traffic warden or the police should be notified. Damages to the vessel and the trailer would be covered if the policy is a comprehensive one and the vessel and the trailer are insured. If the fault lies with the other party then you would have a right to claim under his motor policy but always notify our office nonetheless. If you cause damages or injuries to other parties on the road, even if the trailer is or becomes detached from the motor vehicle, then you should lodge a claim with the motor insurers covering your motor vehicle. It is therefore important that your motor insurers are informed that you are towing a trailer behind your vehicle. Third party liability on the road is NOT COVERED by a pleasure craft insurance policy.
What is the difference between the In Commission period and the Laid Up period?
During the In Commission period you would have unrestricted use of the vessel subject to the agreed policy terms and conditions. This would include permission to leave the vessel afloat unattended on any agreed moorings and use outside of daylight hours, subject the vessel is equipped with adequate lighting. You would also not be restricted by any weather condition limitations subject that the duty of due diligence is observed. During the Laid Up period, the vessel should be out of use on the hard or afloat in a marina or safe harbour. However, most policies will allow limited navigation during this period, which grants you the facility to use your vessel during daylight hours within territorial limits in good weather conditions (usually forecasted not to exceed Force 4 on the Beaufort Scale)
Are there any driver age restrictions?
Unless otherwise specified most policies will cover adequately experienced and licenced drivers aged over 25 years. It may be possible to cover younger drivers, depending on the type of boat and on the experience and qualifications of the applicant. A person may insure a vessel if he/she does not hold a driving licence, even if the type of vessel requires a nautical licence to drive, as long as the Insured does not drive the vessel and the specified drivers are adequately licenced and experienced.
Can I travel outside Maltese Waters with my boat?
If your vessel is registered Valletta or any other international port then, subject to paying the relative additional premium, your policy may be extended to cover navigation beyond Maltese Waters. Usually you will have 2 options, either Maltese and Italian Waters or else Mediterranean Waters West of 25, 30 or 34 degrees East, depending on the insurer. Besides the extension itself, you will also be given an Italian Insurance Certificate with higher third party limits of Eur 3,000,000, which is mandatory in Italian Waters. Similar certificates also exist for navigation in Spanish and Greek waters and these are available upon request.
Is towing at sea a recoverable expense?
If you need to be towed at sea and incur an expense for such towing this may be considered if the cause requiring such towing is an insured peril under your policy. If your policy covers propeller fouling and the reason why you needed to be towed was because you caught a rope in your propellers then, if reasonably incurred, such towing expense will be considered to be part of your claim. If the reason for requesting towing is due to an uninsured peril, such as running out of fuel or machinery damage arising out of wear and tear, then this expense will usually not be covered.
Do I need a survey to insure my boat?
Different insurers have different requirements stipulating the need for a survey. A survey is usually required for amateur or owner built vessels and for certain vessels older than 15 years. A survey will also be required for used vessels purchased overseas to be brought to Malta. The surveyor would have to be a qualified and approved surveyor and would have to be appointed by you at your own expense. Ideally surveys are carried out of water with a follow-up sea trial and the report would certify both the condition and the value of the vessel. Photos should accompany the report. Steel vessels will also need an audio-gauging test to be carried out to verify the steel plate thickness. Commercial vessels need to be surveyed annually. To confirm whether your vessel needs a survey please contact us on 23433219.
How do I lodge a claim?
In the event of any loss, damage or injuries following theft, fire, malicious intent or collision please inform the police authorities immediately. For these and any other claims you must also contact our offices immediately on 23433118 or 23433308.