Houseboat Insurance Explained
Houseboat insurance is a very unique product in the insurance Are contents covered?
marketplace with very few insurers offering products to suit the Each insurer differs widely in their approach. Some provide a
risk. Most policies are underwritten through a standard pleasure small sub-limit while others cover contents up to the full sum
craft wording designed to indemnity cruisers, runabouts, jet skis insured. The most important thing to look for is the deﬁnition of
and inﬂatables. They were not drafted with houseboats in mind. onboard contents as they vary considerably.
As an insurance broker, we have access to most insurance
markets but our focus is to align our customers with the best Should I insure the value of my Goulburn Murray Water
product available. Set out below are some frequently asked Permit?
questions which will help with your expectation of the product. The insurer is not entitled to retain your permit in the event of a
total loss. The permit will remain with the insured who can elect to
What is the difference between an Insurance Broker, sell it or build another boat. Despite this, we still recommend that
Insurance Agent, Insurance Company and a Loss you consider the value of your onboard contents and make an
Adjuster? adequate provision for them should you wish to deduct the cost of
An insurance broker is a truly independent expert with access to the permit from the sum insured.
multiple insurance markets. At all times they act for the insured
and not the insurer. An insurance agent is usually an advocate of Is ﬂood covered?
one insurance company and acts on behalf of the insurance All watercraft are designed to ﬂoat, including houseboats. It would
company only. An insurance company provides the security for the be extremely unconscionable for an insurer to deny a claim purely
insurance policy and acts in its own interests subject to the terms based on a ﬂood event. It should be classiﬁed as a storm or even
and conditions of the insurance contract. A loss adjuster is an accidental damage where the houseboat breaks away from the
independent third party engaged by the insurance company to marina. All of the boats damaged in the Brisbane ﬂoods earlier
assess the loss once a claim is made. this year were fully indemniﬁed.
Am I covered for replacement value or market value? My boat is being slipped. Is it covered?
All policies on offer cover you for market value only. The policy wordings in the marketplace vary. Most policies provide
cover for occasional maintenance and slipping. This presents
Does that mean I will only receive market value for all problems on the weir as the policy assumes that the slip can be
claims? accessed at all times. If the water dips below the slipping level the
Not necessarily. The policy is designed to put you back in the boats can only be removed from the water by trailer. Some
position you were in prior to the loss. Where the hull or interior is insurers will not indemnify this activity while others provide a
damaged and requires repair, the insurer will pay the reasonable tailored offering to cover this potential exposure.
cost of effecting the repairs. Where an item cannot be repaired,
the insurer will provide you with the market value of the item and How long will it take for my claim to be processed?
depreciation may apply. If you suffer a total loss (ie. the boat Depending on the nature of the claim and the resources available,
sinks), the insurer will pay out the current market value of the the time between lodging a claim and indemniﬁcation can vary
boat. Depending on the limit speciﬁed by you it may not equate to considerably. Many factors are at play here such as the availability
the full sum insured. of the loss adjuster and ease of access to appropriate repairers.
Can I get agreed value? Iʼm building a boat in my backyard. Am I covered?
Agreed value can be provided by some insurers on the condition No. A houseboat policy excludes construction works. A specialist
that a licensed valuer can submit a report conﬁrming the likely construction policy which covers both the value of the materials
market value of the boat. The agreed value amount will only be and third party liability should be taken out.
paid out in the event of a total loss.
Nathan Goodall B.Com B.Laws M.Ins ANZIIF (Fellow)
Broking Operations Manager
Address: ! 22 Welsford Street, Shepparton, VIC, 3630
Phone: ! (03) 5821 7777
Facsimile: (03) 5822 2916
Email: ! firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: ! www.ggib.com.au