For first-time yacht buyers with no prior ownership experience, obtaining yacht insurance can be a difficult task at hand. Yacht insurance is more detailed than a regular boat policy in that boat insurance is classified for vessels under 26 feet. For vessels over 26 feet, yacht insurance policies vary greatly in coverage and language. In our experience, if you are a first-time yacht buyer with no prior ownership or experience, it’s very challenging to get insurance on anything over 45 feet. The reason being, it is difficult for insurance companies to judge your ability to safely operate a yacht.
So how do you go about obtaining insurance as a first-time yacht owner? We recommend, before even shopping for a yacht, to get some boating experience under your belt. Preferably with a similar vessel that you intend to purchase. This experience could be in the form of a boating safety course if you have not done so, hands-on training courses which you can find through any of the websites listed below, and once that is complete, try a bareboat charter; being sure to log your time out at sea. Experience is key to obtaining yacht insurance for first-time yacht buyers, and you can never have enough.
There is another workaround for first-time buyers, but it may not be ideal for some yacht owners. The workaround to obtaining yacht insurance is to hire a captain to run the boat full-time. Although this might not sound ideal, there are many benefits to hiring a captain, including first-hand knowledge and expertise from a true expert about the yacht itself, navigation, and maritime law. Not to mention, you’ll learn best practices in high-risk situations and have a great connection in the boating community, which comes in handy as a yacht owner. Of course, additional insurance coverage is needed for captains and crew, but the extra money is worth the peace of mind.
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