Feb 21 2019 All Articles

Boat Insurance Claims – Summer 2019


Well another summer is indeed here.  Jan and Feb are probably our biggest months for claims, both in volume and severity. This is probably because more people take advantage of the great weather and head out – so more  boats out means more chance of  “something” happening.

So what does actually happen?  Well here are a couple of common ones this year…

“Uncharted” rocks!

Well, prop claims are a biggie, on all sizes of boats and mostly result from failure to read a chart, know tides (there have been king tides lately) or getting too close to reefs and rocks whilst fishing or travelling.

We will often get the the “I hit an uncharted rock” claim. For Auckland boaties on the Hauraki Gulf, the truth often is that they were just too close to a charted object. So don’t rely on your plotter to tell you that you are 10 metres away from it, just give it at least 50 metres when fishing or passing and you wont find that “uncharted rock” under your boat. Don’t be lulled into a false send of security by what your plotter tells you. They are not right all the time, everywhere.

“I lost my anchor”!

Well “lost” really means, I couldn’t get my anchor up. So what do you do if this happens? Well, first realise that an anchor winch is designed to lift the anchor off the sea bed once released. It is not designed to winch the boat towards the anchor, use your engine to do that. It’s also not designed to get the anchor out of the sea bed, gently drive over the snubbed anchor for that if it needs releasing. There is no point burning out the winch’s motor or clutch plate if the task is beyond the winch.

But lets say you just cant get it out and you need to leave, the best thing is to attach a fender or buoy to a long line to indicate with the tackle is, and then release or cut it. Often bringing a diver back is a cheaper option that making a claim and often is cheaper than your excess.

Boat ramp “Drama”!

Yeah, we know. A day on the water under the sun can sometimes end in a melee on the boat ramp. Everyone comes back at the same time, a bit of swell kicks in and its all go! We have seen some really good behaviour and people helping each other out and also some bad behaviour with guys (always the guys) just charging in between boats being held by others, often kids and causing boats to knock up against each other or swing round. That’s messy and unnecessary and we have been known to not offer renewals or to cancel policies of boaties who are aggressive on boat ramps.