Jet Ski Insurance Cover

Jet Ski Insurance Cover

With Summer just around the corner, getting out on a jet ski to blow away the winter cobwebs could be just the ticket. Before you set out on the water, it’s important that you have the right jet ski insurance to meet your needs.

Although there is no legal requirement to have jet ski insurance when heading out on the water in the UK, it will give you peace of mind that you’re covered, should anything go wrong.

Assist Insurance Services offer three choices of jet ski insurance cover:

  • Comprehensive Craft and Liability Cover
  • Craft Cover Only
  • Third Party Liability Cover Only

Craft cover – i.e. insurance for your the ski itself

This includes loss or damage to your jet ski caused by:

  • Fire or explosion
  • Accidents of others, such as collision, sinking or grounding
  • Deliberate or malicious acts including arson and vandalism
  • Theft or attempted theft

Our jet ski insurance is not limited to these risks – see our jet ski insurance policy wording for more details.

Jet ski insurance – Third Party Liability Cover

This covers you for the cost of damage or injury to third parties up to the value of £3million, but you have the option to choose a different limit. By a third party, we mean anyone who is not related to you, or working for you and their property.

This element of your jet ski insurance also covers you and your family’s legal costs and compensation payments in settling or defending a claim resulting from injury or property damage to others, which was caused by you, when using your jet ski.  It includes solicitors’ fees and other expenses relating to official enquiries of coroners’ inquests.

Jet ski Insurance – Optional Covers

There are a number of optional cover options which may be suitable for you providing you with additional cover suitable for your individual needs.  They are as follows:

  • Protected No Claims Discount
  • £1million water ski liability
  • Credit card and cash up to £250
  • Watch and jewellery up to £1.500 and over £1,500 safe restrictions
  • Legal expenses cover up to £100,000
  • Personal possessions cover on board
  • Trailers and trollies cover
  • Flexible third-party liability cover
  • Water skiing and towing of toys.
  • Contents cover available
  • Portable craft equipment

Please note that it is important to keep your jet ski properly maintained, as general wear and tear is not covered by your jet ski insurance policy. For full details, see our jet ski insurance policy wording.

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Preparing your Yacht for the Season

Preparing your Yacht for the Sailing Season

If you’re looking forward to plenty of time on the water in your yacht this summer, now’s the time to give it a thorough check over. Paying attention to general boat maintenance and mechanical servicing now could save you time and expense later on, when you could be enjoying yourself out on the water.  Here are some of the keys things you should be doing.

 

  1. Interior and exterior cleaning

Even if you gave your boat a good clean when you put her away for the winter, she’ll probably need a thorough clean to remove any dust, dirt and mildew that has accumulated over the winter months. Use specialist marine cleaning products to clean and protect the interior as well as the decks. Polish all stainless-steel fittings and apply a protector, check for wear and tear, tighten any that have worked loose.

  1. Check rigging

This needs to be done on a regular basis and especially at the beginning of the season. Wear and tear due to movement of the rig, can easily occur when your boat is moored up during the winter. Examine the standard rigging and running rigging for any signs of damage. Clean and replace the components as required.

  1. Anti-fouling

Check the anti-fouling coating on the hull. This protects it from the growth of marine algae and scum build-up. You can source various types of anti-fouling paints from a chandlery and it’s advisable to remove as much of the previous layer as possible, before applying a new coat. This gives a smoother finish and better protection.

  1. Engine service

Having your engine serviced now is good practice and much more convenient than in the middle of the season. It could also avoid any difficulties or breakdowns when you’re out on the water. An engine service will usually include a full clean, oil and oil filter change, gearbox greasing and oil check, replacement of air filters, checking v-belt, impeller and anode.

  1. Winch service

Winches require routine care and maintenance, as frequent usage can cause significant wear and tear. Service them now to ensure that they run smoothly and efficiently.

  1. Sail-drive service

Sail drives can be susceptible to corrosion as they are often immersed in salt water. Service them now with a thorough clean, oil change and gearbox check to ensure they don’t fail when you’re on the water.

  1. Seacock service

Check that all seacocks work and operate them frequently to avoid them seizing up. Make sure that none are leaking, clean them with fresh water, check and grease the seals.

  1. Re-fill fresh-water tanks

If you drained down the tanks at the end of last season, then close the taps, switch on the pump and refill the tank. Flush through with clean water and turn on each tap individually to run water through it. Start with the taps closest to the pump to push out any air locks.

  1. Check life-saving equipment

Modern life-jackets require proper maintenance, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that they are adjusted for each crew member and that everyone knows where they are stowed. Ensure flares and fire extinguishers are in date, the life raft is serviced and fully functioning, making sure lifelines and guard rails are secure and in good condition.

  1. Check your boat insurance

Make sure that your boat insurance policy is up to date and covers you for what you need. If you have any questions, you can call our advisers on 01604 946 779.

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Yacht Insurance

Beginners’ Guide to Yachts

Yacht InsuranceWhen is a Boat also a Yacht?

There is a vast array of vocabulary associated with yachting, sailing and boating, and many terms have Naval origins dating back hundreds of years. It can be confusing for the novice sailor and the place to start is probably: What do you call your sailing vessel?

This is some debate (and confusion) around when is a boat also a yacht – as all yachts are boats, but not all boats are yachts! What determines whether a boat is a yacht includes factors such as size, value, design, purpose and status. The dictionary definition of a yacht is: “a medium-sized sailing boat equipped for cruising or racing.”

Competitive sailing/racing

Yachting may be considered an elite occupation or pastime, while the competitive sport of racing boats or yachts has a much broader appeal.  The Olympic sport changed its name from yachting to sailing before the 1966 Olympic Games to reflect this.  In addition, the classes of boats sailed in the Olympics change quite often.  They vary according to the objectives of the International Olympic Committee and include boats defined as dinghies, skiffs and multihull boats (but not yachts). Just to add to the confusion, British sailors join the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and sailing clubs across the country are affiliated to the RYA.

RYA definition of a yacht

The RYA describes a yacht as a larger boat, where you can live on board. (It’s important to include the assumption that these are sea-faring boats, rather than ones that you find on our inland waterways!)  They range from about 20 feet (6m) in length to well over 100 feet (30m). They come in various hull shapes: Monohull (single hull); catamaran (two hulls) and trimaran (three hulls).  They can also have many difference types of keel and different types of rig.

Luxury yachts

The size of yachts in the luxury market is getting bigger all the time.  What used to be known as ‘superyachts’ (at 100 – 130 feet /30 – 40m) are now considered mid-range, while superyachts are now over 130 feet, but the benchmarks are continually moving.

Whatever size of yacht you have, Assist Insurance offers a range of flexible policy options to provide you with yacht insurance to meet your needs.

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Assist Insurance Services Awarded Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2019

Assist Insurance Receives Feefo Gold Trusted Award 2019

Assist Insurance Services Ltd is proud to report that we have been awarded a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2019, recognising the excellent customer service provided to our customers.

Assist Insurance Services Ltd is one of the leading specialist providers of marine and pleasure craft insurance products in the UK.  With over 13 years’ experience and over 30,000 policy holders, we offer competitive premiums that are great value for money.  We are a family run business and we firmly believe in traditional values, which is why excellent customer service is so important to us and lies at the heart of everything we do.

We offer bespoke insurance policies for narrowboats, livaboards, dinghies, speed boats, yachts, motor cruisers, jet skis and much more. Our knowledgeable staff are dedicated to excellent customer service so you get the very best customer experience.

The Feefo Gold Service award is an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers. Those that meet the high standard, (based on the number of reviews they have collected, and their average rating), receive the award. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique, as it is based purely on the interactions with real customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service.  Assist Insurance Services met the criteria of collecting over the required number of reviews between January 1st 2018 and December 31st 2018, with a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 5.0.

Steve Leech, Director at Assist Insurance commented: “We are one of the fastest growing providers of marine insurance in the UK and receiving this Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award reflects the commitment we have in delivering the best customer experience to each and every customer.  Providing excellent customer service is at the heart of everything we do and it’s a real honour to receive this award and to be recognised once again by Feefo. “

Congratulating Assist Insurance on winning this year’s award, Matt West, CEO at Feefo, commented: “The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising those companies that excel beyond the norm. This year we’ve seen many remarkable businesses leveraging the full potential of Feefo to provide outstanding levels of experience for their customers – and rightly being awarded our most prestigious accreditation. I’m looking forward to the continual success of the businesses that work in partnership with us throughout 2019.”

Everyone here at Assist Insurance Services Ltd is absolutely delighted with the news and would love to help you save money on your insurance renewal, while providing you with excellent customer service.  Speak to one of our marine specialists today on 01604 946 779 to request a no obligation marine insurance quote.

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Buying a Second-Hand Narrowboat

Buying a Second-Hand Narrowboat

In our previous blog we gave you tips on buying a new narrowboat however buying a second-hand narrowboat may be your preferred choice.  This is a much cheaper option than buying a new narrowboat and is popular with people looking for a renovation project. Buying from a brokerage can give you more security than buying privately and it’s advisable to register with several brokers to give you a wider view of the current market. If you buy a narrowboat online, make sure that you have given it a thorough inspection before you part with any money.  However you buy your second-hand narrowboat, here’s a brief checklist of the key things that you should look at.

General condition

The narrowboat’s general appearance will give you a good idea of how well it’s been looked after. As well as the paintwork and varnishing on the interior and exterior, check that appliances and equipment are in good working order. Also check the presence and condition of all ropes, mooring pins and locks.

Hull condition

Narrowboat hulls are made of steel, so check that the hull meets the required specification in terms of thickness. It should also be ‘blackened’ (pressur-washed and painted with two coats of bitumen, whilst in a dry dock) every two to three years to prevent rusting. Find out when this was last completed.

Engine and gearbox

Check that the narrowboat’s engine and gearbox are in good working order and that there are no cracks or leaks.

Batteries

Three leisure batteries coupled with one starter battery is standard in narrowboats. Examine the set-up to see if it has a battery management system as this will improve efficiency. Also, check whether the boat has an inverter to enable you to run electrical equipment.

Survey

Having the narrowboat surveyed by a qualified marine surveyor can be a very worthwhile investment. They will inspect the narrowboat and advise you of any issues with the hull and the boat’s internal systems.

You need to think about how you will be using your narrowboat, where you want to cruise and what size boat you would prefer and this information is outlined on buying a narrowboat.

Before you take ownership of your boat, you’ll need a good narrowboat insurance policy in place. Assist Insurance Services Ltd are specialists in narrowboat insurance and provide flexible policy options, tailored to your individual needs.    Call the Assist Insurance customer service team on 01604 946 779 who will be able to guide you through the process to ensure that you have the right cover for your narrowboat or for more information, go to Narrowboat Insurance.

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Buying a New Narrowboat

The start of a new year is often a time when we decide to put our long-held dreams into action. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a narrowboat, but didn’t know where to start, then here are a few general tips and things to think about.

How will you be using your narrowboat?

You may want a narrowboat as a weekend retreat to get away from the stresses of modern life.  You could use your narrowboat for family holidays, cruising around Britain’s canals, or even as a permanent residence, providing accommodation in a beautiful location at a fraction of the cost of a ‘bricks and mortar’ home. Whatever your plans, it’s a good idea to experience narrowboat cruising by renting a boat. You can try out different types of boat at different times of year, while exploring a wide range of locations, which will help you decide what’s best for you.

Where do you want to cruise?

Where you’ll be using your narrowboat will have a crucial impact on the type of boat you buy. Our canals and rivers have evolved over 200 years, so the locks, bridges and tunnels vary in width, length and height. Smaller vessels will be easier to manoeuvre and some parts of the canal network will be completely inaccessible to larger boats (both in terms of length and width). For a detailed list of the accessibility of Britain’s canals according to the size of narrowboats and barges, see the Canal and Rivers Trust.

What size of boat?

Of course, this will be influenced by how you intend to use your boat. A narrowboat can be used for cruising almost any waterway and consequently they are the most common types of boats seen on Britain’s canals and rivers. They are generally 6ft 10inches (2.1m) wide and can be up to 72 feet (22m) long. However, 30 – 40 feet (9.1 – 12.2m) is usually ample for leisure cruising and 50 feet (15.24m) provides good living space.

If you’re looking to cruise on canals in Yorkshire, then your boat should ideally be no more than 56 feet long (17m) as all the locks are shorter in this area.

Barges and wide beams can be up to 14ft 6inches wide (4.4m) providing quite spacious accommodation but you are likely to be restricted on where you can cruise in them. Visiting a boat show, such as the Crick Boat Show gives you the opportunity to look at lots of different sorts of boats and talk to boat owners, which will help you to decide which type of narrowboat, barge or wide beam you would like.

Buying a new boat

New narrowboats, barges and wide beams are generally bought directly from boatyards, with costs that vary considerably depending on the size and specification. However, staff at the boatyards will be able to give you ballpark figures. As with any significant purchase, check the financial stability of the supplier and compare purchase costs as well as details of the warranty provided.

It’s most likely that your narrowboat will be hand-built to your specification. This will take many weeks, or even months to complete, so make sure that all your requirements are fully understood and agreed in detail at the outset. Most importantly, make sure that the price and delivery date are clear and be prepared to visit the boat builder at intervals during the build. Many boat builders use a British Marine Federation Standard Contract, which releases the ownership of the boat in stages. It details when you pay out, and should you encounter any problems, it enables you to take ownership of any completed work.

Insurance

Before you take ownership of your boat, you’ll need a good narrowboat insurance policy in place. Assist Insurance Services Ltd are specialists in narrowboat insurance and provide flexible policy options, tailored to your individual needs.    Call the Assist Insurance customer service team on 01604 946 779 who will be able to guide you through the process to ensure that you have the right cover for your narrowboat or for more information, go to Narrowboat Insurance.

The information provided here are general tips on buying a new narrowboat and later this month we will provide you with some more general tips on buying a used narrowboat, if this is your preferred choice.

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Narrowboat Security

 

If you live on a narrowboat, or you continue to use it throughout the winter, it’s a good idea to review your security practices at this time of year as daylight is in short supply. You may also find that new technology is available and/or more affordable to help you protect your narrowboat.

Some security measures are a requirement of your narrowboat insurance policy, while others will provide you with greater peace of mind. Although your insurance will help to cover the financial cost of a break-in, the emotional cost may be higher. Of course, it depends on how much you want to spend and how worried you are about security, but here is a general guide to narrowboat security.

Hatch, doors and windows

These entry points are potentially the most vulnerable, so make sure that they are in a good state of repair and as secure as they can be.

  • Doors should be made from strong solid timber and they can have steel skins for extra strength.
  • Interior wooden window shutters provide additional security as well as insulation and privacy.
  • Use strong, high-quality window locks and cylinder padlocks, and secure hatches and doors with heavy-duty internal hasps.

Moveable items

  • If you’re leaving your narrowboat for any length of time, take your valuables home with you. If you live on-board your boat, then mark them with an indelible ‘invisible’ marker and keep them out of site when you’re not there.
  • Keep the shutters or curtains drawn on the towpath side.
  • If you keep bicycles on the roof of your narrowboat, then use a conventional bicycle lock and chain to prevent them from simply being lifted from the roof.
  • Lockable roof boxes can be used to store fishing tackle, tools, etc.
  • Protect your fuel – fit a lockable filler cap.

Security devices

  • A range of alarms is available for narrowboats and many operate in a similar way to car alarms, powered by a 12V battery. Some alarms will send a text message to you when activated.
  • GPS trackers can act as a deterrent – they can monitor the location of your narrowboat and notify you and the police if your boat is moved for any reason.
  • PIR (passive infrared) security lighting is activated when someone approaches and can also be a good deterrent.
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting on a timer switch can help your narrowboat to look occupied.
  • Engine immobilisers prevent the engine from being started so a potential thief is unable to move the boat.

Moorings

  • Firstly, only moor where you feel safe. You may choose to moor in a marina, so check out their security measures.
  • In urban areas, it’s advisable to use chains or steel rope when mooring. As we approach the ‘silly season’ there’s an increased risk of having your boat cast off by people after a night out on the beer. It might seem like a good prank to them without realising the distress it can cause. If you’re unable to use a chain, then use a heavy-duty rope and attach cable-ties around the loose ends of the mooring knot so that it’s harder to untie.

There is plenty that you can do to improve your narrowboat security, so by reviewing your security measures on a regular basis, you can protect your narrowboat and give yourself some peace of mind.

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Winterising your Sailing Boat

Some sailing and yachting clubs offer sailing facilities and racing all year round, but if you’re not intending to sail during the winter, then now’s the time to prepare your sailing boat for the colder and potentially stormy weather.  Of course, this varies greatly according to the type of sailing boat you have, but here are some general tips.

Winterising your Sailing Boat

 

  1. Wash the sails in fresh water and allow them to dry.  This removes salt and dirt (which attract and prolong the presence of moisture on the sails) and helps prevent mildew.  Treating your sails well helps to prolong their life, keeping them crisp and in a good condition. Store your sails somewhere dry and well-ventilated over the winter.
  2. Remove sheets, ropes and control lines.  Rinse them in fresh water and ensure they are dry before putting them into storage.
  3. In the cabin, open all cupboard doors to encourage airflow through the cabin.  Remove all cushions, towels, blankets, etc to protect them and the cabin from condensation.
  4. Below deck, check the bilges are empty and dry and drain the fresh water tank.
  5. If your sailing boat also has an engine, then run the engine to warm it up, switch it off and drain the oil.  Refill the engine with new oil and replace the filter to help prevent engine corrosion.
  6. Top up the fuel tank with fuel, to prevent condensation build-up in the fuel system and corrosion.
  7. Spray the engine electrics with WD40.
  8. Disconnect the boat batteries and store them in a warm, dry place for the winter.
  9. Drain the water-cooling system and replace with marine-grade antifreeze, which is non-toxic.
  10. Remove burgees from sailing dinghies and remove bungs to improve ventilation and allow water to drain out if necessary.  Removing bungs from buoyancy tanks helps to maintain airflow and avoid damage caused by air expansion.
  11. If you’re not storing your sailing boat in a boat shed or garage, but leaving it in a berth at a sailing club, ensure that the cover is secure, the trailer and/or launching trolley tyres are correctly inflated and most importantly, that the boat is tied down securely.  This reduces the risk of damage to your boat as well as others, if there are high winds.
  12. Check your boat every few weeks if you can, or after particularly stormy weather.

If you have questions about our sailing boat insurance policies then please call the Assist Insurance customer service team on 01604 946 722.

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Legal Expenses Cover

Why opt for legal expenses cover in your marine insurance?

In addition to insuring your boat against a range of risks, you can opt for legal expenses insurance cover. From just £11.20 a year, you’ll receive up to £100,000 in legal costs and benefits. Not only does this cover you for legal expenses involving disputes on the water, and damage to your property, you’re also covered for legal costs incurred in disputes relating to the purchase of goods and services, personal injury, ID fraud and employment. See some of the examples below:

Legal expenses cover – ID fraud

The policyholder contacted the legal helpline after they were pursued for the non-payment of a loan taken out in their name. Our specialist legal insurers reviewed the case and determined the prospects of the claim being successful as over 51%, so they agreed to instruct a panel solicitor. The panel solicitor successfully proved that the policyholder had not taken out the loan and that they had been a victim of identity fraud. They contacted the loan company, who agreed not to pursue the policyholder any further. All legal costs were covered under the legal expenses insurance policy.

Legal expenses cover – consumer defence

The policyholder sold a high-end computer to a third party (but this could apply to any high-end good). Upon receiving the computer, the third party claimed it was faulty and requested their money back, with threats to take legal action. The policyholder was adamant the computer was in good condition when it was sold and our specialist legal insurers agreed to instruct panel solicitors to negotiate on behalf of the policyholder. The legal insurer had reviewed the case and determined the prospects of the claim being successful to be over 51%. The solicitor contacted the third party to discuss the claim. The third party immediately agreed to withdraw their allegations and the dispute was settled out of court. All legal costs were covered under the legal expenses insurance policy.

Legal expenses cover – employment dispute

The policyholder’s wife was employed by an estate agency chain as a branch manager. Over a period of 18 months she was subjected to sustained criticism from her line manager, which made her feel that her position had become untenable. As a result of this, she resigned and contacted the legal helpline in order to submit a claim for constructive dismissal. Our specialist legal insurers instructed solicitors to act for the policyholder after attempts to settle the dispute at Employment Tribunal were unsuccessful. The solicitor was able to negotiate an agreement with the employer securing a cash award, her company car and a reference. All legal costs and disbursements were covered under the legal expenses insurance policy.

It’s a very small price to pay for peace of mind for a year. To add legal expenses insurance, when you buy or renew your marine insurance policy, contact our marine insurance team on 01604 946779.

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Preparing your Boat for the Winter

If you’re not planning to use your boat over the winter months, then now’s the time to think about bringing it ashore and protecting it against whatever the elements have in store. Winter boat preparation is vitally important to reduce the need for expensive repairs in the spring. What you do depends on the type of boat of course, and it may be a familiar routine, but here is a reminder of some of the key points.

 

General 

  • Check the exterior of the boat by cleaning it, ensuring there is no cracking or any blisters. If you can do this a few weeks before you are due to leave your boat, it gives you some time to organise or carry out any necessary repairs.
  • Check for small problems before they become big ones. Check things such as corrosion, broken seals, excessive wear and tear or loose connections.
  • Cover your boat to protect it against the elements. If it has a cover, ensure that your boat cover is securely fastened and free of holes or gaps. If you can park your boat under a protective canopy or garage, this provides additional protection. If that’s not possible then try and store it in a location that would minimise wind exposure and bad weather, such as snow and debris.
  • Make sure that your boat is securely tied down.
  • Check your boat insurance policy for any conditions relating to winter storage, berthing or transit to make sure that you are properly insured.
  • Refer to your boat owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your boat’s winter preparation. 

Engine and fuel tank

  • Remember to change the engine oil and the oil filter, which will help to keep the engine clear of corrosive elements.
  • Check water coiling level and top it up if needed.
  • Flush the engine with fresh water to remove salt, dirt and corrosion and then drain water from the engine.
  • Top up the fuel tank to minimise fuel contamination.

Interior

  • Remove any standing water and clean up any dirt or oil, making sure everything is dry.
  • To prevent mould and mildew use dehumidifiers.
  • Disconnect any water pumps and drain them of any water to avoid freezing pipes which may cause them to split and fracture.

Use these general tips to get you started, and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or have a look through our website for more tips.