Frequently Asked Questions

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Boat Insurance FAQs

What is the Excess or Deductible?

Many policies include an excess or sometimes called a deductible. This is the amount you have to pay if you decide to make a claim on your policy. It’s a way of you accepting a small portion of the risk yourself. The amount of the excess is specified in your policy.

What is the difference between a Market Value and an Agreed value Policy?

In the event of a total loss of your boat under a market value policy, underwriters will consider the value of the boat in line with the current market conditions and pay a settlement based on what they consider to be a fair market value. Whereas, if you have insured your boat under an agreed value policy then the value of the boat is agreed at the beginning of the policy and if there is a total loss then the agreed value will be paid without deduction for market conditions.

Am I entitled to any No Claims Discount/ Bonus?

Depending on your insurer, they may offer a no claims discount which means that year you are insured without making an insurance claim, you earn a No Claims Discount that is then applied to your boat insurance policy at renewal. This may be transferred from a previous insurer or built up annually. You may be asked for evidence of your no claims discount if it is being transferred from another insurer.

What happens to my No Claims Discount / Bonus if I have a claim?

If you have a claim during the policy period of your boat insurance, then your No Claims Discount might revert to nil and will build up after the claim each year you are claim free.

What happens to my No Claims Discount / Bonus if I have a claim and it is not my fault?

Initially, if a claim has been paid by your insurer it will affect your No Claims Discount until such time as a successful recovery is obtained from the third party insurer. At this point, your No Claims Discount will be reinstated to the same level that it was at prior to the loss.

What is liability or third party liability ?

Liability is your legal liability to other people and their property. Liability insurance provides protection against claims resulting from injuries and damage to people and/or property it also covers legal costs and payouts for which the insured party would be found liable.

Does my policy cover lightning strikes?

Most sailing yacht or motorboat insurance policies cover the loss or damage caused by lightning strikes. There may be some restrictions so please contact us for advice on the cover provided and to find out more.

I want to charter out my boat, can you cover me?

We are usually able to extend sailing yacht insurance and boat insurance policies to cover the vessel whilst being used for Skipper Charter. If you require Bareboat Charter cover, please contact the office to discuss your requirements.

How do I make a claim?

Should an incident occur which may result in a claim under your policy, all the information on how to make a claim can be found in your Certificate Schedule or Policy documentation. If in doubt please contact the office and we will provide you with a claim form and the necessary support to assist you in making a claim under your policy.

What does ‘See Policy’ mean next to the tender, outboard and personal belongings on my quotation?

If you have not specified insured values in respect of your outboard motor(s), tender(s) and personal effects, your boat insurance policy may provide limited cover for these items automatically. Please check the policy or discuss this with a member of our team.

What is defined as self-steering gear?

A self-steering gear is best defined as; equipment used on ships and boats to maintain a chosen course without constant human contact. It is also commonly known as autopilot and autohelm.

What if I am going to sell to my boat?

If you are planning to sell your boat then please contact the office to advise of the lay-up location and the advertised sale price. If you have sold your vessel already, please let us know the date of sale as soon as possible. We can request underwriters to issue a cancellation note and organise a refund of any premium owing back to you in respect of the period of unused boat insurance. We may require proof such as a bill of sale to confirm the refund of premium.

Can I get Third Party Liability Insurance only?

We can offer Third Party Liability only cover through our list of suppliers, please contact the office for more details.

Can I let others sail my boat without a charter agreement, even if they are not joint owners and have no financial interest?

Under the terms of most sailing yacht or motorboat insurance policies, cover is in place for loss or damage caused by Permitted Users (people using the vessel with your permission). Please check the policy or discuss this with a member of our team.

Travel Insurance FAQs

Do you cover Covid 19?

Yachtsman's travel insurance covers Medical expenses whilst away from Australia as a result of you catching covid. It does not cover any cancellation expenses or cover any losses or expenses due to closure of borders or government restrictions.

Should I get a single or annual policy?

We offer both options and it is entirely up to you! Sometimes it can be more cost-effective to take an annual travel insurance policy. Did you know that Topsail travel insurance multi-trip annual policies cover you for your sailing holiday and leisure trips too. Please contact us and we can advise a policy that will best suit your needs.

How do I work out how long I’m going to be away?

Your trip duration is calculated from the date you leave your country of residence to the date you return.

I am sailing on a vessel other than a Yacht - are your policies suitable for me?

We offer comprehensive travel insurance policies that are equally suitable for people aboard sailing boats, motor yachts, Tall Ships, or any other kind of sea-going vessel. If you are working professionally aboard, please advise us before taking out a policy.

How do I know which area I am travelling to?

The definitions are as follows: Area 1: AUSTRALIA Mainland Australia and Waters of Australia not more than 250 nautical miles from mainland Australia, excluding Papua New Guinea Area 2: Worldwide excluding USA and Canada, Arctic and Antarctic Anywhere in the world (excluding trips to and from the USA, Canada, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle unless You have paid a supplementary premium and it is noted on Your Certificate Schedule)

Why shouldn’t I just insure through my bank or something similar?

Many basic travel insurance policies are not specialised enough to cover you for sailing trips, with many excluding waterborne activities completely. If cover is provided, it is often limited to no further than 12 nautical miles offshore or only within territorial waters. As such, if you sail offshore then have an incident, it may not be covered. You are less likely to receive comprehensive travel and medical insurance specific to your sailing and holiday trip.

Do you cover offshore sailing and are there limits as to how far offshore I can be?

Yes, Topsail travel insurance covers offshore sailing. Our comprehensive travel insurance does not limit the number of miles or how far offshore you can sail.

Do you have a maximum age limit?

For anyone under 80 years of age, we can quote for you through our online Quote and Buy system with no need to refer in. If you are 80 or over, please let us know and we will consider your application separately.

If I am unable to find my residency on your drop-down list does this mean you are unable to provide insurance for residents of my country? If I have a second address in a different country, can I use this instead?

At Topsail Insurance Australia, we provide insurance exclusively for Australian residents. Our sister office, Topsail Insurance UK can provide insurance for many other nationalities. You can contact them here to find out more.

Can you cover under 18 year olds?

Topsail Insurance single trip policies can cover under 18’s, however the policy will need to be in the name of a parent or guardian for the purpose of the contract. The online application will ask for this information and it will be noted on your Certificate of insurance. Please note under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult at all times for cover to be in place.

What do I do if I need to make an insurance claim?

Please refer to the How to make a claim section of your policy wording. It is advisable to carry these details with you when travelling, as this includes a 24 hour emergency assistance number if required. It also details the process for making a non-emergency insurance claim against your yacht travel insurance policy. If you have any questions about your policy or need any assistance, then call Topsail Insurance on +61 (0) 8 6102 8861.

How can I advise about my medical declaration when taking out travel insurance? Will these affect my premium?

Once you have used the Quote and Buy system to receive a quotation, you can click on ‘Apply now’, which will then take you to the full application. This includes a question on whether you have a medical declaration to make and a box for you to submit details of this. The effect on the insurance is dependent on the medical condition declared. Each application is assessed individually in-house.

Am I covered for ‘acts of god’, e.g. cancellation due to bad weather?

Our comprehensive travel insurance provides cover if you are delayed for over 24 hours or your pre-booked public transport is cancelled due to adverse weather, fire, earthquakes or mechanical problems. This relates to publicly licensed vessels only.

Do your policies cover non-sailing holidays?

Topsail travel insurance policies are specifically designed for the sailing community and we would expect that you will undertake some yachting or boating activities within the period. However, our annual polices also cover your travel insurance needs for your worldwide leisure non-sailing holidays, with some policies providing business and winter sports cover. Our single trip policies are designed for use on the water only, however our Yachtsman’s Single policies do not specifically exclude non-sailing holidays.

Is there a limit for trips to the USA?

We cannot cover trips to the USA in excess of 89 days in a 365 day period due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We are legally unable to provide trip durations longer than 89 days in a year in the USA.

Can you insure against the loss of my charter deposit?

Yes. Our Charter Deposit Insurance can be added to any of our policies for an additional cost and you can find out more about the cover provided in Section 10 of our Policy Wording.

Am I covered for winter sports?

Winter Sports cover is an optional cover provided under our Yachtsman's Policies. Simply select the Winter sports option in the application to add the desired winter sports section to your policy.

What activities do you cover under your travel insurance policies?

Please review the Sports and Adventure Activities list in the policy wording which lists all activities and sports that we cover at no additional premium. Should the activity you are partaking in not be listed please email for confirmation as to whether we are able to provide cover.

Am I covered whilst racing?

Yes, as long as you are not competing professionally or in a ‘round-the-world’ race, such as the Clipper Round The World Race.

Am I covered for my personal liability to other people?

Our Yachtsman’s travel products do provide you with personal liability cover. This is to cover claims from other people in the event that you should cause them death, personal injury or damage to their property. It should be noted that while on board a waterborne craft, this only covers your person-to-person liability and does not include liability relating to the hull, as we would expect that to be covered by the yacht or motor boat insurance policy. If you have any doubt as to the extent of the cover being provided, then please contact the office.

Can I extend my maximum trip duration once I am away?

We can usually extend your maximum duration away for an additional cost, plus our administration fee.

How do you work out the Yachtsman’s Gold premium?

The Topsail Yachtsman’s Gold premium is worked out on a standard period away of 60 days. There is then a charge per additional month that you intend to be away. Please note this is the maximum duration any one trip.

Do you offer a Private Medical Insurance (PMI) long-term health care cover?

It is important to note that Topsail Travel Insurance Policies are an emergency travel insurance only and not a long-term health care plan. If you are requiring a comprehensive Private Medical Insurance which includes routine care, then we would recommend that you discuss your needs with a specialist Private Medical Insurance providers or your Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) who may be able to assist.

Where can I find a copy of the policy?

Your policy wording will have been sent to you by email and can be found in the Document Hub on the website

Do you provide cover for working crew?

If you are onboard a yacht or motorboat under a contract of employment as a permanent or part time crew then please contact

Have a question that is not on this list?

Please email us at and we will come back to you as soon as possible, or call the office on +61 (0) 8 6102 8861.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Get in touch.