“What is Boat Builders Insurance?” I was asked at a networking event recently. Well of course the obvious response would be a rather glib “Insurance for people that build boats” but, thankfully,I took a little time to pause before answering as the answer is, perhaps, not quite as straightforward as one might think.
First of all, we have to ask ourselves “What is a boat builder?” This is important because there are a lot of marine businesses who include that activity in their business description but repair boats rather than actually build them. Similarly there are people who build boats but do not describe themselves as boat builders. For example a shipwright may build or repair vessels – these could either be leisure-craft – what we would normally term a boat – or a larger commercial vessel which we would describe as a ship. We can also add to the mix those craftsmen who restore boats rather than build them from scratch as well as those individuals or businesses that will “fit-out” a shell of a vessel, either for their own use or as part of their commercial activities.
So, Boat Builders Insurance is a specific insurance solution that may form part of a larger insurance programme for individuals or businesses that conduct one or more of the following activities but may not necessarily describe themselves as a boat builder:
• Manufacture or building of leisure-craft and/or some commercial vessels.
• Restoration of vessels such as classic or historic craft.
• Refitting of leisure-craft.
• Boat fit-out.
Whichever of those activities listed above are being conducted the structure of the Boat Builders Insurance solution is a standard format. It will provide specialised cover for physical damage and for third party liability. Let’s have a look at the elements of what the Market terms Builders Risks in turn:
Insurance policy wordings will obviously vary from insurer to insurer and should be checked for the precise scope of cover, conditions and exclusions. However, broadly speaking a Boat Builders Insurance Policy will provide “All Risks” cover in respect of physical loss or damage to vessels under construction including hulls and machinery, gear and equipment. It may also, depending on the policy wording, cover any associated moulds and moulding tools. Other cover provided under the Physical Damage part of the cover may include specialised provision for costs such as:
• Repairing or replacing any defective part that is condemned due to discovery of a latent defect during the boat’s construction. Faulty welds, however, would more than likely be excluded.
• The costs of completing the launch of the insured vessel under construction following the failure of a launching operation and the cost of inspecting the bottom of the vessel after a grounding if reasonably incurred specifically for that purpose.
• Loss of or damage to the boat in build due to faulty design of any part or parts of the vessel and the cost of salvage of the boat in build reasonably …