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The 2021 international boat show season has come to an end and, whilst the market for both new and used RIBs, Ski-Boats and other high-performance craft is booming, boat insurance providers continue to review their position and many owners of any type of high-performance craft are finding it difficult to source the cover they require at a sensible price.

Having sustained severe losses in the preceding years, the Marine Insurance Sector has been reassessing its business lines and premium rating structures for three or four years now, resulting in some insurers pulling out of the Sector altogether and others limiting their appetite to insure certain types of vessels, locations and activities.  This has, of course, resulted in a reduction of capacity and competition which has seen sharp year-on-year premium increases for owners of certain types of boats; owners of high-performance RIBs and speedboats have not been unaffected by these price increases or by restrictions in the scope of protection available to them.

Marine insurers simply cannot afford to return to an environment of posting astronomical operating losses as a result of offering low premiums on unprofitable lines; so we expect premium rates to continue to rise in general and restrictions on cover for certain types of vessels to be maintained.

Why should this affect owners of high-performance RIBs and speedboats in particular?  Well there’s a number of factors that need to be taken into account:

First: RIBs and speedboats are susceptible to the same general losses as any other boat – ie theft, storm or collision.

Second:  the theft of outboard engines remains prevalent; and this includes theft from marina locations.  Supply chain issues has seen the value of new and old outboards increase over the last year or so which has led to increased targeting of outboards by criminal gangs; this ultimately means more claims and further losses by insurers.

Third:  If you own a high-performance RIB or speedboat, the chances are you’re going to want to maximise your enjoyment of your boat; so water-skiing and towing of toys is likely to be on the list of things you’d like to be doing when you’re out on the water.  With insurers having had to settle a number of claims arising from skiing and towing accidents, owners are facing either premium hikes for this cover, or restrictions in use.

Fourth:  New boats are getting bigger, faster and more expensive.  This in itself increases an insurer’s exposure; but we are also seeing new and innovative designs – such as those by Sealegs and AMP craft, who are both producing amphibious craft, that remain outside the appetite of insurers in general.

The good news is that Boat Insurance specialists Insurance Risk & Claims Management (IRCM) remain committed to providing comprehensive insurance at a sensible premium level for owners of high-performance RIBs and speedboats.  IRCM’s founder and senior management are all experienced water-skiers and RIB/Ski-boat operators, which means rather than apply restrictions across a whole boating segment, we take a practical approach, assessing each individual RIB owner and their craft appropriately before offering cover that matches their requirements in return for a fair and sensible premium.

IRCM are able to provide insurance for high-performance RIBs, ski-boats and other high-performance speedboats such as AMP craft and Sealegs amphibious boats; cover for water-skiing and towing of toys can also be included in your program.

Telephone 01902 796793 for your no-obligation quotation or email your requirements to enquiries@marineinsurance-ircm.co.uk

Insurance Risk & Claims Management Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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