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IanD 01-09-2006 02:31 AM

Liability Insurance
I'm getting real confused (not all that hard to do, lol) about what the 3rd party liability insurance requirements are for a boat when in different countries. I know some countries require proof of liability insurance on entry, others don't ... some countries don't, but all the marinas do. Anybody out there got a handle on all that, or, at least point me in the right direction?


rod hodgson 01-10-2006 07:03 AM

Greetings from Oz Ian,

I cannot speak with any certainty about foreign boats coming into Australia in relation to third party insurance, it is not included with boat registration costs and becomes a choice of the owner.

In relation to marinas, I have seen a boat evicted from a marina in Queensland when it became known that the owners did not have insurance. Perhaps others who have travelled from their home shores will be able to tell you of their experiences.


Jack Tyler 01-10-2006 08:58 PM

Ian, I have not heard of a single *country* which requires liability insurance on entry. You might visit and see if they offer that as a search 'keyword' and also visit their descriptions of entry procedures on some of the countries with which you will be concerned. If you do that, I'd hope you report back on what you find so I can be corrected if my impression is incorrect.

What I think you WILL find are requirements by individual marinas (whether privately or publically owned) for liability insurance, just as Rod describes. You may even find this true for a harbor municipality, where berthing in the harbor basin or use of inland waters requires this coverage altho' I have yet to see this. There are several canals and inland waterways in Britain which place this requirement on all boats, e.g.

Where are you planning to take your boat? This practice seems highly regionalized and you may not find this to be an issue for you.


IanD 01-11-2006 06:42 AM

Thanks for the replies. I'm currently in Mexico where it's not required for entry per se ... but all marina's and even some port captains (eg Zehuatenajo) require proof of coverage as did marinas in Califoria. I plan to sail to the south pacific this spring and I'm not aware of any mandatory requirements in that area ... but I know when i get to europe (if i get to europe) Greece, for example, requires very specific coverage as does France. Made me wonder what was going on elsewhere and to get coverage from an agency back home, or to buy locally, as required. In Mexico, for example, the policy has to be written by a mexican company, and some people end up having to get a second policy. I did check noonsite ... he does an excellent job for us there ... but i wouldn't bet his treatment of insurance is not all inclusive ... so i'm interested in hearing other peoples thoughts on the subject.

JeanneP 01-11-2006 10:03 AM

We didn't encounter any requirements for liability insurance on our crossing of the Pacific and further cruising through Indonesia, etc. We did not spend very much time in marinas, however, except in Malaysia.

At least twice we tried to locate insurance from firms outside the US, and were told that unless we were a resident of the country where the insurance company did business we could not be covered. I do not know if this is the case for every insurance company in every country, but I assume that this is fairly standard.

One additional thought. I am not aware of an insurance company that will insure you for liability only and exclude property coverage. And if you have insured your boat against loss you would have liability coverage anyway.

Jack Tyler 01-11-2006 09:43 PM

Jeanne, it's very common for liability coverage only to be offered to yachts, both in the USA and Europe. IMIS is an example of a broker who can provide liability insurance to yachts.

Also, yachts registered in one country can be covered by policies written by carriers registered in another country. As one example, American yachts who have sought ocean-crossing coverage often end up with policies with British and German carriers. This isn't always the case and there are some issues which must be considered - e.g. how do American customers with claims problems related to a British firm use the U.S. courts to enforce obligations which stand undeer British law. Despite this, cost and availability are reasons why this is done. E.g. before IMIS' Jackline Policy was available, we were insured by Lloyds while sailing to Europe.


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