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Cheap insurance is nasty when you're all at sea

by Mark Rothfield on 17 Aug 2012
Maritimo owners can get peace of mind from a custom-made insurance policy Nautilus Marine
The closer I get to the big Five 0, the smaller my insurance risk becomes in theory – at least it should, if you believe those ads where a silver-haired couple are walking down the beach in his-and-hers incontinence pads while their Winnebago sparkles in the background.

But you could’ve fooled me. I’m insured to my eyeballs - in fact my eyeballs ARE insured - and I don’t seem to be getting any favours. There’s home, contents, car, health, life, income protection, travel, rental cars and, of course, the boat. I feel like a Volvo driver who never has a crash, and thus doesn’t get to enjoy the safety benefits.

No doubt there will come a day when it all goes sour and I’ll be glad my left pinkie finger is worth $50,000. But you still have to pray they’ll pay up.

My one and only boat insurance claim a few years ago was anything but plain sailing, even though it was a straight-forward case of mooring failure … a failure that wasn’t my fault, I hasten to add.

The rudder sustained damage, necessitating a tow to the local marina, and the boat then sat on a hardstand for three months while they argued the toss. I was just a policy number while the assessor clearly thought he was God.

I was interested, then, to see that Maritimo launched its own boat insurance product at Sydney International Boat Show.

Managed by Nautilus Marine, the policy is specifically designed for Maritimo owners. There’s cover for common possessions – watches, jewellery, laptops, fine wine, fishing gear and more – plus marina indemnity, repairers negligence and automatic water skiers extension for the tender.

The best thing, though, is you won’t be a number but a customer. If something goes wrong you can clip the salesman around the ears and send them into bat for you. It will be in their interest, too, to make sure your berthing techniques aren’t akin to a demolition derby.

Take-up rates for boating insurance remain disturbingly low, so if the bloke who runs into you isn’t insured it’s doubly important that you are. Galling though it is, the one thing I’ve learned is not to economise on insurance. Cheap is nasty.
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