Contrary to popular belief, theft is not the biggest risk faced by boat-owners according to new research revealed by Saga Boat Insurance. In fact boat-owners are 24% more likely to hit a submerged object than become the victim of crime, with the average collision claim amounting to 2,419. However boat owners could easily protect their vessel by being more prepared and having Marine charts on board and where possible having a sonar device fitted. Checking the latest weather and tides is also a must before you set off for your trip. Only 3% of boat insurance claims arose from craft sinking.
Theft is the second most frequent claim with costs averaging £1,820 per claim with 30%* of theft claims taking place when boats are moored. However you can take steps to make life harder for thieves when your vessel is left unattended. Don't leave anything loose in the cockpit or on deck, remove valuable navigational equipment, wet weather gear and personal items and make sure your curtains (if applicable) are closed so no-one can look in. More importantly ensure that outboard motors, tenders and life rafts are secured to the main vessel with quality locks or chains and that unfastened equipment such as anchors and oars are secured by wire rope, or chains and locks. Trailers are frequent targets for thieves and you should fit a trailer lock to the hitch and a wheel clamp.
Recent police reports also suggest that some items are currently extremely attractive to thieves such as bronze and copper, where the value has soared in recent years. Boats regularly have items in open view such as bells, plaques and statues often made of hard wearing bronze, whilst it's not feasible to remove or store these items without difficulty, it's worth being aware that trying to mask them from view may make the opportune thief look elsewhere for easier pickings.
For more information on Saga Boat Insurance call 0800 015 3360 or visit saga.co.uk/boat.
Notes to Editors
*Claims data from 657 Saga Boat Insurance claims from April 2004 to March 2007.
The top ten frequent Boat Insurance claims are –
1. Striking a submerged object while cruising
2. Theft while moored
3. Collision while cruising
4. Wind damage while moored
5. Collision while moored
6. Flood while moored
7. Theft while laid up
8. Negligence of owner while cruising
9. Sinking while moored
10. Accidental damage while cruising
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.