Press release


Tuesday 8 May 2012

• Two thirds of claims by Saga boat insurance customers are made when not sailing!
• Biggest claims are for fires when boats are on the water

Claims data from Saga Boat Insurance shows that the worst things don’t always happen at sea for sailors.  Nearly two thirds (64%) of boat insurance claims made by the over 50s in the last five years have occurred when the boat has been moored or laid up for winter.

Now is the busiest time for boat claims as sailors return to their boats to get them ready for the water and discover losses or damage that have happened over the winter.  The reality is that boats are most at risk when the owners are absent.

Saga Boat Insurance has analysed its claims data for the last five years and found that the most costly claims whilst moored are:

 Most costly claims whilst moored  Average cost of claims
 Fire £17,155 
 Mooring Failure  £8,129
 Sinking  £6,450
 Force of Nature  £2,346
 Vandalism/Malicious Act  £1,165
Third Party Negligence £1,056
Theft £1,041

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services comments: “Our claims data highlights the importance of making sure boats are secure and insured even when not in use.  It is also essential to protect your boat against fire risks.  After all no one wants to be left high and dry if the worst happens.”

Fire is the costliest claim overall
Of the claims that have occurred over the last five years fire is by far the most expensive, costing on average a whopping £15,665.  Boat fires can be a result of lack of general maintenance, gas being stored incorrectly and electrical items not being unplugged.

Saga offers the following top ten tips* for preventing boat fires:
• Fit alarms and detectors to stay safe.
• Always check for the British or European safety mark when buying electrical goods.
• Use a trained marine electrician to install and service electrical items on your boat.
• Only use the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer. Other types may burn too hot.
• Never leave cooking unattended. Turn things off until you come back.
• Leaks, spills and vapour can ignite easily. Clean them up straight away and make sure filler caps are secure after refuelling.
• Try to choose furniture that carries the fire-resistant label.
• Heat from light bulbs can cause fires. Energy saving light bulbs do not get as hot and are therefore safer.
• Don’t overload adaptors. Keep to one plug per socket. Use the right fuse or circuit breaker to avoid overheating.
• Unplug appliances when they’re not in use or when you leave the boat.

Most costly claims on the water
Of the third of claims that occurred whilst boats were on the water, one of the most common and costly causes over the last five years has been striking submerged objects.  More than one in ten people claimed for striking a submerged object and these claims account for more than 10% of all boat claims during this period.  Mother Nature hasn’t made for plain sailing either.  In fact damage caused by force of nature such as heavy seas, frost and storms cost on average £1755 per claim.


  Most costly claims whilst at sea  

    Average cost of claims     

Grounding  £5,585 
 Sinking  £3,769
 Fire  £2,898
 Striking Submerged Object  £2,565
 Accidental Damage  £2,009
Force of Nature £1,755
Collision £1,416




Notes for editors:
• * Source: Boat Safety Scheme

Saga Boat Insurance
• No upper age limit for policyholder
• Offers Comprehensive or Third Party Only insurance
• Third party liability cover up to £3million for any one event (excluding water skiing and water toys)
• Saga Boat Insurance covers dinghies, motor boats, narrowboats, sailboards, small boats and yachts
• Wide cruising ranges available including UK inland and coastal waters, plus continental waters from Elbe to La Rochelle and Eire (for crafts over 23ft)
• Optional Marine Legal Expenses for £12.99