Club Boat Insurance – Understanding the limitations

Your questions answered by insurance broker Gallagher

There are plenty of sailors who do not own a boat. They may be new to the sport so aren’t ready to buy, can’t afford to invest in one, or simply choose not to. Non-boat ownership is a growing trend, so it’s more important than ever that clubs provide boats for members to use. 

wide shot of a fleet of people in small dinghies

Having boats available for use is going to make your club more attractive to potential members and current members. 

In the past managing club fleets was really time consuming, but with more and more online booking tools available this is easier than ever. It’s worth exploring options that can manage bookings for you and take payments to save your volunteers’ time.

It’s clearly important to make sure that if you are going to make your club fleet available to members, and potentially visitors, that these boats are adequately insured. To answer all your questions on this, we teamed up with Ben Bennet from RYA insurance partner Gallagher.

What insurance cover is provided for club boats?

Clubs should check their own policies, but those insured with Gallagher are automatically covered for material loss and marine liability anywhere in the UK, inland or on the coast.

This doesn’t just apply to when in use at the home club, provided they are insured under the club policy. Any boat up to 30 feet in length is automatically covered in transit as well. This automatic cover also extends to dinghies used in racing up to 16 feet in length. Boats greater than 16 feet can be insured for racing, but only following agreement from insurers and in advance of an event.

Who is insured to sail club boats?

Gallagher cover automatically extends to allow any member of a club - including individuals, families, groups and affiliates (whether permanent or temporary) - to use or hire club boats. This is provided it is with the consent of the club and part of a recognised and authorised club activity, including recreational sailing. 

The Gallagher policy also extends to provide cover for those members who wish to take a club boat further afield for an event, with cover provided automatically for up to 30 days a year for European waters, including transit risks.

mid shot of a two people posing and waving at the camera sitting in a sailing boat

Does insurance extend to club visitors on courses or open days and the like?

At Gallagher, we would simply ask the club to ensure the individual is granted a form of temporary membership for the duration when they complete booking or registration forms. Whether for an open event or indeed training, this will ensure that the full extent of the Gallagher policy coverage is applicable.

If in any doubt, do check your insurance

Ben concludes

"To summarise, it’s really vital that clubs recognise and understand the limitations of their own insurance arrangements, rather than make assumptions.

"If there are any doubts whatsoever about the extent of the cover, we would encourage clubs to speak to their provider and we at Gallagher would be delighted to hear from any existing clients, at any time."

Find out more about the Gallagher RYA Combined Insurance Policy.

For further questions or advice regarding insurance, contact the Gallagher Team.

T 0800 062 2309 | E

or the RYA Legal Team

These are brief product descriptions only. Please refer to the policy documentation paying particular attention to the terms and conditions, exclusions, warranties, subjectivities, excesses and any endorsements.

Royal Yachting Association is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909. AR44-2023. 09/06/2024