The boater’s guide to easy, stress-free insurance claims

The boater’s guide to easy, stress-free insurance claims

April 2024

Right after an incident

Boaties should call the police right away if there’s been a burglary or other malicious act. They should also use common sense after any incident:

“The best thing to do is act as if you’re uninsured, so secure your property and try to prevent any further loss or damage if you can. Mariner’s policy will reimburse you for any reasonable costs incurred if you do this,” Aaron said.  

Once you and your property are safe don’t spend any money to settle the loss before you speak to us. The next step is to get in touch with us.

Lodging a claim with Mariner Insurance

We’ve made lodging a claim as easy as starting a brand new outboard - just press a few buttons and you’re away. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Make a police report for stolen boats or equipment before making a claim.
  • Tell us what has happened and pop in your details including policy number and vessel information. Attach any pictures, estimates or other information to your online claim form.

Once we’ve received your claim we’ll let you know what your claim number is. Then, Aaron says, the process is usually very simple:

“We often try to settle claims in-house quickly and without fuss, especially if they are straightforward.”

“If we do decline a claim, we’ll provide a reason for doing so and relate that reason to the policy wording ... We decline very few claims however, and there are common reasons that we would do this. One of them is the claim might be under the excess amount or where the damage is attributable to wear and tear, corrosion and not a sudden unforeseen accident.”

Appointing an assessor & starting repairs

If your claim is complex we’ll usually appoint an assessor. They’ll determine what has happened and what work is required to get you back on the water as soon as possible. The assessor will meet with you, take a look at the boat then write a report detailing the circumstances of the loss. They may also possibly provide an estimate for repairs.

Once we have the report we’ll figure out how the policy can best respond:

“Now it’s generally your choice on how you want to repair your own boat. Our job is to agree on the scope of work and the cost required to make things right. The contract for the repair is between you and your chosen repairer,” Aaron explains.  

Once you’ve accepted a quote you and your repairer can liaise on how to get things done. You pay the excess directly to your repairer. They’ll send the invoice for the outstanding costs to us and we’ll pay the final balance.

Tips to make your claim go smoothly 

There are a few quick, easy things you can do to help make the claims, assessment and repair processes go smoothly:

  • If you’ve got the manuals for all your gear (VHF, electronics etc.) keep those and leave photocopies on your boat. Then you’ll be able to use the original manuals to substantiate your claim if your gear does get stolen.
  • Take a picture of your boat’s dinghy as well as serial number and model designation.
  • Outboards usually have serial numbers - it’s a great idea to take a photo of that and send it through to us.
  • If you’re buying new stuff for the boat, take pictures of the receipts and save them. 

Mariner will also do everything we can to make claims go smoothly. Aaron says, at the end of the day that’s what people want from their insurer: 

“We try to make it as painless as possible, for both you and us. We know that having a quick and fair claims process is the best advertisement for our business we could have.”