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Image of a boat at sea for the blog post Is Boat Insurance Required?

Recent figures placed the number of boat owners in Malta at over 20,000 – far more than the 2,422 marina berths within the country’s waters. Such figures may not compare to the number of homeowners or those driving cars, but they’re considerable and increasing year-on-year.

Even though figures show that most recreational boats in Europe only take to the seas around 10 times per year, accidents can still occur, to boats, their passengers, docking bays, and other buildings. The issue of liability is less-well-known when it comes to sea-faring vessels – here we’ll answer the question ‘is boat insurance required?’, and much more.


  • What is Boat Insurance?
  • Is a Boat Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?
  • What Type of Boat Insurance Cover is Available?
  • Why Do I Need to Insure My Boat?
  • What is the Difference Between Boat and Marine Insurance?
  • Conclusion

What is Boat Insurance and is it Required?

The average boat insurance policy will cover all facets of your vessel, from its engine and machinery, to its hull, and fittings. Many policies will also cover personal belongings whilst on board, and any additional equipment used. A premium will generally insure you for accidents, theft, and a variety of weather damage.

GasanMamo’s policy for those based in Malta can either be comprehensive – covering loss/damage to your boat and third-party property damage and/or bodily injury, or third-party only.

So, is boat insurance required? Well, it’s not a legal imperative in the same way that car insurance may be, but any boat with an engine exceeding 9.9HP needs third-party liability coverage as a minimum. A more comprehensive policy will prove highly advantageous should any problem occur involving your boat. And no matter what size of engine, insurance is available for all manner of boats, from big to small.

Depending on your choice of policy, boat insurance covers various types of water-based vessels, primarily sailboats, motorboats, yachts, and personal watercrafts such as jet skis.

Is a Boat Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?

Some homeowners insurance will cover a boat, but it will likely be extremely limited. Very small vessels with a value of a few hundred pounds may be covered as a personal belonging, but it’s wise to check with your insurance agent if this is the case. Our homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover boat insurance, therefore our customers must take out a dedicated boat policy.

Given that the majority of boats tend to run into thousands of pounds, the average cover relating to personal property is unlikely to cover the cost of any boat damage. Should an insurer allow an expensive boat to be added to your list of covered personal items, this will likely ramp your premium up so high that it’s no longer worthwhile including it in a homeowners policy.

For adequate boat insurance protection, it’s highly-recommended to take out a separate policy.

What Types of Boat Coverage Options are Available?

There’s a vast range of boat insurance available, and the most accurate cover will usually be found close to home. An insurer’s knowledge of local water laws, weather patterns, and boating trends can be invaluable, and you’ll likely get a level of cover that’s most relevant to your needs.

When shopping around for a policy, check different insurers’ definitions of different water vessels, and consider what you’ll primarily be using your boat for. Is it for long trips or simple, recreational tours a mile or so off-shore? Will you be using your boat for fishing or for sport?

It’s important to discuss boat usage with your insurance company as it may require an additional premium to ensure everything is covered. To give an example, GasanMamo offers additional coverage of a free water-skiing extension to our own policies, alongside an Italian Waters Certificate, as per local statutory requirements – also for no extra cost.

For a more in-depth look at levels of coverage, find our article on What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Why Do I Need to Insure My Boat?

Even though figures show that most recreational boats in Europe only take to the seas around 10 times per year, accidents happen, and many boats are a once-in-a-lifetime purchase for their owner. Replacing an expensive vessel may simply not be an option.

Furthermore, should your boat be involved in a crash with another vessel or shoreline property, you may be held liable for any damages – you could also be held accountable for personal injury to anyone involved.

Insurance also gives a boat owner more options. Some marinas will only allow insured vessels in to dock, and having a separate policy to your homeowners insurance means that any claims made on the water won’t affect your property premium.

What is the Difference Between Boat and Marine Insurance?

The difference between boat and marine insurance is one of coverage levels. Boat insurance is generally intended for those using a modest-sized vessel for recreational purposes. Marine insurance usually offers much greater levels of liability, and is most-often used for commercial vessels.

When it comes to boats used for business, there are more than 6 million registered in Europe alone. Given that these may carry more persons and share waterways with a whole new world of ships from the business world, they’ll usually need more comprehensive coverage in order to guard against a wider range of potential problems.

Infographic to show that When it comes to boats used for business, there are more than 6 million registered in Europe alone, for the blog Is Boat Insurance Required?


Boat insurance is definitely required by anyone wanting to safeguard their vessel and ensure they’re able to pay potentially vast legal bills in the event of being found liable for a boat accident. Taking to the seas on your own terms is an exhilarating experience, and just a few hours on open water can feel like a fortnight spent away from home.

Making sure that you’re covered for all eventualities gives a boat owner peace of mind, allowing you to immerse yourself in the offshore experience, and truly make the most of your pride-and-joy.

Begin your own search for the right plan in Malta by looking through our clear and transparent benefits on our boat insurance page.

GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.