Insurance for Boats Flagged or Registered in the US

Feb 2, 2023

Do you need to insurance US flagged boats?

At Topsail Insurance we provide insurance for US flagged boats. Whilst there are many US insurance providers that are happy to cover boats in US waters the situation can become trickier should you wish to travel further afield.

At Topsail Insurance our team would be delighted to offer a bespoke insurance quotation for your US flagged sailing or motor vessel.

Can you go from America to Europe on a Yacht?

Absolutely! Crossing the Atlantic Ocean by Yacht opens the way for those aspiring to reach Europe and looking to explore the beautiful Mediterranean waters, or go exploring further North into the Baltic or Nordic countries. Some US clients love it so much they end up leaving there boats in Europe for years on end.


If it’s your first Atlantic crossing, you’ll need a few weeks of planning and getting the boat ready for the journey ahead.

Do Topsail only insure US flagged boats in Europe?

No, although our main office is in the UK we can offer insurance to cover you in most cruising areas worldwide. We currently have US flagged boats that are in the middle of circumnavigations, transiting the Pacific Ocean or visiting many of the islands in and around Asia. We also have an office in Australia that specialises in providing cover for local waters in Australia and New Zealand if needed.

Whatever your cruising plans, use our easy online quote form to see how we can help.

Can I pay for my boat insurance in the local currency?

Yes, we are able to take payment in the currency that your policy is taken out in, so if you insure your boat in US Dollars we’re able to take payment from you in US Dollars. Equally if you’re keeping your boat in Europe for a significant amount of time and prefer a Euro policy, we’re able to take payment in Euro’s and of course GBP’s.

What sort of information do I need to provide when insuring my US flagged boat?

Our team will need to know the same sort of information for the insurance of US flagged boats that you’re used to supplying to your US providers of insurance.

Typically, we will need the following information about your Yacht:

  • Age of vessel
  • Make and Model
  • Value
  • Your information as Skipper / Owner
  • Previous experience
  • Claims history
  • Cruising itinerary for the coming 12 months

Is Topsail Insurance for US flagged boats cheap?

Why not try us for a comparison quote, as we think you will find our prices both reasonable and competitive.

Why should I use Topsail Insurance for my US flagged vessel and not another UK company?

Topsail have been specialist insurers for US flagged vessels outside of the United States for over 25 years and have provided insurance for tens of thousands of boat owners during this time.

Don’t just take our word for it see what our customers say. Our Google Review score is 4.8 out of 5 (as of January 2023). If you want to read the reviews for yourself, you can here; Topsail Google Reviews.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to our team to discuss your specific requirements when it comes to US flagged boat insurance, get in touch today for a no obligation quote.

Do you need Jet Ski Insurance?

Jan 18, 2023

Do you need insurance to use a Jet Ski or Personal Water Craft (PWC)?

At Topsail Insurance we would be happy to help with any insurance requirements for your Jet Ski or Personal Water Craft (PWC). You can use our online form to get a comparison quote, and we’re sure you will be pleasantly surprised at the reasonable and competitive cost of the insurance.

What does Jet Ski Insurance cover?

At Topsail we can cover your Jet Ski for the following:

• Accidents
• Fire
• Explosion
• Collisions
• Sinking
• Grounding
• Malicious Acts such as arson or vandalism
• Theft or attempted theft
• Third party damage or injury

What does Jet Ski Insurance cost?

The cost of Jet Ski insurance depends on a number of factors, but primarily the value of your jet ski and how it is stored when not in use will determine the cost. The team at Topsail would be delighted to provide you with a comparison Jet Ski insurance quote and we believe that you will find the cost both reasonable and competitive.

Do I need a licence to Jet Ski in the UK?

The simple answer is ‘no’ you don’t need a licence to Jet Ski in the UK. Likewise, there is no legal requirement to have Jet Ski insurance in place if you head out on the water in the UK.

Though it is not a legal requirement, there are many reasons why having insurance is a better choice than not having any cover at all. Many Jet Ski clubs, Waterway authorities and Harbour authorities require you to have a minimum of third party liability cover to use your Jet Ski in their waterways. We also understand that your Jet Ski or Personal Water Craft is probably a reasonable financial commitment and you would not want to lose that investment should the worst ever happen.

Do Topsail insure all the popular makes of Jet Ski?

Yes! Topsail can arrange cover for all makes of Jet Ski, including the three major brands:

• Yamaha
• Sea-Doo
• Kawasaki

Is Jet Ski training important?

Whilst not compulsory, Jet Ski training can be fast, fun and provide you with the foundations to enabling you to go from beginner to confident rider in just one day. In the UK the RYA run a number of courses allowing you to use your Jet Ski safely. These include proficiency courses for those between 12 and 16. Details of these course can be found here.

If you would like to speak to our team to discuss your specific requirements when it comes to Jet Ski and PWC insurance, get in touch today for a no obligation quote.

2022 – what a year! Newsletter

Jan 11, 2023

2022 certainly was a year full of many ups and downs!

Find out what we have to say about the past 12 months and what we’ve been up to – between new staff, a revamped website and a boom in overseas travel, it’s definitely been a busy time.

Click here to read our Newsletter in full.

Our Top 5 fantastic sailing destinations in Northern France

Dec 20, 2022

Northern France is known for its incredible coastline. So, here’s our top 5 sailing recommendations you need to visit when out in your boat!

Why choose North France as your next sailing destination?

France is best known for its beauty and has become an extremely popular tourist destination for many around the world. With impressive architecture and breath-taking landscapes, the French coastline is a particularly beautiful part of France, full of great sights and filled with rich culture; a must visit for all.

We offer a standard cruising range, which includes as far as Northern France (vessel’s 25ft and over); meaning you’d be able to go as far South as the gorgeous coastal city of Brest! To help you with making the most of your Topsail cruising range, here are our top 5 favourite sailing destinations in Northern France

Brest

Brest is a stunning city on the Western coast of France. Situated in the region of Finistere, Brittany, it has been a major port city for centuries and is rich in maritime history. Home to a number of sightseeing must-haves, such as the Château de Brest, Tour Tanguy and the Musee National de la Marine, you certainly won’t find yourself bored whilst visiting.

Find out more here.

Perros-Guirec

Perros-Guirec is a lovely seaside town that attracts a lot of tourism each year. It has fantastic sandy beaches and is a good spot to try out some new water sports. This area is famous for its pink granite rocks, which have shaped into various natural shapes and patterns along the coastline. This is a fantastic natural beauty hotspot and makes Perros-Guirec a lovely place to add to your sailing itinerary.

Find out more here.

Saint-Malo

Saint-Malo is a stunning walled city on the North coast of France. It is rich in history, and the architecture of the walls and houses makes it a town you can’t afford to miss. No other destinations in our top 5 are home to such a unique attraction as that as the Saint-Malo’s walls, it makes this destination a very different, yet none the less, incredible stop to make. Also, offering stunning views of the sea, and a few sandy beaches, why would you not want to take a trip here?

Find out more here.

Le Havre

The UNESCO world heritage site of Le Havre is simply a must visit, and not every city is worthy of a title like that. Bringing in many tourists each year, Le Havre is full of French culture and has plenty of amazing spots to visit for all. Filled with modern post-war architecture, this makes a nice change to some of the more historic destinations, as you have a chance to see the more modern side of France.

Find out more here.

Dunkirk

This is a world-famous city and remains a very popular tourist hotspot, with a very rich culture that combines both the French and Belgian cultures. And we believe that Dunkirk has plenty to offer; whether that is the fascinating WW2 history, or enjoying some amazing French food and architecture, it is worth a trip across the Channel for a few days.

Find out more here.

Do you have a favourite sailing destination you’d like to share with your fellow boaters?  So, we have told you our top 5 destinations in Northern France, but do you have any others?

Contact us Facebook or on our website with your top sailing destination. We will enjoy sharing your recommendations with our community.  

Top Winter Maintenance Tips – how to prepare your boat for Winter?

Dec 12, 2022

Heavy rain, flooding, winds, ice, snow and even just very low temperatures can cause all kinds of problems for your boat. As well as the impact of weather on your boat, they could also be swept away, take on water or even suffer a hull breach.

How best to prepare your boat for Winter

However, there are some simple precautions that you can take, which can reduce the likelihood of winter damage or emergency repairs and they can be done simply and easily by you.

So, rather than waiting for a disaster to strike, take action now and protect your boat!

Think about some of the below, and whether these could work for you.

• Remove all soft furnishings from your deck, including anything that could blow away or be damaged.
• Empty and deep clean any fridges – consider turning them off if you can. If you do this, ensure you leave the fridge door open until it is used again.
• You could also consider investing in a dehumidifier to remove unnecessary moisture from the boat.
• Frost is your engines enemy during a sustained cold snap, especially when the temperature drops below freezing. Always revert to the manufacturer’s recommendations for winterisation of your engine or consult a marine engineer.
• If your boat is staying in the water over Winter, you should consider adding extra mooring lines and fenders to enure your boat is suitably secured.
• Check on your boat regularly or arrange for the marina to do so on your behalf.
• In windy conditions, always check ropes for chafing; ensure they are well positioned and adjusted to the conditions.
• If your boat is in the water, make sure that you run the engine regularly; consider having your engine checked, especially if you haven’t had a service in a while.
• You should ensure all on deck electronic covers are tightly fitted and secure.
• Check that your bilge pumps are easy to access and fully operational. If you don’t have one already, consider investing in an automatic bilge pump – and don’t be complacent; just because it automatically operates, it still needs checking regularly.
• Check your boat’s batteries are fully charged; with a bilge pump in continuous operation, even a fully charged battery will only last a few days.

If your boat is damaged – what to do next?

An important point to note if your boat is caught in a dangerous or potentially damaging situation, don’t attempt to recover it yourself without assistance. Severe weather conditions greatly increase the risk to boat owners, and simple tasks can easily result in unexpected accidents and injury. Always put your safety first. That is another reason why ensuring your winter maintenance is done is even more important – the best action is prevention, to avoid any disasters occurring.

If you have any concerns about what you should be doing with your boat and how boat insurance can help protect you, why not get in touch with our team of experts and we would be happy to help you.

Directors’ Letter for our Clients

Nov 22, 2022

This is an overview for you of events of 2022 and what trends we’ve seen in the yacht insurance market. We started 2022 with some optimism, thinking that rating had finally stabilised after what can only be described as several volatile years in the yacht insurance market. Some of you may recall that this started with the extremely expensive hurricane events of 2017, which resulted in several long-standing and traditional yacht markets simply closing their doors and shutting shop.

Unfortunately this optimism for 2022 was relatively short-lived. Without wishing to step into the realms of political statements, there have been major world events and trends which, whether we like it or not, are currently impacting insurers and their views on rating. Specifically these events are the war in Ukraine, the resulting spike in global energy prices and the resulting different inflationary pressures in all walks of life.

So how do these specifically affect the yacht market? The inflationary pressures are most prevalent within the claims environment. Repair yards are already increasing hourly labour charges and for the first time in as long as I can remember, repair yards are now imposing time limitations on their repair estimates, as they are worried about the escalating costs of parts or materials that they’re required to purchase as part of the overall repair package.

In the last 12 to 24 months, we’ve also seen in the yacht market an increasing trend in a new type of claim. We’ve all become more conscious of our impact on the environment; there is undoubtedly a move towards making boating and sailing greener. More and more vessels are converting to lithium batteries or incorporating a wider range of lithium battery powered gadgetry. The net effect has been a number of large fire losses in a whole range of vessels invariably resulting in the total loss of the vessel. You will have seen a number of the highest profile of these in in the yachting press, although they always tend to focus on the highest value vessels. These are of course extremely dangerous events and we can only ever be thankful when there is no result in loss of life or injury. There have of course always been fires but anything that increases their frequency or severity impacts the wider market.

What do we expect to see for 2023?

There’s been an issue with under capacity in the yacht market for a number of years now. Without doubt, insurers did see an improvement in results in 2021 but have put this down to a blip known as Covid premium, as a lot of boats were effectively just laid up due to various restrictions imposed around the world. Some of this claims buffer was lost, when clients returned to their boats after months away. With the current underlying trends being inflationary pressure and increases in spiky large losses, we don’t see an improving picture of further capacity enter in the market until at least 2024 and therefore upwards pressure on rating is likely to continue. At Topsail, we try hard to shield you from this in in as many ways as possible; we have long-standing and solid relationships with several of the largest providers of yacht capacity. We remain more than confident that we can continue to provide you with a competitive offering for your insurance needs.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very enjoyable 2023 for whatever your boating plans may include, and please stay safe on the water.

Why should you buy travel insurance?

Oct 20, 2022

Whilst we all are hoping for stress-free holidays and travel, sometimes things don’t go to plan – especially if you are sailing! You could find yourself in a situation where it is more difficult to seek help out at sea, or where you are experiencing damage to your sailing vessel, for example. Therefore, it makes sense to purchase travel insurance and protect not only yourself whilst you are away, but also the cost of your trip and your personal belongings too.

In addition, emergency travel insurance policies can often be extended to include your pre-existing medical conditions, as well as potentially offering optional extras such as winter sports or extended personal effects cover.

Whilst travel insurance is not legally required, some countries may require you to purchase a policy before being allowed to enter the country. If you are travelling in Europe you might feel content with the UK Global Health Insurance card (GHIC), but be aware – this does not cover pre-existing conditions, or repatriation to the UK for medical care. Therefore, you should consider how this compares with a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

As we all know, the main benefit of travel insurance is the emergency medical expenses section – this details what cover you have in the event you are in a medical emergency.

This can include a large amount for medical expenses, such as £5,000,000 – and this normally includes repatriation too. Don’t underestimate the costs of treatment received overseas; a hospital stay in the USA and repatriation back to the UK could definitely exceed £100,000.00! This is why it is so important to consider buying travel insurance before travelling.

In addition to the medical section, there is also often cover included for your personal items – this can cover loss, theft or damage of your belongings, bank cards or money. There will likely be both an overall benefit limit, say of £3,000 for example, and also a single item limit, for example £500.00.

Another section that offers a great benefit is the Cancellation cover that is often included under a travel insurance policy. This offers cover against the loss of your holiday before you depart on your trip – therefore, if you end up having to cancel your trip shortly beforehand, you may be able to reclaim the costs. This could include situations such as a medical problem, a bereavement or being required to perform a public service, such as jury duty.

It is really important to ensure you fully understand the policy terms, as there are always conditions and exclusions in any insurance policy. For example, under the personal belongings section, you may be required to report a theft to policy within 24 hours and provide a police report to insurers. In addition, there are often general exclusions that apply to the whole policy. For example, most insurers will not cover you for travel to countries advised against by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

You can find out more about our Yachtsman’s Travel insurance online and can even purchase cover instantly in many cases.

5 stunning sailing locations in the UK

Oct 6, 2022

The UK coastline is famed for its beauty and is known around the world, with dozens of villages and destinations to visit with your boat. Whether sailing on the canals, in the Channel or on Scottish Lakes, we truly have it all. Here are 5 beautiful sailing locations to prioritise visiting!

– Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are so idyllic you wouldn’t be blamed for forgetting you are still in the UK when visiting. Five islands are residential, but there are lots of uninhabited islands too, home to a range of sea birds and wildlife. If you don’t have your own sailing vessel, there are plenty of organised trips to the Scilly Isles, including on board Tall Ships. 

– Milford Haven

Though a commercial port, Milford Haven hides some great spots to sail, being an all-weather spot. There is a whole range of secluded, quiet beaches and islands such as Caldey Island, home to a flock of seals. Another great spot is Grassholm Island; in June, you can visit and witness the isles’ gannet colony hatch their chicks.

– Norfolk Broads

There is lots of charter companies in Norfolk that rent out traditional wooden yachts to enable you to enjoy these British Waterways! With over 125 miles of lock-free waterways to be sailed and incredible villages and sights to see on your way, it is certainly not one to be missed.

– Loch Lomond National Park

With 22 lochs and a lake, you can find a whole range of things to do while visiting Lock Lomond Park. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or trying something new – aside from sailing, you could learn windsurfing, paddle boarding or kayaking!

– Jersey

Even with the French coast roughly just an hour away, you most likely still won’t feel the need to leave Jersey and search for sights elsewhere. Jersey has some incredible bays, beaches and views to see, as well as reefs with sandbars, natural pools and an incredible range of wildlife.

Last week was the Southampton Boat Show!

Sep 29, 2022

Our Directors Chris and Nigel attended the show again this year, visiting brokers and companies we work with – it’s always great to catch up and see some old faces.

In addition to Chris and Nigel, our new team members Jake and Antonio also both attended the show, for the first time this year. See what they had to say below.

Jake:

It was my first time going to the Southampton boat show, so it was fantastic to see lots of different boats in person. As I only get to hear about all our clients amazing boats and don’t often get to see a photo, it was great to be up close to loads of different yachts, motorboats, Ribs and different types of vessel.

It’s great that you can freely wander onto most boats and check out all the amazing interiors, so you can get a feel of how well designed these boats are. We were really lucky to be allowed onto some of the large Sunseeker vessels – these were such amazing boats with an incredible interior, it was definitely an experience to be allowed on board. After checking out all the boats it was really nice to then meet some of our insurers, brokers and underwriters we work with and to have a proper catch up in person for the first time. Overall it was a great experience and would definitely love the opportunity to go again in the future.

Antonio:

Whilst visiting the boat show we explored through a variety of vessels, equipment & gear and got to experience in depth conversations surrounding boating life.

To start, we watched a presentation performed by a year round yacht racer who spoke on his experiences being out at sea all year round for a majority of his life and how his view of the world is vastly different from most. He also spoke on the environment and how changes have come around as things worsen with water & sea life pollution, which is of course a really important issue in the marine industry.

We also spoke with the producers of a really interesting product which essentially negates lightning from striking an area of land where their product is set up. This product was highly supported by huge names & locations, but is not yet seen too often in the boating world – it’s a market they wish to enter as there is of course huge concerns in the insurance world with lightning damage. This was amazing to see and learn how technology such as this is becoming available.

We had the pleasure of networking and socialising with other insurance companies. Chatting with them about things beyond the work life was a breath of fresh air and it was nice to get on the same page. We enjoyed visiting some of the largest yachts to offer at the convention and the treat of the day was being invited onto the 75 & 88 foot Sunseeker Yacht’s. They were gloriously designed with the best interior and exterior work on the market.

Get to know our boat insurance optional covers.

Sep 26, 2022

At Topsail, we offer a range of optional, additional policies to complement our Boat insurance policies! You’re probably wondering, what do they offer me – are they even worth it? Each optional cover we offer has its own benefits and you might find that one or all of them would be really helpful for you.

Protected No Claims Bonus

You’ll have probably come across this one before – many insurers in different classes offer Protected No Claims Bonus. If you choose to purchase Protected No Claims Bonus, you will be paying an additional sum, to protect against the loss of your NCB. This means that in the event of a claim, you will not lose any NCB you have earnt. And you can continue to take advantage of this reduction in subsequent years.  This can make a huge difference to your premiums, as some insurers offer up to 25% No Claims Bonus!

Excess Waiver

The Excess Waiver optional cover can mean that you do not need to pay your excess in certain circumstances, and insurers will cover the full claim! If you have an excess on your quote that is higher than you had anticipated, this can be a great option to reduce your future potential costs. There are certain circumstances where the excess waiver might not apply though, so you should ensure you read through the details thoroughly.

Legal Expenses

We offer a Legal Expenses product for UK residents. This provides you with access to legal advice and cover for costs and expenses relating to a personal legal dispute. For example, personal injury disputes, or a contract dispute, where there has been a breach of a contract. This could be a really helpful addition and usually comes at a low price!