Insurance, Boat Safety Scheme and adjacent waters

Owners of boats are required to have third party insurance with a minimum cover of £2 million.

An exception is made for unpowered craft with a block area of less than 6m2.

You must sign an insurance declaration when you pay for your annual or short visit toll.

Insurance policies must be issued by an insurer authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in the UK, or an insurer authorised in a similar way by the laws of another EU country. Firms authorised in the UK to sell insurance should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firms authorised to sell insurance in other EU countries and who do so into the UK market, should notify the FCA.

There is a register of authorised firms. Firms that the FCA has been told are providing regulated products or services without the correct authorisation are included in the register with prominent warnings. Please check any policy carefully and be especially alert if your insurance is offered by a provider outside the EU. For further advice, contact the FCA consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.

The rules on insurance may change as a result of the UK leaving the EU. The Broads Authority will provide further information when available.

The National Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) applies to all boats with engines and/or cooking, heating, lighting, refrigeration and other domestic appliances, including open boats propelled by outboard motors with fixed electrical systems such as electric starts. It does not apply to open boats propelled solely by outboard motors and not fitted with any of the above appliances/systems.

Compliance is required for craft within the scope of the scheme and a copy of a valid certificate must be produced when applying for registration and toll. Visiting craft within the scope of the scheme with no BSS certificate may be subject to a hazardous boat check. 

Most boats in "adjacent waters" have the requirement to be registered, insured, pay tolls, and comply with boat safety standards.

The Frequently asked questions about adjacent waters should answer any questions you may have.

Boat Safety Scheme website. Please note that elements of the Boat Safety Scheme are under review - please go to the Consultation page for more details.