Are You Insured if Your Boat Causes Water Pollution?

narrowboat on the inland waterways

As boat owners, we should always be aware of the potential consequences of our boats causing water contamination through various leakages or spillages of harmful material such as oil or fuel. Some insurance policies may not provide cover for a claim involving the cost of contamination clean-ups, which in some cases can result in thousands of pounds of damages, leaving you liable to pay out of your own pocket.

All boat users should be aware of what they can do to ensure they minimise the impact they have on the environment when travelling on inland waterways, especially regarding water pollution. According to The Green Blue, “Only 5% of oil and fuel pollution in the water is from catastrophic spills, with the majority coming from everyday sources such as refuelling, engine emissions and oil leaks.”

Oil and fuel spillage can result in the poisoning wildlife and humans, as well as destroying plant life.

What can you do to prevent this happening? The following list shows some of the actions you can introduce into your lifestyle in order to prevent the spilling and pollution of our waterways:

  • Do not overfill your fuel tank. There should be room for the fuel to expand in the tank.
  • Regularly maintain your fuel lines, as well as connections and seals.
  • Use specifically designed containers to transfer all waste oil and fuel.
  • Place a drip tray under your engine (this is already a requirement on many waterways).
  • Check out a full list of preventions and clean up/disposal tips on The Green Blue website.


Am I covered by my insurance policy?

If you are in any doubt, check with your broker or insurance company.

Get in touch

Get in touch with the team at Collidge & Partners today for insurance advice, call 01303 290872 or...