With the summer months approaching, Ontario boat and watercraft owners will be preparing to enjoy some time out on the water. Boat and watercraft insurance is incredibly important to have, read below to find out why.
The summer months offer the chance to enjoy time out on the water, whether it be sailing, boating, or jet-skiing. Before heading out on the water, it is important to have adequate insurance on your boat or watercraft. Continue reading to learn why boat and watercraft insurance is so important and to learn how it will keep you, your property, and other individuals enjoying the water safe and protected.
Is Boat And Watercraft Insurance Mandatory in Ontario?
In Ontario, boat and watercraft insurance are currently not mandated by law, however, if you store your boat or watercraft at a marina, they will likely require you to have boat or watercraft insurance. If you plan to finance the purchase of your boat or watercraft through a loan at a bank, they likely will want proof that the boat or watercraft is insured for the life of the loan. There are also many other important reasons why you should have a boat or watercraft insurance policy.
Why You Should Have Boat And Watercraft Insurance
If your boat or watercraft has a motor, you should, at minimum consider liability coverage. The legal risk increases the bigger your motor is. If you own a canoe or other boat that does not have a motor, you should speak to your Insurance Broker about adding it to your home insurance policy.
Some other important reasons you should have boat or watercraft insurance include the following:
- Liability coverage for injuries – covers people on the boat or watercraft, in the water, or on other boats
- Liability coverage for property damage from operating the boat or watercraft
- To help keep any claims separate from your home insurance
- To guarantee its eligibility to be in the water each year
What Does Boat and Watercraft Insurance Cover?
Your boat or watercraft and the contents of your boat will likely be covered by most boat or watercraft insurance policies. These policies often include liability coverage for passengers as well. However, each policy will be different so it is important to speak with your Insurance Broker to know exactly what your plan will cover.
Here is a list of some of the most common coverages from boat or watercraft insurance:
- Coverage from weather
- Pollution/wreck removal
- Coverage from theft and vandalism
- Coverage from fire
- Medical costs and accident coverage for passengers
- Emergency towing
- Damage due to accidents
- Damage to furniture, sails, and motors
What is Not Covered by Boat And Watercraft Insurance?
After speaking with your Insurance Broker, you can be sure of the specific exclusions to your policy and can inquire about any necessary add-ons.
Here are some of the most common things a standard boat or watercraft insurance policy will not cover and that you may want to add to your boat or watercraft insurance policy:
- Damage while being stored
- Damage from pests or animals
- Geographical limits – insurance may only cover you in certain locations
If you plan to use your boat for watersports, make sure to speak with your Insurance Broker to see if your policy includes Watersports Liability coverage.
What Will Affect My Boat or Watercraft Insurance Price?
- The size and length of the boat or watercraft
- The value of the boat or watercraft
- The boat or watercraft's condition
-The horsepower of the boat or watercraft
-How often the boat or watercraft will be used
-Where the boat or watercraft is stored
Can I Cancel My Boat My Boat or Watercraft Insurance in the Winter?
Although you will likely be storing your boat or watercraft in the winter, it is recommended that you maintain boat or watercraft insurance during these months. Even in storage, some risks may result in insurance claims, so keeping your policy active in the winter can help in these situations. Theft, fire, and vandalism are all-year-round risks that can impact your boat or watercraft.
If you were to cancel your insurance policy during the winter, you would be financially responsible for any damage that has occurred.
It’s also important to remember that a boat/marine policy is considered a seasonal insurance product, so the premium is built to reflect that the majority of use is during the boating season, so cancelling your policy in the winter will not save you any money.
Speaking with your Ontario insurance broker regarding getting a boat or watercraft insurance policy set up, or updating your existing policy to make sure it is sufficient, will help you have peace of mind, allowing you to fully enjoy your time on the water this summer.
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional insurance advice. The coverage, terms, and conditions of each insurance policy are unique and subject to individual circumstances. The information provided does not guarantee the availability or suitability of any insurance policy for your specific needs. You should not rely on the information in the blog as an alternative to professional advice from your insurance broker or insurance company. If you have any specific questions about any insurance matter, please consult a licensed insurance broker for personalized advice and guidance.