They don’t call them the Great Lakes for nothing. Southern Ontario is a fantastic place to live if you’re lifestyle involves being on the water.
Whether you like fishing on the Grand River in Haldimand or heading out for a pleasure cruise from one of the many gorgeous marinas along Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, the last thing you want to worry about is your watercraft insurance coverage.
GET A FREE BOAT INSURANCE QUOTE
IS BOAT INSURANCE MANDATORY IN ONTARIO?
Based on these numbers people are often surprised by the fact that, unlike auto insurance, having boat insurance is not something that is required by Ontario law.
Let’s ask one of our Account Executives, Edward Whittaker, some questions about having boat insurance.
Q: Is boat insurance something I must have?
A: “In Ontario, you do not need to carry liability on your watercraft.
However, with that being said at any type of marina or storage facility it’s best to check with them to see if there is a requirement through that private business for liability coverage.”
Due to the proximity of your boat with other people’s boats while docked or in storage, many marinas require those using their facility to carry liability insurance to help make sure everyone’s property is protected.
Q: What happens if I decide not to insure my boat and it’s involved in some type of collision?
A: “You may have a very limited form of coverage through your existing home insurance policy. That is not guaranteed with all policies so it’s best to check with your insurance provider to make sure.”
Q: How do I make sure my boat is properly insured?
A: “Smaller boats would typically be added to your home insurance policy, whereas larger crafts with an inboard motor would certainly need its separate boat owners policy. There are several other forms of coverage on that type of policy that are very beneficial to you.”
WHAT DOES BOAT INSURANCE COVER?
Smaller crafts like canoes and kayaks should already be listed on your home policy as part of your content coverage but anything with a motor is something you’ll want to insure to protect yourself from any type of negligence.
Types of watercraft that can be covered by boat insurance are:
- Fishing boats
- Jet Ski (i.e. Seadoo)
Types of coverage that can be offered through boat insurance include:
PROPERTY COVERAGE FOR BOATS
This can help cover your boat, whether it’s on land or water, by helping to pay for repairs after being damaged in an accident. It may even cover replacement costs in the event your boat is stolen.
Property coverage may also take effect if your boat is damaged during a storm from something like:
Similar in concept to small business liability insurance in Ontario, liability coverage for boats can help cover expenses related to an at-fault accident that caused damage to someone else’s property.
UNINSURED WATERCRAFT COVERAGE
Very similar to the type of coverage you’ll find on many auto insurance policies, this is meant to cover expenses related to someone on your boat being injured after an uninsured boat collides with yours.
Keep in mind that like most insurance policies there will be limits in place in terms of how much can be covered and in most cases, there will be a deductible involved when a boat insurance claim is made.
HOW MUCH DOES BOAT INSURANCE COST?
How much you pay in boat insurance will depend on the size and type of your boat.
As discussed above, some smaller boats may already be covered by your existing home insurance policy and premium while other larger crafts should have a separate policy.
A good rule of thumb is to take around 1.5% of the value of your boat to figure out roughly what you’d pay annually to insure it.
So if your boat is worth $30,000 you’d be looking at somewhere around $450 per year for boat insurance.
If you’re looking for a more accurate boat insurance quote, we can help with that.
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the commercial insurance, farm insurance, home insurance and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.