Being a boat owner is a highly rewarding experience. Unfortunately it can also be very expensive investment. While boat insurance is not required by law in Ontario, having a policy in place will not only give you peace of mind but can also provide some additional coverage’s you may not have thought about. Here are a few things to know about boat or watercraft insurance in Ontario.
Boats of all Sizes
Small watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and even some small fishing boats may be able to be rolled into your home or cottage insurance. A floater could also be added to the policy for a relatively small fee, talk to a broker to find out what would and would not be covered.
For larger boats, higher horsepower, or jet boats/jet skis a separate insurance policy is recommended. These policies can extended to cover not only the boat itself but additional equipment like the motor, trailer, GPS systems, etc. A marine insurance policy will give you coverage for:
liability for injury to passengers, tubers or skiers being towed or others in the water or aboard other watercraft
Damage to the boat, theft or loss of attached equipment
Damage caused by your boat to someone else’s property
Coverage Period & Area
While a policy term is generally a 12 month period, many boat policies will have lay-up periods where the boat must be out of the water. A typically time period is December 1st to April 1st. If the boat is used on the water during that time you will not be covered by your policy.
A typical boat insurance policy will only cover you within Canada and some parts of the USA. If you are planning on navigating outside of that area talk to your broker to see where you are and are not covered.
How Much Will it Cost?
The premium for a boat insurance policy depends on a number of things including size, horsepower, area used, the value, and more. Whether or not you have had any driving convictions in a private passenger vehicle may also affect the price. The minimum premium for a policy is around $225 annually and the average is around $400 annually. Premiums for the policy will increase as the size, value, horsepower, and number of convictions increases.
While all operators of powered watercraft in Canada are required to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card there are also additional courses you can take. Some of these are offered by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron and additional discounts apply with some insurance companies if you are a member.
It is important to protect yourself both on and off the water this season. Absolute Insurance Brokers has many options for your boat, big or small! Contact us at 1-877-941-2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options before you put your boat on the water this season.