Do you own a boat or a personal watercraft or are you considering purchasing one? If so, then we highly recommend you consider purchasing marine insurance.
Commonly we see many boaters assume that their marine liability would be covered by the liability coverage offered under their home or cottage policy in the event of a third party personal or property injury. However, this is generally an incorrect assumption especially if your boat’s horsepower is more than 25hp for an outboard motor or 50hp for an inboard motor. Personal Watercraft with motors of this size and larger should ALWAYS be insured separately due to their power.
There are several ways to insure your marine exposures, and they can range from insuring the boat and motor for liability only to obtaining a specialized marine policy wording. Marine insurance policies do provide advantages over adding a boat as a rider to your Home Insurance policy, as certain coverages are only provided under marine policy wordings.
Marine insurance is also commonly referred to as boat insurance or personal watercraft insurance.
3 Reasons to Purchase Marine Insurance
By insuring your watercraft you are protecting not only your investment but also your lifestyle.
Personal watercraft accidents occur at an increasing frequency each year. Marine insurance protects both your asset and liability exposures.
While boat insurance in Ontario is not mandatory, if you are financing your boat, then marine insurance is likely a mandatory requirement of your lender.
What are the key considerations when considering whether you should purchase Marine Insurance?
The key things to look for when obtaining insurance for your boats and personal watercraft will vary depending on your particular circumstances and watercraft. You may have a small runabout with a 9.9 hp motor on it for the kids to use, and with a minimal value you may be fine with it being covered under your property insurance policy. On the other hand, you may have a higher-end ski boat or cabin cruiser where the marine specific coverages would become potentially very valuable.
You should always look for liability coverage that is as broad as possible. While the Personal Liability coverage under a property policy will provide decent coverage, there are potential gaps that are only addressed under a proper Marine policy wording.
- Will your policy cover you if you are injured or suffer damages from an uninsured or under-insured boater?
- Will your liability coverages cover the costs of wreck removal?
- Will your policy automatically extend to cover newly acquired boats?
- Will your policy cover marine environmental damage expenses?
You should also ensure your policy covers physical damages to your boat and also the additional costs which may arise in a claim. Look for a policy that will pay an agreed value for your boat in the event of a total loss, and ensure that you have control over where any repairs might be made.
- Will your policy cover emergency towing expenses?
- This might be very valuable if you use your boat to travel far from home.
- This coverage can be very valuable if your cottage cannot be accessed by car. Search and rescue expenses and salvage costs are also important to consider.
FCA is Canada’s Insurance Expert Since 1919
FCA has been providing Canadian families with their insurance needs since 1919. We have set the industry standard for turnaround time for both new and existing clients. We pride ourselves in ensuring our clients are receiving the best suite of coverages at a fair price.
Your broker will need information on all the intended operators, including age and prior boating experience in similar vessels, as well as the particulars of the boat(s) to be insured which would include year, make, model, horsepower, maximum speed, value, and the required navigation limits. The insurer may require further information to provide your quote, such as a driver abstract.
Under a marine policy, a single claim will not usually affect your rates, but if your boat is insured under your homeowner policy it would be considered like a regular property claim and could affect your claims free discount and ability to obtain insurance with some providers.
A marine survey is performed by an independent marine surveyor and is intended to evaluate the condition and seaworthiness of the boat. The surveyor will identify any safety or maintenance issues that will require attention. Some insurers request these regularly, some insurers do not order them often. Sometimes confirmation of your boat’s condition can be adequately documented by current photographs and/or a letter from your mechanic.
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Chris, Mar 2018
Helen was recommended by a friend based on many years of outstanding, customer-oriented service. As a new client I have been impressed with her willingness to listen and to understand my needs so as to be able to tailor the policies proposed for home and auto insurance to my needs. Her personal touch, responsiveness and knowledegable approach are just what I wanted. Highly recommended.
Lorne, Mar 2018
Maha Touma is without question the finest representative that you could ask for. Bright, attentive, responsive, experienced, empathetic, and trustworthy are but a few of the descriptors that come to mind.
Maha has been with us through the good and not so good, the large and the everyday not so large.
Her professionalism shines through at every turn.
Cam, Nov 2020
Jamie and his team have been great to deal with, providing transparent advice and excellent service!
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