Mackay Insurance Blog
Large & Small Boat Insurance: Take Water Safety to the Next Level
Next to your home and personal vehicles, your boat may be one of your biggest investments. Yet far too many boat owners neglect to protect it!
It’s a well-known fact that you must meet open waters with ample precaution. The risks are too high to leave the shore unprepared.
That’s where large and small boat insurance comes in!
We know buying boat insurance isn’t exactly fun. Water sports equipment like fishing rods and water skis is more appealing. But boat insurance is one of the best investments you can make in water safety.
Every boater wants to leave his worries on the shore - to feel free and relaxed on the waves. But failing to take the necessary precautions can leave your boat (and your bank account) in the lurch.
In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers discuss everything you need to know about boat insurance.
We understand the risks and have the coverage you need for a smooth, worry-free boating season!
What Is Boat Insurance?
Boat insurance protects certain watercraft - both motorized and manual.
The main categories of covered watercraft include:
- Boats (motorized and non-motorized)
- Watercraft (like jet skis, and inflatables)
- Equipment (GPS equipment, dinghies)
- Boat trailers
Not sure if your boat or watercraft qualifies for boat insurance? Ask your Mackay Insurance broker!
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Boat insurance policies cover you in many different scenarios.
Like most insurance products, you can customize boat coverage to your unique needs. Depending on your specific situation, you may need all or only some of the coverage offered.
Below are the basic categories a standard boat insurance policy covers:
Liability coverage is a big one for most boat owners, regardless of craft type. It protects you in the event of an accident.
If an accident causes injury, fatality or harm to another person or property, this coverage has your back.
Damage to The Boat Itself
There are many risks associated with owning a boat. Not all pertain to a collision with another boat though.
All-risk boat coverage protects you from the types of events you simply cannot foresee. This can include:
- Weather-related perils
- Theft &
These situations are beyond your control.
Thankfully, boat coverage protects the physical boat and any attached/onboard boating equipment.
Most insurance companies also offer add-on coverages for your policy. These are not mandatory, but they do offer an extra level of protection and peace of mind.
This add-on coverage protects the personal belongings aboard your watercraft. Life jackets and fishing equipment are some of the most common.
Emergency Towing & Assistance
Many boat owners add emergency coverage to their policy at the start. It operates much like CAA insurance. But instead of bringing emergency towing and assistance on the road, it comes to you on the water!
Do You Really Need Boat Insurance?
This is a really good question! While boat insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, specific scenarios do require it.
For example, if you keep your boat at a marina, they may ask you to show proof of boat insurance.
Other scenarios may mean you don’t need boating insurance. One example of this is if your watercraft already has coverage under your homeowner's policy.
Canoes and kayaks, for example, do not need their own standalone insurance. Their coverage is already built into your home insurance policy.
Other boats and watercraft, however, do require their own standalone policy. This includes speedboats, fishing boats, jet skis, etc.
In these cases, we have large and small boat insurance coverage to meet your specific needs.
How Much Boat Insurance Do You Need?
When it comes to determining how much boat insurance you need, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer.
The coverage you need depends on:
- The value of your boat and related property,
- The type of power your boat uses,
- Your usage patterns,
- The type of storage you have for your boat/property,
- Who can use the boat,
- What type of trailer or hauling vehicle you use, etc.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to put the cost of boat insurance into perspective:
If your boat has a value of $100,000 or less, you will most likely spend about 1% of its value on boat insurance annually.
This would mean that insuring your $100,000 boat would cost you about $1,000 in boat insurance each year!
What Are The Discount Benefits of Boat Insurance?
Not sure if you want to invest in boat insurance quite yet? Below are a few discount benefits associated with investing in boat insurance:
Ask your Mackay broker about the following discount opportunities:
- Multiple policy discounts (if you carry more than one policy with the same insurer)
- Full lump-sum premium payment (if you pay for the full year at one time)
- Power Squadron or other boat safety courses
- Homeowners insurance discount
- Member discount (if you belong to a boat club or association)
- Dry dock discount (if you store your boat at a dry dock instead of on the water)
- Usage discount (if your usage patterns are moderate or seasonal)
- Good credit discount (if you have an excellent or good credit score)