Owning your own boat is often a rewarding yet pricey investment. Although you may feel that zipping out on the water for a short trip here and there involves little risk, accidents can occur when you least expect it. Theft and vandalism is also a possibility as your watercraft sits out unattended by the dock.
Many of us have no problem making sure our cars are adequately insured, and that’s how we should approach insurance for our boats. In Ontario and Quebec, it’s relatively easy to purchase coverage for your boat or watercraft. At Oegema Nicholson and Associates, we can help you make informed decisions by providing the best insurance quotes — all in one place.
What is boat insurance?
Boat insurance covers watercraft with motors — including pontoon boats, paddle boats and even yachts. Boat insurance does not typically cover canoes, kayaks or other non-motorized watercraft. For these smaller items, you may find some coverage under homeowners insurance. All motorized watercraft, however, is usually insured under a separate boat policy.
A trusted insurance adviser can help you obtain the right coverage. Your boat insurance policy may include the following:
- Collision damage: Repair or replacement of your boat
- Bodily injury liability: Covers medical bills and legal expenses should someone become injured while using your boat
- Property damage liability: Covers damage you may cause to someone else’s boat, dock or other property
- Comprehensive: Compensation if your boat is damaged in an incident other than collision, such as theft or vandalism
Once you file a claim, the amount of compensation you get will depend on a number of factors. These factors include your coverage limits, deductibles, and whether your policy covers your boat’s actual replacement value or agreed upon value.
Is boat insurance necessary?
In Ontario, there is no law that requires you to carry insurance on your boat. However, there are still many reasons to have insurance in place. Many marinas will require proof of insurance if you’d like to store your watercraft at their facility. And if you’re financing your boat, your lender will require you to have insurance before they approve the loan.
Most boat insurance claims involve hitting a submerged object. When this happens, the entire motor usually has to be replaced, which is extremely costly. It’s also important to note that many losses don’t just occur during the summer boating season. Many owners are stunned to get their boat out of storage, only to see that a family of mice has destroyed the interior. Given all the ways in which your boat could become damaged, it’s easy to see why investing in insurance is an excellent idea.
How does boat insurance work?
Boat insurance works much like automobile insurance. Should your watercraft suffer an accident, theft or any other damage covered under your policy, you can file a claim to cover those losses.
As an example, let’s say you were involved in a head-on collision with another boat while out on the lake. And this accident caused serious damage to the front of your vessel. Here are some ways in which this scenario would play out once you file a claim:
- If the other boater was at fault, their coverage would pay for your damages
- If you were at fault, the liability portion of your insurance policy would cover the other party’s damages
- If the other boater was at fault, but they do not have boat insurance, uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage would take care of the damages
What factors could affect my insurance premiums?
The cost of boat insurance can fluctuate depending on a number of factors:
- Where you live
- The size and age of your boat, along with the strength of its motor
- Where you plan on using the boat (i.e. inland lake or open seas)
- Whether you require additional coverage options
Many insurance providers will offer discounts if you don’t use the boat all year-round. You may also qualify for additional price breaks if you have a good boating record or have completed a boat safety course. The friendly brokers at Oegema Nicholson can connect you with quotes and coverage options from multiple carriers in your region.
Why trust Oegema Nicholson?
With six office locations in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, Oegema Nicholson is well-equipped to offer you the best customer service in the region. Family-owned and operated since 1961, our mission has always been to connect Canadians with high-quality insurance products at affordable rates. Whether you’re seeking basic insurance for your kayak or advanced coverage for your yacht, rely on our insurance expertise to protect your watercraft investment.
For more information on boating insurance, call us at 613-224-1455 or contact us here.