Home and cottage prices continue to rise in Ontario and more people are ditching the lakeside cottage life, freeing up some of their hard earned cash. People are starting to invest more in water vessels like cabin cruisers, rather than being burdened with another mortgage. Cottages are getting really expensive, so people are more actively looking to buy a boat where they can park it somewhere, have a good day with their friends and take it out for a cruise when they feel like it.
Often, small watercraft like canoes, kayaks or paddle boats – essentially any small craft without a motor – can potentially be rolled into your home or seasonal home insurance. Speak to your broker about your liability limits.
For larger boats with bigger motors, personal watercraft vehicles (PWC), and pleasure crafts, insurance is highly recommended. Most policies can cover the boat itself, as well as additional equipment, like the motor, trailers, and onboard equipment such as GPS systems. Though boat insurance is not required by law in Canada, not only will having insurance give you peace of mind, it can provide you with coverage for injury to passengers on board, tubers or skiers being towed or others in the water or aboard other watercraft, damage to the boat, theft or loss of attached equipment and damage caused by your boat/watercraft on someone else’s property.
It’s important for you to speak with your broker each season and let them know if you’ve updated, modified or added anything to your boat. Many pleasure craft owners are installing new electronics that increase the value of water toys, so always make sure your policy is up-to-date and you have the right coverage, otherwise your claim may not be paid out.
There are a lot of factors that will affect your boating insurance policy. These can include things like the size of the boat, its value, the lake or location that you use it on, the size of the motor, and more. Make sure that your policy fits the needs of your particular boat.
Weather considerations should also be on the radar of boat owners. Water levels are always changing. During a drought lake levels decrease and can cause a lot incidents where people are hitting submerged objects. Year over year, month over month water levels can change, boaters can go into a bay and all of a sudden they hit a rock that wasn’t there before because the water is lower.
Finally, with many policies, there are restrictions on how far from your home dock or lake area you can venture and still be covered. So that’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning any long-range trips with your vessel. Your policy may also only cover the boat within a specified radius for land travel, which is important to be aware of if you are hauling your boat a long distance on a trailer.
Boat insurance is one of the most important investments you can make to protect your assets and ensure that you have a worry-free summer of fun on the water. To obtain further information on the boat insurance services offered by the professional insurance brokers at Petley-Hare Limited, including items/features not available through many other firms, please visit our boat insurance section.
Although it is not mandated by law in Ontario, there is clearly a need for boat insurance to protect yourself, your family, and your property/assets in the event of a boating injury or accident. Call Petley-Hare Limited today at 1-800-216-5324 to speak with one of our marine insurance specialists or contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation.