Boat Insurance in Ontario

If you’re a boat owner, then your number one concern should be to keep your boat safe and secure. Although there are many ways to go about this, one of the most important methods is to purchase insurance for your recreational boat. BrokerLink can help you find the right Ontario boat insurance policy for your needs, whether you prefer to jet around Lake Joseph or go fishing in Georgian Bay.

The 411 on boat insurance

If you’ve never purchased boat insurance before, then you may be wondering what it is. Boat insurance is a form of financial security in the event that something goes wrong with your boat. Whether you get into an accident while operating it or someone steals it from the marina in the middle of the night, boat insurance will have your back. That is what makes boat insurance so important. Generally speaking, you can expect your Ontario boat insurance plan to cover you in the following circumstances:

  • Boat insurance will cover you if your boat, its motor, or other equipment or accessories are stolen or damaged in a collision.
  • Boat insurance will cover you if the personal belongings on board your boat, such as electronics or jewellery, are stolen, vandalized, or damaged.
  • Boat insurance will cover you if a driver or passenger is injured while on your boat or your boat causes damage to another person’s personal property, and they file a third-party liability claim against you.

If you are ready to insure your recreational boat, contact a BrokerLink insurance broker in Ontario. One of our licensed insurance advisors can explain how to purchase boat insurance, how much it costs, and what types of coverage you need.

What boat insurance coverage looks like in Ontario

Even though boat insurance is not mandatory in the same way that car insurance in Ontario is, there are still several types of coverage that are important for boaters to have. We outline some of the most common types of coverage added to boat insurance policies in Ontario:

Property damage coverage

Property damage coverage will protect you in the event that you get into a boat accident that results in property damage. Whether you collide with another boat or even a dock, you can file a property damage claim, and your insurer will help cover the cost of repairing or replacing your watercraft.

Third party liability coverage

Liability insurance will cover at-fault boat accidents. In essence, if you are responsible for a boating accident, you can file a liability coverage claim with your insurance provider, and they will issue you a payout that can pay for fees like medical expenses, repair bills, and legal expenses.

Temporary replacement coverage

Temporary replacement coverage is a type of loss-of-use coverage that will pay for you to rent a boat if your boat is damaged and needs to be repaired. While your boat is temporarily unusable, you can be reimbursed for the cost of renting a different boat to get around until yours is fixed. Thus, temporary replacement coverage might be highly beneficial to policyholders who use their boats as their primary mode of transportation.

Agreed value coverage

Agreed value coverage works similarly to replacement car coverage, or a waiver of depreciation in car insurance in that policyholders will receive a set amount of money in the event that their boat is totalled and needs to be replaced.

Navigational extension coverage

Navigational extension coverage might be necessary if you regularly drive your boat outside of standard navigational limits, as regular boat insurance usually does not cover driving in these areas.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage will help pay for repairs to your boat if it is damaged in an accident. You can file a collision coverage claim regardless of the type of damage your boat suffers or whether you caused the accident. This type of coverage can help pay to repair or replace a damaged boat.

Comprehensive coverage

Lastly, comprehensive coverage is strongly recommended for all boaters, especially for those who put their boats in storage over the winter. This is the only type of boat insurance coverage that will pay for you to repair or replace your boat if it is lost or damaged while parked. For example, if it is damaged in the marina during a hailstorm or is stolen from your boat house in the middle of winter, you can file a comprehensive coverage claim with your insurer. Comprehensive insurance usually covers perils like theft, vandalism, explosions and riots, weather-related events, fire, and falling and flying objects.

It is important to note that the types of boat insurance coverage described above are intended for recreational boats only, not commercial boats. If you wish to insure a commercial fishing boat in Ontario, you will likely require different coverage. You should contact a BrokerLink insurance broker as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

What factors influence boat insurance rates in Ontario?

The following factors can influence how much you pay for boat insurance in Ontario. An insurance agent will assess the details below to calculate your premium fairly and accurately. Below, we provide some background information on the details that matter most:

Your boating record

A boating record is a clear indication of your risk level as a policyholder. Records that are clean indicate that a driver is responsible and follows the rules of the water. Meanwhile, a record that is full of infractions, like tickets or accidents, reflects poorly on a policyholder, indicating that they do not operate their boat with care. As such, a policyholder with a clean boating record is likelier to benefit from a cheaper rate than one with a poor record. To learn more about boat safety requirements and ensure that you are driving safely at all times, reach out to BrokerLink.

How long you’ve owned your boat

The length of time that you’ve owned your boat can also influence how much your Ontario boat insurance plan costs. If you are a new boat owner, your rates are likely to be higher since you have less experience owning and operating a boat (read through this first-time boat owner's checklist to help keep you safe on board). As such, an insurer might believe that you are at a higher risk of getting into an accident. The good news is that these higher rates shouldn’t last forever. Once you have a few years of boat ownership under your belt, assuming you maintain a clean boating record during this time, you can expect your rates to drop. Policyholders with several years or decades of boating experience can expect to pay less for boat insurance.

Where you operate your boat

Where you drive your boat can also impact your boat insurance premium in Ontario, as some waterways are considered safer than others. There are various reasons that one body of water would be regarded as safer than another. For example, some might experience heavier boat traffic, increasing a policyholder’s odds of getting into an accident, while others might be more prone to inclement weather. Given these variations, an insurer will ask where you plan to most frequently operate your boat and will consider this when calculating your premium.

Where you store your boat in Ontario

Similar to why the locations where you drive your boat matter, the location where you store your boat also matters. Some locations are more risk-prone than others. For example, if you store your boat in a marina that’s on a body of water with lots of storms, your boat might be at a higher risk of being damaged. In addition, if you store your boat in a public location versus a private, securely monitored location, it might be more at risk of theft, vandalism, or other types of damage.

Keep yourself safe on the water with these boat safety tips

When operating a boat, keeping yourself and your boat safe is the most important thing. The best way to do so is by following the recommended safety tips below:

Keep all necessary safety equipment on board

The number one safety tip when operating a boat is to make sure that you have the most important safety equipment on board. This means approved life jackets for all passengers on board, as well as a sound signalling device (e.g. a whistle), a waterproof flashlight, a first aid kit, a buoyant, an anchor, and a paddle. Together, all of these pieces of equipment could save your life in the event of an emergency. It is also recommended that boaters bring a mobile device, a portable battery charger, bottled water, sun protection, and non-perishable food with them in the event that they are stuck at sea for hours or days.

Never operate your boat impaired

The same rules apply for boating as they do for driving. Never drink and operate a boat. You legally cannot drive a boat when you are above the legal limit for alcohol or drugs, so if you plan to consume alcohol, make sure that you have an alternative way home. As the saying goes, leave your beer for the pier.

Check the weather before hitting the water

Our third safety tip is always checking the weather before hitting the water. Weather can change quickly, and bad weather can easily turn a leisurely boating trip into a dangerous one. So before you pull out of the marina, check your weather app to make sure that there is no heavy rain, high winds, or storms in the forecast. If you notice bad weather on the horizon, wait it out and stay home until it is safe to operate your boat again.

Inform someone of your route beforehand

One last tip for keeping yourself safe while boating is always to let someone know your route before you set out. Whether you’re going on a short trip or a long-distance journey, you never know what can happen out on the water. Thus, we always recommend informing a close friend or family member of your plans. Specifically, let them know where you intend to drive your boat, your destination if you intend to stay somewhere overnight, your intended return date and date, and everyone on board's names and contact information.

Tips to spend less money on Ontario boat insurance

Start saving money on boat insurance today by enlisting the help of a BrokerLink insurance broker. Here at BrokerLink, we will ensure you avoid overspending on boat insurance by giving you all types of money-saving tips, including those mentioned below:

1. Research your options and compare them

Start by researching and comparing the various boat insurance options available. Never choose the first boat insurance policy you find. With so many resources, it’s easy to obtain quotes from multiple providers and see which one offers the best coverage for your dollar. If you don’t have time to do this, you can also ask a BrokerLink insurance advisor to do it for you.

2. Bundle boat and car or boat and home insurance in Ontario

Bundling boat and car insurance or boat and home insurance is a great way to save money on multiple insurance products in one. Many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who agree to purchase more than one product from them. Since car insurance is mandatory in Ontario, bundling boat and auto insurance might suit your needs. However, if you also have a home insurance plan, whether it be a tenant insurance policy, a seasonal home insurance policy, or a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, you might also be able to purchase a bundle that includes home insurance and boat insurance.

3. Select a high boat insurance deductible

Choosing a high deductible on any type of insurance policy is a quick way to save money on insurance. Insurance companies are usually willing to lower premiums for policyholders who choose high deductibles. This is because, in exchange for selecting a high deductible, the policyholder agrees to take on a higher level of financial responsibility in the event of a claim, and an insurer will reward you for this. Please note that if you cannot afford a high boat insurance deductible right away, you might be able to raise your deductible later on or the next time that your policy is renewed.

4. Install an anti-theft device on your boat

Installing an anti-theft device on your boat, especially one with GPS tracking capabilities, can make you eligible for a boat insurance discount. When your boat is equipped with one of these devices, the odds of it being stolen may be less. Plus, if it is stolen, it might be easier for law enforcement to locate and recover it.

We’re in your community

BrokerLink is an integral member of the Ontario community. For over 30 years, we have helped customers find quality car, home, pet, boat, and commercial insurance solutions. If it is tailor-made insurance coverage you’re looking for coupled with a customer-driven insurance experience, look no further than BrokerLink.

Contact us

At Ontario BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible. We can also help you adjust or renew your policy down the road.

You can reach us by phone, email, or in person at any one of our locations across Ontario. No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool that can provide you with a competitive quote in minutes.


Boat insurance Ontario FAQs

Is boat insurance compulsory in Ontario?

No. If you drive a recreational watercraft, you are not legally obligated to purchase boat insurance. That said, doing so is an intelligent decision, as if you get into an accident and don’t have insurance, you will be responsible for any costs pertaining to it. However, with boat insurance, your insurer will step in and help pay to repair or replace your damaged boat.

Where can I buy boat insurance in Ontario?

Ontario boat owners can purchase boat insurance coverage from an insurance company or brokerage. Not all Ontario insurers will offer boat insurance, but many do, so all you have to do is look.

How can I find cheap boat insurance in Ontario?

Cheap Ontario boat insurance exists. You just need to know how to find it. One of the best ways to do so is to ask your insurance agent or broker about any discounts that may be available to you. You can also take steps to make your policy cheaper, such as by choosing high deductibles, paying for your policy annually instead of monthly, maintaining a clean boating record, installing an anti-theft device with GPS capabilities on your boat, and storing your boat in a securely monitored location when it’s not in use.

What types of boat insurance can an insurance broker in Ontario help me find?

Ontario insurance brokers are boat insurance experts, which means they can help you find everything from standard coverage to enhanced protection. As such, you can see the following types of boat coverage through a broker: collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, agreed value coverage, third-party liability coverage, property damage coverage, temporary replacement coverage, and navigation extension coverage. If there is another type of boat insurance you are looking for, don’t hesitate to ask your broker about it.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.