Boat insurance in Saint John

Boating for pleasure is one of the best ways to spend a summer in Saint John, NB. That said, driving a pleasurecraft can be risky, which is why boat insurance is so important. If you want to keep your boat safe and secure, you will need to purchase boat insurance coverage. We explain how this type of coverage works to protect boat owners and operators below.

What is boat insurance?

Boat insurance is important because it can protect you from a wide range of risks that come with owning and operating a boat in Saint John. No matter what type of boat insurance policy you are looking for, an insurance broker in Saint John can help you find it.

To give you an idea of what it protects against, here are a few of the most common protection types it offers: Boat insurance will protect your boat, its motor, and other equipment or accessories from being stolen or damaged in a collision. It can cover you if the personal items on board your boat are stolen, vandalized, or damaged.

Boat insurance can cover you if someone 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.

Boat insurance coverage in Saint John, NB

Now that you know what risks boat insurance is designed to protect policyholders against let’s dive into some of the specific types of coverage that you can expect to find in your Saint John boat insurance policy:

Property damage coverage

First, property damage coverage can help protect your boat and any personal belongings on the boat from damage or losses. Your policy's property damage coverage portion will cover you as long as the loss or damage occurred due to an insured peril, such as theft, vandalism, collisions, and more. If a loss occurs, you can file a claim with your insurance provider, and they can issue a payout to help you cover the cost of replacing or repairing your boat.

Third party liability coverage

Liability insurance is the second type of coverage most Saint John boat insurance policies will include. This type of coverage will pay for the cost of a boat accident if you get into an at-fault accident. The types of expenses that liability coverage may pay for include medical expenses, legal fees, and repair bills.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage is another type of boat insurance that will protect you if you get into a boating accident. For example, if your boat suffers extensive damage in an accident, you can file a collision insurance claim to help cover the cost of repairs.

Please note that collision coverage applies regardless of what is found to be at fault for the accident, as well as whether the accident was with another boat or even an object like a dock. Collision coverage is subject to a deductible and you will be responsible to pay your deductible before the insurance company kicks in to cover their portion.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage for boats, just like comprehensive coverage for cars, will protect your boat while it is docked in a marina or being stored. The specific risks that it can protect your stationary boat against include theft, vandalism, falling and flying objects, fire, and other weather-related events, including natural disasters.

Please note that the types of coverage listed above are intended for recreational boat usage only. If you need to insure a commercial fishing boat, the coverage you require might be different, and you should speak with a commercial insurance broker at BrokerLink.

How are boat insurance rates calculated in Saint John, NB

Before buying boat insurance, you might wonder how much a boat insurance policy will cost you. The reality is that boat insurance rates vary between policyholders as they depend on a wide range of factors that are specific to each person. For example, your boating record and boat ownership experience will impact your premium. Learn more about the factors that impact boat insurance rates below:

Boating record

First, your boating record will influence how much your premium will be. Same as with a car insurance record, your driving record matters. The cleaner your record, the more likely you are to receive a lower premium. Conversely, if your boating record is filled with infractions, your rates will likely be higher. If you want to maintain as clean a record as possible, check out these boat safety requirements and make sure that you abide by them at all times.

Boat ownership experience

Next, your level of experience as a boat owner can also influence how much you pay for Saint John boat insurance. If you are a first-time boat owner, just as if you are a first-time driver, your rates are likely to be higher than if you are a seasoned veteran who has been operating boats for years or decades.

Why? Due to your risk level. You are considered a bigger liability if you have less boat ownership experience because insurers believe that this lack of experience could translate to increased odds of an accident. Learn more about boat ownership by checking out this first-time boat owners checklist.

Where you drive your boat

Where you drive your boat in Saint John is another detail that could impact how much you pay for Saint John boat insurance. This is because some bodies of water are seen as riskier than others. When you buy insurance from a BrokerLink insurance advisor, they will ask what specific waterways you plan to operate your boat on. Make sure to list all of them, from rivers and lakes to oceans. Generally speaking, if there is a body of water that frequently experiences bad weather conditions, your premium might be higher.

How and where you store your boat

The final factor that can impact how much you pay for boat insurance in Saint John, New Brunswick is how and where you choose to store your boat. Chances are, you don’t operate your boat year-round. For example, many boat owners keep their boats in storage over the winter. However, not all storage locations offer the same amount of security. If you choose to store your boat in a private storage location or monitor it 24/7, your rates may be lower than if you store it somewhere public.

Should I cancel my Saint John boat insurance policy if I only drive a boat during the summer?

Experts do not recommend cancelling your Saint John boat insurance policy, even if you only drive it during the summer months. This is due to the fact that several risks come from a cancelled boat insurance policy. For instance, your rates could go up and the gap in coverage could make it harder for you to obtain boat insurance coverage in the future.

Second, you may be required to pay early cancellation or termination fees, which add up quickly. Finally, your boat would not be covered if anything happens to it while it's in storage. The reality is that a lot can go wrong while your boat is in storage.

For example, it could be stolen or vandalized or an accident could occur where it is damaged in some way, such as due to weather or fire. Thus, purchasing a boat insurance policy and keeping it until it renews is the best course of action in terms of peace of mind, financial security, and cost.

Typically insurance policies for pleasurecrafts have rates that are calculated based on the fact that they are used only in the summertime, similar to the way that motorcycles are insured.

Boating safety tips in Saint John, NB

So you’re ready to take your boat out on the water? Before you set sail, check out this list of boating safety tips to ensure you stay as safe as possible and minimize the odds of an incident:

Ensure all safety equipment is on board

Safety equipment is necessary when taking your boat out for a spin. Not only does having this type of equipment on board drastically decrease your odds of an accident and even death, but it might even be legally required. Depending on the type and size of your vessel, you may not have a choice but to have this type of equipment on board with you.

Keep in mind that some of the most important pieces of safety equipment for boats are life jackets enough for every single passenger on board, a sound signalling device, such as a whistle, a waterproof flashlight, an emergency signal or flare, a first aid kit, a buoyant, an anchor, and a paddle. It is always advised that you travel with a charged cellular phone, non-perishable snacks, and bottled water as well.

Make sure all life jackets fit properly

Our second tip is to make sure that all personal flotation devices fit properly. A poorly fitted life jacket may not be as effective. In addition, although it may not be the law to wear them while on board, it is strongly recommended, especially for those who lack swimming skills.

Generally speaking, if you can’t swim for more than a minute after entering the water, you should wear a life jacket when you’re on a boat. To ensure your life jacket is up to snuff, check for a Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, or Canada Coast Guard logo on the label.

Get your boating licence

The third safety tip is to get a boating licence. Even if you are not legally required to obtain a boating licence where you live, it is still strongly recommended that you do so. When you obtain a licence from Transport Canada, you must take an accredited course that will teach you about the best safety practices for boating.

Never drink and drive

Whatever you do, never drink and get behind the wheel of your boat or the paddle of your kayak, for that matter. Impaired boat usage is illegal and can result in serious fines and penalties. Do not endanger yourself and others by getting behind the wheel of your boat while impaired. Instead, do yourself a favour and “save your beer for the pier.”

Plan your trip in advance

Another safety tip is to plan your boat trip. Knowing your route can prevent you from getting lost; if you do get lost, it can help rescue services find you. We also recommend filling out a Trip Preparation Form, which will inform others of the make, model, and colour of your boat, your intended destination, travel route, and expected return date and time, as well as the names and contact information of the people travelling with you. It is also a smart idea to keep a close eye on the weather. If a storm is rolling in, don’t take your chances. Wait it out and take your trip when the weather has cleared.

Get to know your new boat

Whether you’re a brand-new boater or you just purchased a new boat, take your time getting to know the vessel and its capabilities. Don’t purchase a boat and plan a multi-day boating trip next week. Instead, get some experience operating it and only when you feel comfortable, start to take it on longer trips.

How to save money on Saint John boat insurance

If you want to save money on Saint John boat insurance, there are many ways to do so. Here at BrokerLink, we never want our customers to pay more for their insurance policies than they have to, whether they’re buying car insurance policies or boat insurance policies. Below, we outline a few of the best ways to save money on your Saint John boat insurance plan:

1. Shop around for the best boat insurance rates

The first tip is to shop around for the best boat insurance rates near you. In other words, do not settle for the first policy you find. Instead, reach out to multiple insurance companies in Saint John and request free quotes from each. Then, compare them to find out which offers the best coverage at the lowest rates.

An insurance broker at BrokerLink can also do this for you. We have contacts at some of the top insurers in New Brunswick who can shop around and find you the most competitive rate possible for your boat insurance plan.

2. Bundle boat and auto or home policies

A second tip if you want to save money on boat insurance is to bundle multiple policies together. You can save a lot when you buy more than one insurance product from the same provider. Not all types of insurance qualify, but home, boat, and auto insurance usually do. So, if you want to insure your boat and car together or your boat and home together, reach out to BrokerLink to find out what insurance companies in New Brunswick offer bundles and what conditions need to be met to qualify.

3. Keep your boating record clean

Our third tip if you want to save money on boat insurance in Saint John is to keep your boating record as clean as possible. Avoid accidents, obey the laws of the water, and practice defensive boating skills, and you will likely succeed in keeping your record clean. Remember that the cleaner your record, the lower your premium will be. If you can keep your boating record clean for a number of years, you might even qualify for a discount.

4. Choose a safe, inexpensive boat

When deciding what boat to buy, consider one that is inexpensive and safe, as both of these factors will influence your rates. Boats that are lower in value tend to be cheaper to insure. In addition, boats with extra safety features may also be cheaper to insure as the odds of getting into an accident might be reduced.

5. Select a high boat insurance deductible

Next, choosing a high boat insurance deductible can lower your Saint John boat insurance rates. The deductible you choose will have a significant impact on your premium. Higher deductibles mean that the policyholder agrees to take on more financial responsibility in the event of a claim, and therefore, their premium will usually be lower. On the other hand, low deductibles mean more financial responsibility for the insurance company, which will result in a higher premium.

6. Add an anti-theft device to your boat

Making your boat safer is one way to minimize boat insurance costs. You can do this by installing an anti-theft device on your car, especially one with GPS capabilities. Having a fire extinguisher on a boat might also lead to reduced insurance rates, as you will show an insurance company that you are taking steps to reduce your risk.

We’re in your community

BrokerLink gives back to the Saint John community whenever we can. We are the leading insurance brokerage in Saint John for car, boat, business, and home insurance. Not only do we offer superior insurance services, but we also give back to the communities we operate in, and that includes Saint John. Find out more about our community endeavours by contacting BrokerLink today.

Contact us

At Saint John 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.

You can reach us by phone, email, or in person. No matter how you contact us, 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.