What Is Boating Insurance?

One element of boat ownership and operation that many people don't consider ahead of time is insurance.

Everyone knows you have to insure your car, and it's always a good idea to insure your house, but some people don't feel the need for boat insurance. After you take your boat exam and gain all your boating license Ontario privileges, you actually aren't required by law to get insurance on your boat. As long as you have the boating license, some life jackets and the actual vessel license, you're technically good to go. Of course, just as with a car, motorcycle or other vehicle, it's definitely a wise choice to get insurance for your boat to guard against any mishaps you could be liable for.

Boating insurance is basically no different from your car insurance, in that you're protected against damage and liability. When insuring a boat, you'll probably have the option of getting insurance for the boat itself and any attached equipment, and then liability insurance. If you're going to insure your boat, it's a wise decision to get both types.

That way, if anything happens to the boat that isn't your fault your covered, and if you're in an accident that may be your fault, you'll have coverage. Liability insurance will generally help defend you if you weren't at fault and pay out your policy limit if you were. Having insurance on the actual boat will see that you're paid fair market value for the boat in cases where the boat is a total loss. Your boating license in Ontario gives you every right to be on the water and in control of a boat, but you'll never really be protected without the insurance.

Despite the fact that a passed boat exam and boating course are enough for you to legally be on the water, you'll still have to get insurance for your boat in certain situations. Sometimes, if you're financing your new boat, the lender will require you to get insurance and list them as the payee if a claim is filed. Many marinas will also insist you have boat insurance if you're going to dock your boat on their property. It's possible that more situations will arise where boating insurance is a necessity rather than a choice. The wisest choice is to get boat insurance after you get your boating license, so you can enjoy your time on the water and not have to worry about it at all.

The insurance premiums you have to pay on your boat will be determined by a few different factors. The value of your boat, the general area you'll be using the boat, how the boat will be used and the experience and age of the operator will all be taken into account. Whether the owner of the boat has filed any previous claims will also be a factor in how much the premiums are. Just get your boating license, then shop around at a few different insurance companies to find the best boat insurance deal for you.