How do I insure a boat in Alberta?

By viola wallace | December 14, 2017

One of the joys of living in this beautiful country is the variety of recreational opportunities we have. Take boating for instance – there’s nothing like the joy of being on the water on a nice sunny day enjoying all that nature has to offer. If you’re one of those lucky people who have a boat you need to ensure that your enjoyment of it is not interrupted by any nasty occurrence. This is where insurance comes in. Insuring your boat gives you peace of mind and protection from everyday troubles. Fortunately insuring your boat is easy.  Coverage can be customized to suit your needs taking into consideration the size and cost of your boat. There are a few things to bear in mind when looking to insure a boat in Alberta.

What is included when you insure a boat in Alberta?

Most insurance policies insure the boat itself and its equipment in case of damage. They can also include liability coverage for injury to passengers theft of equipment and damage to your watercraft on someone else’s property. These are all extremely beneficial as accidents or break-ins can happen at any time. Beyond that policies vary by insurance company and your broker will be able to explain these differences in coverage and price to you.

Add-Ons to Boat Insurance in Alberta

There are many additional coverage options for boat owners. What you need will depend on the type of boat you have what you’re using it for where you’re storing your boat and your budget. Your broker can help you pick which add-ons have the best value for your unique situation.

Here are a few of the available add-ons for boat insurance:

Emergency Towing: if you’re stranded on the water you will be towed back to land.

Loss of Use: If your boat is being repaired after an insured loss you can get a temporary replacement boat. It’s like getting a rental car when yours is in the shop.

Additional Living Expenses: If your boat is being repaired after an insured loss you have some fund to cover your living expenses while you wait. 

Agreed Value Coverage: Your boat’s full value will be covered if it’s a write off after an insured loss.

Navigational Extensions: If you’re planning on venturing further afield than standard navigational limits you’ll need this add-on to ensure you’re covered.

Trailers: Protect your boat trailers as well with this endorsement.

Communication and Navigational Equipment: Standard policies don’t always cover specialized equipment (or at least its full value). This helps.

Security Equipment: If you have expensive security equipment to keep your boat safe you may want it protected in case of an attempted or successful theft.

It is always recommended that you speak to your broker about what option is right for you. They can advise which insurers offer which coverages and how much it will cost.

Exclusions to Boat Insurance in Alberta

Typically there are a few things that are excluded from your boating insurance. These can include:

  • Willful misconduct
  • Damage to machinery after a breakdown
  • Theft if security devices are not present
  • Loss of value due to age of the boat
  • Wear and tear damage

This isn’t an exhaustive list as exclusions will vary depending on the insurer. Your broker will be able to explain what won’t be covered (and it’s in your policy documents if you want to look it up later).

Discounts Available

Like coverages and exclusions available discounts will vary with the insurance company. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Claims Free: If you haven’t made a claim in a period of time you are eligible for a discount. Usually this is evaluated every year and your discount will increase the longer you’re claims free.

Deductible: An alternative to claims free this discount lowers your discount for every period of time you don’t make a claim.

Dry Dock: Some companied offer a discount if your boat is in dry dock.

Multi-Policy: Many insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts meaning if you have your RV or home or car insured with the same company you can be eligible for a special discount.

Safe Boating Course: Taking a safety course is always a good idea and one that can even save you money on your premiums. Be sure to talk to your broker about any safety courses you’ve taken or if you’re considering taking one to get a list of insurer approved courses that are eligible for discounts.

Off-Season Damages

When a boat is in seasonal storage it is still essential to keep it insured. One it will keep your insurance history as continuous making you eligible for discounts. Second insurance policies for  protect against theft and vandalism along with weather damage all year round. Just because your boat is in storage doesn’t mean it’s safe from damage or loss. However each insurance policy is different and it is imperative to talk to your broker about off-season insurance.

What influences the price of boat insurance in Alberta?

The price is influenced by a variety of factors including the type of boat how long it is where it will be stored the driver’s age and experience level what activities you’ll be using the boat for and of course how much the boat is worth. This is remarkably similar to car insurance. As with car insurance the more expensive your boat is the more costly your coverage will be. Potential repair bills are also included in the premium calculation so if your boat is extremely expensive to repair you will be looking at a higher premium.

Things to ask yourself

When looking for an insurance policy it is essential to ask yourself questions to make sure that you are getting the right level of coverage.

  • Does my insurance cover the most expensive parts of my boat?
  • Would I be paying too much for not a lot of coverage?
  • Does my insurance cover the places I want to sail to?
  • Is my insurer authorized and approved to sell insurance?
  • Does this provide the coverage I need?
  • What are the most important aspects that I need to be covered?
  • How are replacement parts issued and do I have to bring the boat to an authorized repairer?
  • What are the policy exclusions?

Boating insurance is often but not always required by law. This can make finding the right coverage a critical task if you want to own a boat. However with the help and guidance of your broker it should be reasonably easy to find a policy that provides the right amount of coverage for you.