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What you need to know when you insure your boat

What you need to know when you insure your boat

British Columbia is a boater’s paradise. Wherever you are in B.C. waters, you need boat and marine insurance that provides value and is customized for you.

Understand the type of insurance you need

Marine insurance: It provides financial protection for your speedboat, sailboat or personal watercraft or any other type of watercraft if it’s involved in an accident or is damaged or stolen.

Watercraft insurance: It includes liability coverage in case you are responsible for property damage or another person's injuries. You want financial coverage to repair or replace your watercraft if you are involved in an accident or collision.

What kind of boat do you have?

Is it a runabout, cruiser, yachts, sailboat or an inboard or outboard? This can affect your rate. What was your purchase price?

These factors can also affect your rate:

  • What is the length of your boat? What is it made of?
  • What type of motor does your boat have? What is the horsepower? Boats with powerful engines can have higher rates.
  • Where will you be operating it?
  • How often are you using it?
  • Where will it be stored?
  1. How old is your boat?

If your boat is more than 15 years old, your insurer may ask for an inspection.

Keep in mind, though, a newer, more valuable boat with a high horsepower engine is usually more expensive to insure.

Over time, you could expect a good rate if you keep your boat repaired and in good condition.

If your boat is used, you might get a better rate if it has had only one other owner.

  1. Risky drivers can be risk to insure as boat owners

How is your driving record?

Do you have any demerit points on your driver’s license? Were you convicted of a DUI? Expect that insurers will check your driving record to assess your risk level and determine your premium rate.

Have you filed a claim as a boat owner?

If you are an experienced boater and haven’t made any claims, expect your rate to be lower than a new boater’s rate.

  1. Where are charting your course?

British Columbia has 27,000 kilometres of coastline alone and thousands of lakes and rivers.

Where you do your boating can affect your rate. What is your navigation area?

Will you explore BC’s coastline, the Fraser Valley, or the Southern Interior?

Some areas are riskier than others and are more expensive to insure. Your insurer will determine which bodies of water are suitable for your boat.

Safety counts

An automatic fire extinguisher system, GPS, depth finders, or radar can reduce your insurance premiums.

You can also save money by taking a Transport Canada approved safety course for boating.

  1. The type of insurance you choose

If you file a claim, the amount you will be compensated for depends on your deductibles and coverage limits and on whether your boat is covered for an agreed-upon amount or actual replacement value.

The agreed-upon amount means that should something happen to your boat, your insurance provider will give you the insured value without depreciation.

The actual cash value policy pays the fair market value for the insured boat and equipment in the event of a loss.

You want financial coverage to repair or replace your watercraft if you are involved in an accident or collision.