A white and red boat on the water.

Boat Insurance in Ontario – What You Should Know

Boats and watercraft are typically used for summertime fun, but even though they’re largely relegated to recreational use, did you know they should be covered with the same level of protection that you would give your car?

A boating insurance policy will keep you and your watercraft properly protected. It’s something well worth your time and consideration, so let’s go over what you need to know about boating insurance in Ontario.

In most cases, non-motorized small watercraft (such as canoes, kayaks or paddleboats) can be bundled into your home or seasonal home insurance. Will Marshall Insurance is happy to discuss your options with you when it comes to liability limits and boat insurance.

Separate insurance is highly recommended for large boats with motors and personal watercraft vehicles, such as jet-skis. The majority of policies will cover the boat itself, as well as other equipment such as the motor, trailers, and on-board gear such as a GPS system.


Do I Need Boat Insurance?

Although boat insurance is not mandated by law in Canada, having insurance coverage in place can be tremendously handy. You’ll need to speak to your broker for your personalized policy outlines, but generally, boat insurance will provide:

  • Liability coverage for passengers who get injured on board, passengers being towed, or other individuals in the water or on another watercraft
  • Any damage to the boat, theft, or the loss of equipment attached to boat
  • Damage caused by your boat/watercraft inflicted on someone else’s property


What Will Affect My Boating Insurance Policy?

  • The size of your boat or watercraft
  • The value of your boat or watercraft
  • Where you plan to operate your boat or watercraft
  • What kind of motor your boat or watercraft uses
  • How far you plan to travel
  • How much boating experience you have

There are many other factors to be considered, but your insurance broker will be able to help you create a plan that fits the specific requirements of your watercraft.


Questions to Ask Your Broker About Boat Insurance

You want to make sure that your policy covers everything you can think of (and circumstances that haven’t occurred to you yet), so it’s imperative to ask your insurance broker the right questions. Here are some to get you started:

  • If my boat is stolen, will I be compensated in full?
  • If I forget to lock my trailer and my boat is stolen, will I still be compensated for the loss?
  • What happens if I’m driving my boat and I’m hit by someone without insurance?
  • If I break down on the road while towing my boat, will my policy cover emergency towing?
  • Would this boat policy have an impact on my other insurance policies?


Age Restrictions for Boat Operation in Canada

Age Power Restrictions
Under 12 years of age, without direct supervision Vessels with under 10 hp
Between 12 years and under 16 years of age, without direct supervision Vessels that are under 40 hp
Under the age of 16 years Not allowed to operate a PWC
16 years of age and over No power restrictions


Bear in mind that you do need a Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) to legally operate a boat with a motor.  If you are driving without one, you could be issued a fine of $250.00. Any insurance policy on the boat will also automatically be rendered null and void, so it’s worth your time to invest in the education.


How to Get Boat Insurance in Ontario

Boat insurance, in Ontario and across Canada, is an investment well worth consideration. With it, you’ll protect your property, your guests on the boat, and your fellow boaters. Let us help you determine the best boat insurance policy for you and your family.

To get started, contact Will Marshall Insurance in Orillia to learn more about our recreational insurance policies, including boating protection.


For a free, no-obligation quote, call us at 705-326-5664 or get in touch with us online.


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