No ESI data
Skip to main content
Boat Insurance
Mar 18, 2024
3 min
How To Get Boat Insurance For Older Boats

Do you love the feeling of being out and about on the open water? Can you not get enough of the wind in your hair and the mist on your face? You’re not alone — countless Canadians spend their summers zipping around on their boats while visiting their cottages

Many Canadians use their boats for recreation, travel and general utility. Plus, boating is a fantastic way to spend time outdoors with your friends or family. If you have your own boat, you can take it out for a spin practically any time that you please (as long as you follow the rules, of course).

Before going on your next adventure, we suggest that you take a moment to learn the ins and outs of boat insurance, especially if you own an older watercraft. This article will go over what boat insurance is, why it’s important, and how to get boat insurance for older boats in Canada.

What is boat insurance in Canada and why is it important?

Boat insurance (occasionally referred to as watercraft insurance) is a type of coverage that financially protects boats in a number of ways. Most boat insurance policies cover third-party liability-related issues, like property damage, injury or death. 

Some watercraft insurance policies also cover physical damage to your boat, the equipment and accessories, along with the contents of said boat.

*The information mentioned above is influenced by the type and level of boat insurance that you have. Speak with your licensed Surex insurance advisor for more details.*

How much does boat insurance coverage cost in Canada?

Your boat insurance rates are directly influenced by the value of your watercraft. In most cases, your annual boat insurance costs should be approximately 1.5% of your boat’s value.

The average cost of a boat in Canada ranges from $60,000 to $75,000. So, if you paid the average amount (let’s go with $75,000), then your annual boat insurance expenses should be about $1,125.

Thankfully, there’s a way to save on boat insurance…

Team up with Surex to save on boat insurance in Canada

We know that boat insurance can be pricey. This additional cost can make boating feel like an expensive hobby. However, you shouldn’t let that keep you off of the water!

Whether you’re searching for boat insurance for the first time or are thinking about shopping your policy around, the Surex team has you covered.

Our team of licensed insurance advisors (our preferred term for insurance brokers) knows a thing or two about boat insurance. To be honest, insurance, in general, is kind of our thing. So when you come to us with questions about any type of insurance, including boat coverage, we’re more than happy to help.

Once we’ve answered your questions, we can help you find and compare quotes from the most reputable boat insurance providers in the country. 

Call or click today to learn how we can help you find the cheapest, best boat insurance for old boats and brand-new watercraft in Canada. 

Is boat insurance legally required in Canada?

In regards to the legal requirements, you don't need to purchase insurance if you use your boat for recreational purposes.

However, we highly recommend that you purchase boat insurance. For instance, if you happen to get into an accident with another watercraft, you may be responsible for paying for any issues that occur. If you don’t have boat insurance, you will have to pay for all of the expenses out of pocket.

Bonus — You may be legally required to register your boat (depending on size and other details). Click the link to learn about the boat registration process in Alberta.

What are the various types of boat insurance in Canada?

There are three boat insurance options in Canada: hull and machinery, protection and indemnity and medical payments.

Hull and machinery — Provides coverage for the boat and/or equipment that gets damaged (up to the total loss).

Protection and indemnity — A form of liability coverage that financially protects boat owners if they are involved in an accident that damages third party property or causes a death/injury. Protection and indemnity coverage pays up to the limit in the policy if you are deemed at fault for the event.

Medical payments — Covers unforeseen medical expenses resulting from an accident on the boat.

What information do you need to provide in order to obtain boat insurance in Canada?

Canadian insurance providers and advisors require boat owners to provide the following information if they want to purchase boat insurance:

  • Length of the boat
  • Value of the boat
  • Type of boat
  • Frequency of boat usage
  • How and where you store the boat
  • Frequent areas of usage
  • Whether or not you’ve chartered a boat before
  • Loss and claims history

If your boat is 15 years old or older, your insurance provider or advisor may ask you to complete a boat survey. This is an important step that you’ll need to take if you want to spend time on the water.

What is a boat survey?

In short, a boat survey is a thorough inspection in which a professional surveyor assesses the moisture levels of the following boat components:

  • Hull
  • Decks
  • Bulkheads
  • Stringers transom
  • Superstructure
  • Frame

The surveyor will also assess the osmosis, quality of underwater components, and electrolysis activity during the survey process.

Insurance companies require boat owners to complete boat surveys due to the fact that they are able to learn important information, like the value and overall condition of the boat. It also gives the boat owner a general idea of what maintenance may be required in the future.

Boating safety tips

Even if you have quality boat insurance, you should do everything that you can to stay out of harm’s way on the water. Doing this will keep you, your passengers and other boaters safe.

Some tried-and-true boating safety tips include:

  • Check the local weather conditions before going on the water
  • Plan ahead and know your route
  • Ensure your boat has a full tank of gas
  • Keep a first-aid kit on board
  • Make sure there are enough life jackets for the operator/s and passenger/s
  • Do not operate your watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Utilizing these tips will drastically increase your chances of staying safe on the water.

Find the best insurance rates today.

Our Reviews

Start an insurance quote now