What Isn’t Covered by Boat Insurance?
There is no “one-size fits all” policy for boat insurance, since boat insurance isn’t standardized like auto and car insurance. You may need to adjust or add coverage depending on the location of your boat, the way it is used, any accessories, customization and how you store your watercraft.
You should also consider added endorsements and modifications to your boat insurance policy such as:
- Accessories for boating
- Custom equipment
- Special trip endorsements
Some things not covered by a standard boat insurance policy include:
While most policies do not cover wear and tear, you can add consequential damages that can cover losses due to failed parts on your watercraft.
- Special Trip Endorsements
Your insurance company should be notified if you intend to travel outside Canada and the U.S. in your boat — such as to Mexico or the Bahamas. Boat insurance policies won’t cover your boat if it isn’t in Canadian or U.S. territorial water. To provide temporary coverage for your boat while it is in international waters, you will need a trip endorsement.
Unless otherwise stated in the policy, most insurance companies will not cover boat equipment or accessories, such as:
- Electronic equipment including radar
- Navigation/GPS systems and fish finders
- Life jackets
Modifications to boats
Talk to our expert boat insurance brokers about customizations and accessories to ensure that your boat is covered. To ensure adequate protection, most insurance companies will recommend that you purchase personal effects coverage as well as supplemental boat coverage.
Boat coverage doesn’t cover your boat for any races and other special events. Talk to a specialist if you intend to use your watercraft in competitions.
Additional liability insurance may be a good option. You will need enough coverage for your boat as well as the boat of the other driver in case of a collision while racing.
Boat insurance shares some similarities to auto policies — it only covers drivers named on the policy. Your insurance might not cover damages if you allow another person to drive your boat if they are not listed on your policy.
Boater insurance policies assume that you will use your boat only for pleasure purposes. In other words, entertaining guests on your boat is not considered a violation of your “use clause.”
But you could violate your use clause if passengers pay for the privilege to ride on your boat. You must notify your insurance company immediately if the boat is rented out for any other purposes. If your insurance company discovers that your boat was being used to conduct business, you may not be covered for any damage that occurs
Your insurance company may not pay for repairs if your boat is damaged by termites or barnacles. Most insurance companies exclude damage caused by mold, insects or animals from watercraft policies as such damage can typically be prevented by proactive maintenance.
- Faulty Machinery and Accessories
Boater insurance policies don’t cover machinery or parts that are damaged or need to be replaced due to poor maintenance or misuse. Your insurance company may be able to cover damage to boat machinery and parts due to a covered risk or hazard. Each insurance company is different, so speak with our expert boat insurance brokers to find out what coverage insurers offer and whether there are any limitations.
- Proper Transportation and Storage
Boat coverage is required all year. However, discounts may be offered if a boat is kept off-season (also known as a winter layup period). Basic policies usually cover theft, fire, vandalism and winter storms during the off-season. Our brokers can provide more information about this coverage.
You will, however, be responsible for damage to your watercraft if it is damaged due to improper storage or transport. For example, if you fail to secure the vessel properly before it is taken to storage, and it falls off the trailer, your boat insurance won’t cover the damage.