Avoid being unprotected on the water! Why you need Boat Insurance in BC to cover you in the event of an accident – and for peace of mind!
The right insurance coverage is integral to protecting your assets. Whether you’re already a boat owner or you’re contemplating buying a watercraft here in beautiful British Columbia, knowing the importance of boat insurance is vital.
Knowledge is power! As you enjoy your boat this summer, we want you to understand the essentials of boat insurance in BC. Let us arm you with all the critical information necessary for you to make the best decision about protecting your valuable maritime investment.
Why is boat insurance in BC important?
As with other recreational activities, boating comes with unique risks. The potential risks include damage as a result of an accident, theft, natural disasters, and liability for property damage or bodily injury. When you have the right boat insurance in BC, it helps to mitigate these risks. It also helps to provide you with vital protection financially.
Here in British Columbia, boat insurance is not mandated by law. However, most lending institutions and marinas require it. But, the fact is, when you are covered by boat insurance, you have protection in the event of the unexpected. Watercraft insurance provides you peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your time on the water freely.
The statistics alone highlight the importance of having boat insurance in BC:
- Between 2015 and 2019, Transport Canada reported an average of 150 boating accidents annually in BC.
- The most common accidents with watercraft in BC include collisions with other boats, grounding or striking objects, and capsizing or swamping.
- The Canadian Red Cross reported that, among all Canadian provinces, BC had the highest number of boating-related fatalities from 2009 to 2018.
- The BC Coroners Service reported there were 84 boating-related deaths in BC between 2010 and 2019. In 2019, there were 12 fatal boating accidents in BC, resulting in 15 deaths.
- The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reveals that alcohol consumption is a significant factor in boating accidents. Alcohol use contributes to as many as 40% of all fatal incidents.
These statistics illustrate the potential dangers and risks associated with boating in BC. However, when you have watercraft coverage, you enjoy financial protection. You have protection in the event of accidents, property damage, or liability claims.
Kinds of boat insurance:
a) Property insurance: Property insurance protects your watercraft in the event of physical damage. In most cases, whether the cause is an accident, vandalism, theft, fire or natural disaster, you’re covered. In the event of a claim, your insurance policy may provide coverage for repairs or replacement costs for your vessel, its motor, equipment, and the boat’s accessories.
b) Liability insurance: This type of insurance is critical. Liability insurance protects you if you cause an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage to others. It covers legal fees, medical expenses, and property repairs or replacements.
c) Uninsured or underinsured coverage: If you have an accident with a boater who doesn’t have insurance or whose coverage is not sufficient, this kind of coverage for you is important. It helps cover medical expenses and property damage that the boater at fault should be responsible for.
d) Coverage for medical payments: This insurance helps pay for medical expenses resulting from an accident, no matter who’s at fault. It offers coverage for expenses such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, and any necessary treatments as a follow-up.
Factors that influence watercraft insurance premiums:
a) Boat type and its value: What kind of boat you have, and the vessel’s value contributes to determining the insurance premium you will pay. Often, boats of higher value or watercraft with high-performance capabilities may have higher premiums.
b) Your boating experience: Your insurance provider will quite likely consider your boating experience. If you have more experience, chances are, you will pay lower premiums.
c) Usage and navigation area: How you use your boat and where you use it will also determine the premiums. Consider things like distance from shore, intended use (pleasure, commercial, racing), and navigation in difficult waters can negatively impact your insurance costs.
d) Safety features and equipment: If your watercraft has safety features such as fire extinguishers, navigational equipment, and anti-theft systems, you may qualify to pay lower premiums.
Other considerations affecting your insurance:
a) Deductibles: A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance coverage takes over. If you have a higher deductible, you may enjoy lower premiums. Keep in mind, however, it’s important that you only choose a deductible you can afford in the event of a claim.
b) Agreed value vs actual cash value: When insuring your watercraft, you get a choice: agreed value or actual cash value policy. When you opt for an agreed-value policy, it covers your vessel for an agreed-upon amount. Whereas an actual cash-value policy factors in depreciation – a lower payout in case of a claim.
c) Discounts: Insurance providers can offer discounts when you bundle policies, complete boating safety courses, or if you have a claims-free history. Talk to your agent to discuss the options to possibly lower your premiums.
Do you have questions about boat insurance in BC? TALK TO US!