Insuring Your Boat If your boat is financed, docked at a local marina or stored in your private boathouse, insurance can protect your liability risks. While boat insurance is not mandatory it can cover damage, liability and other unforeseen events. Types of InsuranceFor a privately owned recreational boat, your insurance options include:Hull and Machinery – provides damage coverage up to the total loss of your boat and attached equipment.Protection and Indemnity – provides liability coverage that protects you against property damage and bodily injury. It also provides help with investigating a loss and preparing your defence. If you are found to be at fault, it provides payment up to the limit listed in your policy.Medical Payments – provides coverage for incidental medical expenses due to an incident on your boat.What Insurers Need to KnowThe information that an insurance company requires about a boat and its operators is similar to the type of information it needs to provide auto insurance. It includes:The boat's length, type and valueIts condition and market value – your insurer may ask for a survey if your boat is more than 15 years oldHow frequently the boat is used, what it's used for, and how and where it is storedThe waters you typically navigate and if you ever charter your boatThe experience, loss and claims history of the owner and/or operatorsIf the operators are members of the Sail Canada or Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.If you also own a recreational property you may have outbuildings, such as a boathouse, garage or shed. You may need additional coverage to ensure that these buildings are fully protected – be aware of coverages and exclusions.6 Steps to Boat SafetyKeep your Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card with you. Federal regulations specify that anyone who operates a boat with a motor in Canada must have a PCO card.Before boating, check the weather forecast. Ensure there are no hazards, such as high winds or approaching thunderstorms.Plan ahead. Know where you are going. Getting lost on the water is no fun. Bring a map and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.Fill up the gas tank. Ensure that your boat has enough fuel for your outing. Keep tools, spare parts, a first-aid kit and other safety equipment – such as paddles, whistles and flares – on board.Ensure that every person has a lifejacket. The law requires boats to be equipped with a Canadian-approved lifejacket or PFD of an appropriate size for each person on board. Make sure your PFD is comfortable and allows for easy movement. Check that seams are intact and all snaps, belts and zippers work properly. Remember, bright colours are easier to spot in an emergency.Be responsible. Boat sober. Boats and booze don't mix. Sun, wind, noise, glare, vibrations and motion can heighten the effect of alcohol on your balance, vision, judgment and coordination. Don't allow a person who has consumed alcohol to operate a boat.Source: The tips have been adapted from "Boating and Fishing Safety Tips", courtesy of the Lifesaving Society. Learn more about boat safety. Insurance for Cottages, Camps and Other Vacation PropertiesDid you know that insurance for your vacation property works a bit differently than insurance for your primary residence?All about Home InsuranceA house is often the single largest financial investment you can make. Without insurance, your most valuable asset is vulnerable to fire, theft and other disasters. Related ServicesCottage CoverageRecreational property insurance works somewhat differently than insurance for your primary home. How your cottage is used and how often it is occupied will dictate which insurance packages are appropriate. Useful LinksBuying Home InsuranceAs a homeowner, you need to insure your house for replacement costs so that in the event of serious damage or destruction you have adequate coverage. Be sure to keep your home insurance current by reporting material changes or upgrades.Home Inventory ApplicationA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.Heritage PropertiesWhen insuring your heritage home, shop around, reduce risk, keep accurate records, document unique characteristics and buy sufficient insurance. If the property is damaged, be mindful of planning approvals, appraisal expertise, by-laws, claims settlement costs, distinctive features and contaminants.Boat safety tipsThe Lifesaving Society gathers statistics so it can target its public education efforts and lifesaving courses to those who are most at risk. We urge you and your family to take a course today—you’ll learn prevention strategies, self-rescue, rescue of others and basic first aid.