How Do I Insure My Boat in Ontario?

Apr 25, 2024

As the summer season approaches, bringing with it the promise of serene lake days and adventurous river outings, owning a boat in Ontario becomes especially exciting. Yet, with great pleasure comes significant responsibility, making it essential to secure the right boat insurance. While not legally mandated, boat insurance is crucial for protecting your hard earned investment and ensuring peace of mind as you explore Ontario's beautiful waterways. This blog delves deep into the world of boat insurance, shedding light on the various coverage options available and the factors that influence costs, all aimed at helping you make well-informed decisions as you set sail this summer. So shall we?

How do I insure my boat in Ontario?

Here's a detailed look at each step to ensure you're fully covered:

Choose the Right Insurer

Selecting the right insurer for your boat involves understanding the unique challenges and risks associated with marine insurance. While there are many companies out there that offer boat insurance, it is advantageous to consider those that specialize in marine coverage to ensure comprehensive protection. For example, Premier Marine Insurance, as a Managing General Agent, specializes in marine and boat insurance, providing policies tailored to your needs. By consulting with experts like them, you can explore a variety of coverage options and find one that best suits your boating needs.

Select Appropriate Coverage

Boat insurance can include several types of coverage, which are crucial to understand:

  • Liability Insurance: This covers damages or injuries that your boat might cause to others. It's essential for protecting yourself against claims if your boat is involved in an accident that injures someone or damages property.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This provides protection against theft, fire, vandalism, and other non-collision damages. It's important for safeguarding your investment from risks while docked or stored.
  • Collision Coverage: This pays for repairs to your boat if it is damaged in a collision with another boat or object.
  • Additional Options: Depending on your needs, you can also opt for coverage for personal effects, emergency towing, uninsured boater protection, and more, which can enhance your insurance protection significantly​

Complete an Application

When applying, you'll need to provide detailed information about your boat. This includes the make, model, age, length, type of boat, and its motor (if applicable). You'll also need to disclose how frequently the boat is used, where it's stored, and your boating history including any previous claims or boating courses you've taken. This information helps insurers assess the risk and determine your insurance premium​.

Evaluate Insurance Quotes

Once you've submitted your information, evaluate the quotes and terms provided by different insurers. Look beyond the price; consider the extent of coverage, the deductible amounts, and the exclusivity of policy benefits.

Confirm the Policy Details

Before finalizing the insurance, confirm all the details of the policy. Check the policy limits, what's included or excluded, and understand the claims process. It’s also advisable to check customer reviews and the insurer's reputation for handling claims.

Regularly Review Your Policy

Circumstances change, and so may your insurance needs. Review your policy annually to make sure it still meets your needs, especially if you've made upgrades to your boat or changed your boating habits.

How much does boat insurance cost in Ontario?

The cost of boat insurance in Ontario typically represents about 1.5% of your boat’s estimated value per year. For a boat valued at, let's say $30,000, would translate to approximately $450 annually. This estimate can fluctuate based on several factors, including the type and size of the boat, its age, usage patterns, and where it is stored or used. It is imperative to highlight that this is just an approximate number and actual costs may vary.

Is boat insurance mandatory in Ontario?

Boat insurance is not a legal requirement in Ontario, but it is practically necessary in many scenarios. For example, if you plan to dock your boat at a marina, most facilities will require proof of insurance. Similarly, if you finance your boat purchase, lenders will typically require insurance to protect the boat against potential damage or loss.

Who has the best cheapest boat insurance?

As we discussed earlier, choosing a provider that specializes in marine insurance can lead to more cost-effective options. Premier Marine Insurance is one such specialist with competitive rates and extensive coverage options. We suggest considering their Marine - Pleasurecraft Insurance, which covers most commonly owned vessels like jet boats and ski boats, among other products, as part of your comparison shopping. They are known for their deep understanding of marine insurance, which can be beneficial for finding optimal coverage for your vessel.

Is there tax on boat insurance in Ontario?

Yes, boat insurance policies in Ontario are subject to 8% Retail Sales Tax (RST) or Provincial Sales Tax (PST). This tax will be added to the cost of your insurance premium, so it’s important to account for this additional expense when budgeting for boat insurance. You can also visit to learn more about the tax implications.

What does boat insurance cover in Ontario?

Boat insurance in Ontario typically covers a range of potential risks, including damage to the boat from accidents or natural disasters, theft, and liability for any injuries or property damage caused by the boat. Policies can also cover additional risks, such as emergency towing, loss of use, personal effects, and damage from pests like zebra mussels, depending on the chosen coverage options​.

Do I need to register my boat in Ontario?

Registration is mandatory for most boats in Ontario, especially those with motors used on public waterways. The registration process involves obtaining a Pleasure Craft License, which acts like a license plate for your boat, providing it with a unique identification number.

Do I need liability insurance on a boat in Canada?

While not legally required, liability insurance is highly advisable for boat owners in Canada. This insurance covers costs associated with damage or injuries your boat might cause to others. This type of coverage is essential for protecting yourself financially in case of accidents where you are deemed at fault​.

Does trailer insurance cover the boat?

Trailer insurance generally covers only the trailer, not the boat. When towing, any physical damage to the boat while on the trailer is typically covered under the boat insurance policy, not the auto or trailer insurance. However, liability issues during towing (such as causing damage to another vehicle with your trailer) would fall under your auto insurance policy​.

Expand Your Coverage

While securing your boat is crucial, don't overlook the importance of protecting your home and vehicle. At Begin Insurance, we offer a variety of insurance options to keep your most valuable assets safe. Whether you're looking for comprehensive home insurance or auto insurance, our team is here to provide you with best and cost-effective solutions that meet your needs. Learn more about our insurance options and how we can assist you in insuring your future below:


Get a Quote Now


Understanding and choosing the right boat insurance in Ontario is crucial for any boat owner. With the right information and a carefully chosen policy, you can enjoy your time on the water with confidence, knowing that your investment is well protected. Whether you are a new boat owner or a seasoned mariner, staying informed about insurance options will help ensure your boating experience is both safe and enjoyable. If you found this post helpful and are seeking more insights, don't forget to check out our other blogs for more tips and advice.


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