There’s nothing like the feeling of hitting the open water in your boat, with the wind in your hair, the fresh air in your lungs, and clear, sunny skies for miles. But owning a boat is also an exercise in risk management. Your Alberta boat insurance should do more than just protect your watercraft while you’re on the water.
Ahead we’ll cover the basics of Alberta boat insurance both in and out of the water, along with a look at rules to remember for operating watercraft safely.
How to Make Sure Your Policy Covers the Essentials
Just as with driving a car, operating a boat or watercraft exposes you to liability risks regardless of your skill level. If you’re in a boating accident or a passenger is injured while traveling in your boat, your boater’s liability insurance protects you financially. Your insurance broker can help you identify the right liability limits for your watercraft. The right watercraft insurance policy will also cover the most common risks for watercraft owners:
- Hull, Motors, and Equipment – Your hull keeps you afloat, your motor keeps you moving, and your equipment keeps you from getting lost. Make sure that your watercraft insurance covers all of the essentials, including any valuable navigation equipment you keep on board.
- Trailer – Many watercraft insurance claims are due to incidents on land, when operators are storing or moving their boat. Make sure that your trailer is covered, in case anything happens on the road.
- Towing – Even the most experienced watercraft operators can’t do much when the motor won’t work. Breakdowns happen, and an emergency tow is never cheap. Check that your Alberta boat insurance covers towing, just in case.
- Non-Motorized Watercraft – A good homeowner’s policy will typically cover a kayak, canoe, or other small watercraft of average value, but if yours is especially valuable then you may need to look into enhancing your coverage. Home insurance policies have special limits for valuables, but most providers offer additional coverage options for high-value items.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need Before Hitting the Water This Season
If you want to make the most of your time on the water, it’s always best to do things by the book. Start by making sure that you have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which is required for anyone who operates a powered watercraft and is valid in any province once you obtain it. You’ll also want to brush up on the most common watercraft-related fines, and how to avoid them.
- Lifejackets – The fine for not having enough lifejackets on board is $200, and lifejackets really do save lives. Check the regulations, and make sure you always have the right number.
- Careless Operation – Operating your watercraft carelessly comes with a fine of $200, with the potential for significantly higher costs. Speeding will add another $100 to the tab, and significantly increase your chances of an accident.
- Underage Operation – There’s no getting around the age requirements for who can legally operate are strict, and testing the waters is an expensive proposition. The owner of the boat can expect a $250 fine for allowing underage operation, while the underage operator faces a fine of $100.
Lane’s Insurance of Calgary for all Your Coverage Needs
For many watercraft owners, spending time on the water is part of a larger, longer vacation. If you own a vacation cabin where you use watercraft, take the time to make sure you have the necessary coverage in place for your cabin. With the basics of Alberta boat insurance out of the way, you’ll be free to enjoy your time on the water with peace of mind.
The team at Lane’s Insurance is here to help with all of your personal and business insurance needs in Alberta. Consult our free resources to learn more about insurance, or start shopping with a home insurance quote from our team!