Three people on a white speedboat in a summer day.

Insider Boat Insurance Tips for a Great Boating Season

Spring is coming soon, which means summer is on the horizon. Whether you are a new boat owner or a seasoned captain, it’s always good to brush up on best practices and prevent liabilities. The more you are educated before boating season the better. So before you launch, here are some tips from our insurance experts to help prepare you for the first voyage of the season!

Let our Marine Division professionals find the best coverage for you.


Details of a boat on the water.

What you need to know about your boat to insure

When heading to meet with your insurance provider, it is better to come prepared! There are some easy questions that will be asked of you, but if you don’t know the basics of your boat history, it may be challenging for your agent to provide an accurate quote and you could end up needing a second visit. Save yourself time by using this checklist to collect information before visiting your local office:

  • The boat’s length, type, and value
  • Condition and market value – your local Johnston Meier Insurance agent may ask for a survey if your boat is more than 15 years old
  • How frequently the boat is used, what it’s used for, and how and where it is stored
  • The waters you typically navigate and if you ever charter your boat
  • Your experience, loss and claims history
  • Whether you are a member of the Sail Canada or Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.

A motorboat at sunset in the summer.

Marine Surveys

A marine survey is important for your insurance and an essential way to make sure your boat is ready for the summer season! The survey is a detailed appraisal of your boat including what repairs need to be done before you take it out on the water. A qualified surveyor will also determine how important it may or may not be for those repairs to be done sooner rather than later. The survey will include a variety of details to asses the boat’s safety, navigation, structure, machinery and more. Both the interior and exterior will be inspected to help determine insurance rates and give you a green light for a safe boating season!

Lay-up period

A lay-up period is when your boat is not being used and is laid-up ashore or afloat. This is typical during the winter months when the weather is too cold to go boating. It is important to inform your Johnston Meier Insurance agent when this period is for you. Your insurance will likely still be active (depending on your plan) but will be reduced. Speak to your local insurance agent to see what is included in your plan.

A sailboat on a sunny day with a view of the mountains.

Know the Marine Liability Act

Take time to learn what is included in Canada’s Marine Liability Act. The Marine Liability Act dictates that a boat owner is legally responsible for up to $1.5 million in the event of an accident. If you are found liable, you will have to pay up to that amount. So, it’s best to make sure you are covered by insurance and make sure you know the laws to take them seriously when out on the water. It includes laws on personal injury, liability for boat owners, carrying passengers, carriage of goods, pollution, claims and other important regulations. It’s better to be safe and informed ahead of time so that you can enjoy a worry-free summer boating season!

Confirm your insurance is adequate

There are many myths and misconceptions about boat insurance and the process is not always simple as automobile or homeowner policies. If you are a new boat owner buying insurance for the first time or you’re seeking to renew and/or upgrade your policy, you will want to sit down with an insurance broker that specializes in boat and marine insurance, to make sure you are adequately covered for your needs.

Whether a pleasure boat or commercial venture, we’ll get you the best policy at the best rate for your specific requirements. We’ve been providing insurance coverage for vessel owners for over 35 years, so you can count on the knowledge and experience of our Marine Insurance Team to assess your situation and meet all your boat and marine insurance needs. Get in touch today.

© Johnston Meier Insurance Agencies Group 2024