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Everything Manitobans Need To Know About Boat Insurance

Person Driving Boat on Lake
March 23, 2022


You did it! You bought a boat. And you cannot wait to get out to the lake and take it out on the water this summer! We are with you! Let’s just make sure you’re covered first—so the summer doesn’t go from fun and freeing to stressful and sticky. 

We’re breaking down what boat insurance is, what it covers, and why it’s key to getting you into the summertime state of mind you so deserve. Because, trust us, the LAST thing you need is to find out the hard way that your existing insurance doesn’t cover you, or your boat, as much as you thought!

How Boat Insurance Works in Manitoba

Whether it’s home, renters, vehicle, or health insurance, most of us have used some type of insurance in the past. And boat insurance isn’t all that different. It helps cover you and your personal watercraft against liability, theft, and sudden accidental property damage.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to cover damages to your boat or someone else’s, simply file a claim for the damages. As long as the claim you file is for a covered incident, you’ll be paid for the losses or injuries, up to your previously agreed upon coverage limits.

Can You Drive A Boat Without Insurance?

Yes, you can drive your boat without insurance. Boat insurance isn’t legally required in Manitoba. But many people, including us, would advise against it.

Why? Because all it takes is one split second—whether it’s your child trying to grab your attention, your valiant attempt at multi-tasking gone wrong, or someone else’s error in judgment—for things to go underwater. And, when dealing with an accident, the last thing you want to be worried about is the financial stress of paying for injuries or damages.

With boat insurance in place, your policy takes care of all that for you. So you can focus on making sure all the people and boats involved are okay.

What Boat Insurance Covers in Manitoba

The specific boat insurance coverage you have will come down to the policy you decide to purchase. Things like how often you use your watercraft, where you tend to ride, and how much you’re able to spend per year can impact the type of coverage you get.

Generally speaking, though, your insurance will cover:

  • Damage to your boat’s hull, sails, equipment, furnishings, motor, and trailer
  • Liability
  • Replacement costs for newer boats
  • Agreed hull value or actual cash value
  • Fuel spill liability
  • Medical payments
  • Salvage coverage and wreck removal
  • Uninsured boater protection
  • Damage to another boat
  • Damage to other property caused by your boat
  • Bodily injury/death of another person

We recommend speaking to one of our Insurance Consultants to find the plan that best suits you!

Does Boat Insurance Cover Damage, Repairs & Replacement Costs From Boating Accidents?

Yes! Boat insurance covers the costs of repairing damage and replacing parts after an accident. The payout and amount of repairs covered will depend on the type of insurance you have though, so be sure to ask these questions when deciding the best policy for you.

And, if you find yourself in a more serious situation where your entire boat needs to be replaced, your insurance company will typically pay you out either the actual cash value or the replacement cost of your boat.

Does Boat Insurance Include Liability Coverages? What About Things Like Medical Payments?

Yes, most watercraft insurance policies include at least one million dollars in liability insurance coverage. Why? Because surprisingly, legal charges often accompany boating accidents—regardless of whether or not medical attention was needed by one or both parties. And these charges can be high—high enough to sink most of us—you without the proper coverage in place.

The same goes for medical expenses. At least to some extent, they will be covered by your boat insurance policy. So you can rest easy knowing you’re covered!

Does Boat Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

Yes! Boat insurance would also cover you if your boat was out in a storm (or docked during a storm) and needed to be fixed. (Whew!)

Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

Yes, your boat insurance plan would also cover you for theft of your boat or the possessions you keep aboard it.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Your Boat Trailer?

Yes, most boat insurance policies will cover your boat trailer, but it’s important to note that there’s a limit on the protection your insurer will cover. So it’s best to ask about this specifically when you speak to your insurer!

Does Boat Insurance Cover Other Drivers?

Yes, but only if they’re listed on your policy. When signing up for boat insurance, your Insurance Consultant will ask you who else you plan on allowing to drive your watercraft. 

Not 100% sure who’ll be driving at the time of purchase? No worries. You can avoid listing specific drivers by name by purchasing an umbrella policy, which covers any driver operating the boat—as long as they are not explicitly excluded from the policy.

Is Additional Boat Insurance Coverage Available As An Add-On?

Yes, you can tailor your boat insurance policy to fit you and your boating needs by adding on:

  • Multiple towing options, on and off the water
  • Disappearing deductibles
  • Coverage for your personal property
  • Coverage for your fishing equipment
  • Ice and freezing coverage

Is Boat Insurance Covered Under Homeowner’s Insurance?

Many people ask why they should get boat insurance when homeowners’ insurance policies can partially cover watercrafts. The reason is simple: most homeowner policies limit their coverage for things like furniture, equipment, motors, and accessories. This limit is usually relatively low and typically won’t cover a boat in its entirety–leaving you and your boat on dry land. So, even though your existing policy may offer some coverage, we recommend topping up. 

The simplest way to do this is by adding your boat on to your policy as a floater (something that is easily movable), which grants you additional coverage. Just be aware that if you’re currently benefiting from a Claims Free Discount on your home insurance (because you haven’t had a claim in years and are therefore paying a lower rate), claiming your boat would impact that, meaning your premiums may go up as a result of losing that discount.

How Much Is Boat Insurance in Manitoba?

The average cost of boat insurance in Manitoba ranges from $200 – $500 a year, depending on the year, make, model, and value of your watercraft. If you have a more expensive or larger boat like a sailboat or a yacht, boat insurance rates will be higher. In these cases, you’ll find yourself paying approximately between 1–5 % of the value of the boat.

Manitoba Boat Insurance FAQs

Yes, the amount and type of insurance you need for your boat depends on the year, make, and model of your boat. For larger, more expensive boats, a Marine Survey may be required.

No, boat Insurance does not extend to Jet Skis. You would get separate property coverage for your Jet Ski!

How To Insure Your Boat In Manitoba

The best way is to reach out to us! We’ll connect you with your very own Insurance Consultant, who will help you figure out exactly what coverage you need and how to get it for the best price. We can also answer any additional questions you have and talk through all your boat insurance options to make sure we find the best plan for you.

What To Bring With You When You Insure Your Boat

In order to get the most out of your appointment, we recommend coming prepared! Use the list below to make sure you have all the information we will need to get you started.

  • Your boat’s length, type, and value.
  • Its condition and market value. (If you’re unsure, or if your boat is more than 15 years old, we may ask for a Marine Survey of your boat.)
  • How frequently you use your boat, its primary use, and how and where you store it.
  • The waters you typically use your boat on, and if you ever charter your boat.
  • The experience and insurance claims history of you, the boat owner, and any other operators.
  • If you or any of the boat operators are members of the Sail Canada or Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.

Let’s Get You Covered!

Buying a boat is fun—or at least, it should be! So, let us deal with the stickier parts so you can focus on the important things, like where you’re going to go boating next. Plus, getting insurance just got easier. Simply head over to our website and purchase your insurance policy online!

What are you waiting for? Click the button, and let’s get you ready for summertime cruisin’.