Boat Insurance in Alberta: Your FAQs Answered

Whether you use your boat for fishing, watersports or relaxation, we can help you protect your boat, your passengers and yourself if something should happen. In this article, our experts answer some of our most frequently asked questions about boat insurance in Alberta. 

What types of boats can be insured in Alberta? 

We can help you insure almost any personal watercraft and boat in Alberta. This includes: 

  • Cruisers 
  • Fishing boats 
  • Houseboats 
  • Jet boats 
  • Jetskis and Skidoos 
  • Personal watercraft 
  • Pontoons 
  • Runabouts 
  • Riverboats 
  • Sailboats 
  • Speedboats 
  • Wakeboats 
  • Yachts 
  • …and more! 

Please contact us if you have a boat you would like to insure and we can discuss its eligibility for coverage. 

Do I need boat insurance in Alberta? 

We recommend boat insurance to Albertans for the following reasons: 

  • It helps cover costs if your boat is damaged or stolen 
  • It helps cover costs if someone is hurt on your boat 
  • It helps cover costs if your boat causes property damage 
  • It may be required if the boat is financed or if you have a lienholder 
  • It may be required by your marina 

If your boat isn’t insured, you will have to pay out of pocket for expenses.  

How much does boat insurance cost in Alberta? 

Your premium for boat insurance in Alberta depends on: 

  • The type of boat you own 
  • The length of the boat 
  • The boat’s engine(s) 
  • The maximum speed of the boat 
  • How you use your boat (including when, where and how frequently) 
  • Where your boat is located/stored 
  • The market value and MRSP of your boat 
  • If you ever charter your boat 
  • Your experience with boating 
  • Your insurance history 
  • Your demographics 
  • Your driving record 
  • Your insurance options such as coverage and the deductible 

There are discounts available for security devices, dry storage, and nautical training. Additional discounts may be available depending on the insurer. 

If you’re worried about your insurance costs, consider raising your deductible, investing in security devices, and speaking with your broker about other ways you can lower your rates. 

What does boat insurance cover in Alberta? 

A basic boat insurance policy will provide property damage and liability coverage for your boat: 

  • Property Damage – Damage caused by insured perils to your boat (hull, permanently attached equipment, furnishing, fittings, and machinery) as well as personal effects. Some insurers offer extensions to their coverage for boat trailers, additional equipment and personal effects. 
  • Liability Coverage – If someone is hurt by or has their property damaged by your boat or while someone is operating it, this helps cover legal, medical and other related expenses. 

Some insurers offer additional protections as part of their boat insurance policies or available as an endorsement. This includes: 

  • Environmental Liability – Can cover expenses relating to pollution caused by your boat (such as escaped gasoline). 
  • Emergency Towing – Helps cover emergency towing costs. 
  • Wreck Recovery – Covers the costs of recovering your boat after an insured peril causes it to sink. 
  • Loss of Use – If your boat is involved in a covered claim, this coverage provides funds for a rental boat to use while yours is being repaired. 
  • Living Expenses – If your boat is involved in a covered claim while you are travelling, this coverage provides funds for accommodations while your boat is being repaired. 
  • Uninsured Watercraft – If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured boat, this coverage will help cover the expenses related to the accident such as medical bills and repairs. 
  • Live Abroad – If you’re living in your boat, you’ll require some extra protection which this endorsement can cover. 

Some examples of covered physical damage perils include: 

  • Fire or explosions 
  • Impact or collision 
  • Wind 
  • Hail 
  • Lightning 
  • Theft (some insurers have limitations) 

Your policy documents will outline your coverage in detail. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your broker. 

What isn’t covered by boat insurance in Alberta? 

Boat insurance is designed for unexpected events. You won’t be covered for damages caused by a lack of maintenance or preventable causes such as: 

  • Operating a boat without a license 
  • Wear and tear 
  • Rust and corrosion 
  • Wet or dry rot 
  • Mould or mildew 
  • Marine life 
  • Operating the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs 
  • Using the boat for commercial purposes  
  • Some limitations around theft  
  • Willful misconduct or intentional acts 
  • Criminal acts 
  • Piracy  

Not all boat insurers have the same exclusions. You can find specific exclusions in your policy documents.  

How much should I insure my boat for in Alberta 

Depending on the age of your boat, you will have two options for insuring your boat: 

  • Agreed Value – Insures your boat to its market value, as agreed upon when you purchase the insurance policy. 
  • Replacement Cost – Insures your boat to its MRSP value or purchase price, usually only available for newer boats. 

You will also need to decide on your policy limits for your boat insurance. This is the maximum amount that will be paid in the event of a covered claim. There may be different limits for different sections of coverage. For example, your liability limit may be $1 million whereas your property limit may be $100,000. Your broker will help you choose the right limits for your boat.  

How is the agreed value determined for boats in Alberta? 

When determining the value of your boat, we will look at: 

  • The current market value of the boat 
  • The original purchase price of the boat 
  • If there were any upgrades or additions 
  • Recent surveys of the boat 
  • Financial interest in the boat 

We will work with you to get a fair insured value for your property.  

Can I insure my boat under my home insurance in Alberta? 

Some home insurers will allow you to add a boat to your home insurance, but it will depend on the insurer as well as the type and size of boat you own.  

In some cases, your home insurance may not offer adequate physical damage or liability coverage for your boat. You should also keep in mind that any claim on your boat is a claim on your home insurance.  

We recommend separate boat insurance as the policy is specially designed for boats and so offers the best value and best protection. However, it will always depend on your situation, so it’s best to speak with your broker. 

Is my boat covered if I lend it to a friend? 

Yes, your boat will be covered by your insurance if you lend it to a friend. It’s important you only lend your boat to a trusted, responsible individual as your policy exclusions still apply.  

Am I covered if I operate my friend’s boat? 

If you have a current boat insurance policy, have permission to operate your friend’s boat, and are operating the boat for recreational or pleasure purposes only, then yes, your policy will likely cover you. Your policy exclusions still apply! 

Can I take my boat anywhere once it’s insured in Alberta? 

If you are planning to take your boat outside of Alberta, you should discuss it with your broker. It will depend on your policy and where you plan to take the boat. You may require additional territorial coverage. 

Should I insure my boat year-round? 

Yes, you should insure your boat year-round in Alberta for the following reasons: 

  1. Boat insurance policies are designed and priced for year-round coverage.  
  2. You may see higher rates if you cancel your insurance yearly and do not stay consistently insured. 
  3. Damage to boats can happen at any time!  
  4. Your storage facility or marina may require insurance.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to get a quote for boat insurance in Alberta. 

Start a Conversation With One of Our Expert Brokers Today to Determine the Right Coverage for You.

get started