Insuring your pleasure craft

As the warm weather and our gradual deconfinement approaches, perhaps you are planning on launching your boat in the next few days? The boating season is rather short, so it must live up to your expectations – a loss becomes most shocking when it prevents us from taking full advantage of our boat. See how to properly insure your pleasure craft for a safe and successful boating season!

Because of COVID-19, the Canadian government is providing physical distancing regulations for Canadian boaters:

  • Only the people living under your roof will be able to be on your boat
  • The social distance of 2 metres is applicable between boats
  • Wearing a non-medical face mask is strongly suggested

For more details, refer to their informative document on this subject.


1. Lightning

Here is an example of an unfortunate accident that shortened the summer of several boat users. Lightning struck the mast of a sailboat moored in a marina near twenty or so other boats secured to the same dock. The current load short-circuited the electronic systems of a number of pleasure crafts, and the lightning even pierced the hull of another boat on its way out.


Theft is another one of the most common issues in the nautical world. In fact, a study found that about 1 out of every 200 boats is stolen each year. It is also common for secondary boats, such as Zodiac-type boats, or outboard lower units to be stolen. These situations are also common during storage if boats are not stored in well-protected warehouses, or if they are stored in outdoor yards that are easily accessible.


The most common reason for loss on the water is the boat colliding with the bottom of the body of water (bottom contact). This unfortunate situation affects boaters at least once in their lives. In such circumstances, the most effective solution is to use a GPS, which will tell you the depth of the water as well as the paths to follow to avoid finding yourself neck deep in water.



If you find yourself in one of these situations, it is important to know that there are services your insurer can offer you to cover certain costs resulting from the loss, depending on your coverage and the reason for the loss:

  • Additional living expenses: Covers costs related to housing and other basic needs, such as food.
  • Loss of use: Covers costs incurred to allow you to continue to enjoy the use of your property. For example, you could have access to a replacement boat during the repair period.
  • Search and rescue costs: Covers costs incurred to find anyone lost at sea when the person was initially on the boat.
  • Towing costs in the event of mechanical breakdown.
  • Fire fees: Covers fees charged by the fire department to protect the insured boat.



Here are some useful tips to prevent these unfortunate situations:

  • Keep an updated list of belongings and equipment that you keep on board. This list could be a simple, small file that includes a list of what is on the boat, as well as a record of serial numbers of your outboard lower units and several photos. Now you are better prepared!
  • Use approved anti-theft locks on your towlines.
  • Just like for your car, it is possible to mark your boats with anti-theft marking. This will prevent the resale of your boat’s parts if it is stolen.
  • Have a camera or tracking system. You can then obtain images to find wrongdoers and relocate stolen items, no matter where they are.
  • Have good insurance coverage, since, of course, there is nothing like full protection to get you out of a jam!

For more information, call your Lareau broker so that together, we can ensure that your summer will be as safe as possible and free of mishaps! Now that you are well informed of the issues that may occur and how to handle them, all that’s left to do is to put on your bathing suits and enjoy your boat.

Have a great summer, boaters!


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