Whether you’ve already bought one, are looking to get one, or already have one, Boaters insurance is a great way to protect your investment. With the summer ahead, let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions about boating insurance.   

Boat Insurance – is it mandatory? 

Boat insurance is not mandatory insurance in Ontario, however, there are a few circumstances where it may become mandatory. When you’re looking to store your boat for the summer season or for the off-seasons, many marinas and boat storage facilities require you to have insurance. If you’re planning to finance the boat, the bank will require proof of insurance for the entire length of the loan, once the boat is paid off it is no longer mandatory (but it’s still a great idea!) 

What does boat Insurance Coverage include? 

Boat insurance coverage is similar to vehicle insurance in that the policy covers the physical boat as well as liability coverage. Depending on the type of policy you choose, your liability coverage will vary. Liability coverage assists in situations where your boat has damaged property or resulted in the injury of another boater and/or passenger. For larger boats, additional coverage can be added for things like boat haulers, sonar, GPS systems, and other types of equipment. If you’re looking for a specific item to be covered, it is best to speak to your insurance agent to determine the best type of policy to cover your boat and boating equipment. Here is a handy guide to different types of boats to determine which coverage suits your needs the best.   

Rental Boat Insurance 

 If you’re looking to rent a boat in Ontario, Canada, it’s important to have insurance to protect yourself and your property in case of any accidents or damages. Here are some options for boat rental insurance in Ontario: 

  1. Boat rental company insurance: Many boat rental companies in Ontario offer insurance options for renters. This can vary depending on the company but typically includes liability coverage for damage to other boats or property, as well as physical damage coverage for the rental boat itself. Be sure to carefully review the insurance terms and limitations before renting. 
  2. Personal watercraft insurance: If you already have personal watercraft insurance for your own boat, it may extend to cover rental boats as well. Contact your insurance provider to confirm whether this is the case. 

It’s important to note that insurance requirements can vary depending on the size and type of boat you’re renting, as well as the rental company’s policies. Be sure to carefully review all insurance options and requirements before renting a boat in Ontario.

What Kind of Boat Insurance does Cayuga Mutual provide?

At Cayuga Mutual Insurance, we have two types of boat coverage:  

  1. Watercraft Insurance 
  2. Boat Owner’s Policy  

A Watercraft Floater (pun not intended!) can be added to existing residential coverage. Similar to adding an additional vehicle to an auto insurance policy, a floater can be added to your home policy to extend coverage to your boat. This type of policy is best used for small, personal boats – kayaks, paddle boats, and even some small fishing boats.  

A Boat Owner’s Policy provides coverage for larger boats such as deck boats, bowriders, catamarans, etc. These types of boats require additional insurance coverage due to their size and additional equipment needed such as motors, GPS systems, sonar equipment, etc. This type of coverage also includes separate liability coverage in the event that the boat damages property or causes injury to another boater and/or passenger.   


Things to Remember

When you’re going on a boat, either as a passenger or the operator, always remember to be prepared. There are certain safety items that are mandatory to have on board and there are age restrictions for children operating watercraft. It’s almost important to remember that Ontario has a zero-limit policy for drinking onboard a boat – even if you’re a passenger.  


Life jackets are mandatory for every person on the boat and there should always be emergency tools such as paddles, flares, a whistle, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit. If you can, keep a radio on board so you can signal for help if you ever need it. Check out this pre-departure checklist to ensure you all everything you need for a safe boating trip! 

If you’re looking for boat insurance or looking to learn more about it, contact one of our agents at 1-800-567-3381 – We’re available to answer all of your questions and provide insight into the best insurance solution for you.    


Hot tip: For full information on Ontario Boating rules, check out the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Safe Boating Guide