What Boaters Need to Know about Updates to Canada’s Marine Liability Act

Mar 2, 2024
Categories: Cottage · Home Insurance
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While there may still be snow and ice on some bodies of water in Ontario, we know eager boaters are thinking about the upcoming season.

Before putting your personal boat or watercraft in the water for the first time this year, take a moment to review the important updates to the Marine Liability Act in Canada.

Recently the liability limit for owners of boats and other watercrafts increased. This is the maximum amount a boater can be found liable for their involvement in an incident on the water with their watercraft (less than 300 tons).

Marine Liability Act Update

Last year, the maximum liability for maritime claims increased to $2,250,000 plus interest and costs, a significant 50% increase over the previous limit of $1,500,000.

Under the updated Marine Liability Act, the limit of liability for loss of life or personal injury increased from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000, and the limits for claims for damage to property, and any other claims, increased from $500,000 to $750,000.

As a result, the change in liability limits can cause a recreational boater to be underinsured if found liable for an incident.

From a personal insurance perspective, there are a couple of options that boat owners should consider, including:

  1. Increasing the liability limit on your watercraft policy;
  2. Purchase a separate Personal Umbrella policy
    1. This may be the most cost-effective choice to protect against personal liability, whether you’re on land or on the water. For example: Carry the standard $1 million in liability from your car, home, and boat policies plus have an umbrella policy to increase your limits. Umbrella Policies are available starting at $1,000,000 but can provide even greater protection and peace of mind with limits that go up to $10,000,000.

Are You A Boater?

Whether you’re getting ready to launch your boat this season or reviewing your seasonal property insurance before the spring, start by chatting with a Staebler Insurance Broker. They’re happy to answer any questions and provide professional advice on what makes sense for your unique situation.

. . .

Staebler Insurance is a general insurance broker specializing in car insurance, home insurance, small business, and commercial insurance. Staebler brokers proudly serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Listowel, Fergus, Elora, Wellington County, Perth County, Waterloo Region and southern Ontario. Get a Quote to get started today.

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