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General Questions about Boat Insurance

What do I ask when I’m looking for boat insurance?

  1. If something happens to my boat how much money do I get?

It is extremely important to verify the policy type with your insurer. There are two kinds of policies available: Actual Cash Value and Agreed Value. These terms refer to how the insurer will calculate the maximum payout in the event of a loss.

Actual Cash value means that the insurer will apply depreciation to the replacement value of the vessel to determine the maximum settlement amount, so you may not receive the full value listed on your policy. To determine the depreciation amount the insurance company will consider all of the following:

– Condition of the vessel immediately prior to the damage,
– Re-sale value of that vessel and,
– Normal life expectancy of the vessel.

Agreed Value means that the insurer agrees to pay the full value listed on your policy declarations page in the event of a total loss; depreciation will not be applied.
An Agreed Value policy is the better option and provides you, the insured, with peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.

  1. If I hit a rock and damage my lower unit, do I get new parts or aftermarket or rebuilt parts to fix it?

Not all insurers will replace your old parts for new ones after a loss occurs; many will repair/replace with aftermarket or rebuilt parts. When obtaining quotes it is always a good idea to ask a company about their ‘Basis of Claim Settlement’ clause to verify what that company will provide for you.

  1. If I choose not to lock up my boat or trailer or I forget one day and my boat is stolen will it still be covered?

Many companies will have ‘Lock Warranties’ or ’Theft Restrictions’ listed in their policy wordings that indicate specific conditions that must be met for coverage to apply. For example some will dictate that your boat must be locked in a specific way, or stored in a locked facility at all times or that there must be signs of forced entry for any theft coverage to apply. We don’t. Although, we do agree that it is very important for everyone to protect their vessel(s) to the best of their ability and we recommend that they take as many precautions as possible to prevent the theft of their property.

  1. Can I use my boat for watersports? What happens if someone gets hurt?

Be sure to ask if Watersports Liability is included in the policy wordings. Some companies will not offer this coverage at all and some will only offer it on specific styles of vessels. It is a good idea to confirm whether or not this coverage will apply to you and your vessel. Secondly, you should also verify the limit of insurance under this coverage. It is a good idea to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 coverage however $2,000,000 would be preferable. We automatically include up to $2,000,000 coverage for watersports liability on all types of vessels.

  1. Does this policy include wreck removal and accidental pollution liability?

If your boat is in an accident, or sinks, and leaks oil or gas into the waterway you are not only responsible for the recovery of your boat but also for the environmental clean-up unless coverage is provided under your insurance policy. It is a good idea to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 coverage however $2,000,000 would be preferable. Our policies include up to $2,000,000 coverage for environmental liability, including wreck removal.

  1. What happens if another boater hurts you and they don’t have insurance?

Boat Insurance is not mandatory in Ontario and as a result there is a higher chance of injury caused by an uninsured vessel because people simply don’t purchase it. Without having uninsured boater coverage on your policy any compensation for your injuries would be limited to the monetary worth of the individual who injured you. This could lead to very little compensation for your injuries, you having to pay for your own medical expenses, or worse yet, you could be left without an income if you are unable to return to work. If the uninsured boater coverage is included on your policy you would have coverage up to the limit stated on your policy declarations page. It is a good idea to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 however $2,000,000 would be preferable. We included up to $2,000,000 for uninsured boater automatically in our policy wordings.

  1. Does the policy cover Emergency Towing?

Emergency towing is a nice coverage to have included on your policy, it acts as a little extra peace of mind knowing that if you become stranded compensation is available for some or all of your costs. Some policies will automatically include this coverage, sometimes it may have to be added separately and some companies won’t have this coverage available. Our policy includes coverage up to $5,000 for on-water emergency towing as we recognize the convenience and relevance of having this coverage.

  1. If I have a claim on my boat does it affect any of my other insurance policies like my house policy?

It is important to find a marine policy that is not attached to any other policy in any way. Marine insurance typically gets attached to a home insurance policy, or written as an extension of the home policy, and if a claim occurs, the premium will not only increase on the marine insurance, but the home insurance as well. It’s also good to keep in mind that companies who typically write home and auto insurance, tend not to specialize in marine insurance. Although their intention is to be helpful they simply cannot provide some of the extra coverages or knowledge that a marine specific company would automatically have included on their policy. We are marine specialists, it’s all we do. By purchasing a stand-alone marine policy through our office you are not only getting the separation of risk from any other policy, but also a special product, more tailored to boaters needs.

Pontoon Boat Insurance

Whether for cruising, entertaining or fishing, your pontoon boat is definitely a lifestyle choice.  There are certain types of coverage that are particularly important to consider when you’re shopping for boat insurance for your pontoon.  Here are a few.

1. Storm damage

Pontoons ride higher in the water; they’re lighter and have large tops.  This makes them vulnerable to high winds and waves.  A Northstar Marine Insurance policy includes storm damage automatically so you can rest easy when the clouds roll in.

2. Vermin

There is nothing raccoons love more than cozy upholstery and your pontoon boat is full of it.  Pontoon boats are often used for entertaining and any leftover crumb can attract mice and other unwanted visitors. There are marine policies out there that exclude vermin damage.  At Northstar we know that your average critter can cause a lot of damage and we have you covered by automatically including vermin coverage.

3. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without depreciation.

4. Loss of Use

There is nothing worse than having friends up to the cottage for the weekend only to find out your boat is laid up because you’ve had a claim.  A Northstar policy includes loss of use coverage for just this case!  While your boat is being repaired as a result of a claim, we will cover the cost of a rental boat.*

5. Emergency Towing

Should you have a mechanical breakdown on the water and call in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance separately and secondly, it ensures you’re not left footing the bill for a costly tow.  Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible. We just want you safely off the water. *

*Limits apply

Ski/Wakeboard boat Insurance

Wakeboard and Ski boats have come a long way. They are powerful machines fine- tuned for performance.  These boats are a significant investment and there are certain boat insurance coverages that are very important.  Here are a few things to consider.

1. Watersports liability

Did you know that not all marine insurance policies automatically include watersports liability relying on you to request it be added?  Wakeboard and Ski boats are designed specifically for this purpose so you want to make sure you have a high liability limit to protect you if someone is injured while skiing.  A Northstar Marine Insurance policy automatically includes watersports up to $2 million.

2. Personal Effects

Personal effects refers to the personal items you have with you on the boat, including wakeboards, water-skis, smartphones for photos etc.  Northstar automatically includes coverage for personal effects. *

3. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without any depreciation.

4. Vermin

There is nothing raccoons love more than cozy upholstery and your boat is full of it.  There are marine policies out there that exclude vermin damage.  At Northstar we know that your average raccoon can cause a lot of damage and we have you covered by automatically including vermin coverage.

5. Loss of Use

There is nothing worse than having friends up to the cottage for the weekend only to find out your boat is laid up because you’ve had a claim.  A Northstar policy includes loss of use coverage for just this case!  While your boat is being repaired as a result of a claim, we will cover the cost of a rental boat.*

6. Emergency Towing

Should you have a mechanical breakdown on the water and call in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance separately and secondly, it ensures you are not left footing the bill for a costly tow.  Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible. We just want you safely off the water. *

*Limits apply

Runabout / Bowrider Insurance

The runabout is the ultimate family boat, from bowriders to deckboats, sterndrives to outboard engines. What kind of coverages are important for the average runabout owner?  Here are a few things to think about when you’re shopping for boat insurance.

1. Watersports liability

Did you know that not all marine insurance policies automatically include watersports liability relying on you to request it?  A Northstar policy makes it easy; watersports liability is included automatically and the limit is the same as your general liability limit.  No surprises.

2. Vermin

There is nothing raccoons love more than cozy upholstery and your boat is full of it.  There are marine policies out there that exclude vermin damage.  At Northstar we know that your average raccoon can cause a lot of damage and we have you covered by automatically including vermin coverage.

3. Medical Payments / Accidental Death

Boating is fun and relaxing but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned.  While we don’t like to think about it, a Northstar policy includes medical payments and accidental death coverage for you and your family.*

4. Loss of Use

There is nothing worse than having friends up to the cottage for the weekend only to find out your boat is laid up because you’ve had a claim.  A Northstar policy includes loss of use coverage for just this case!  While your boat is being repaired as a result of a claim, we will cover the cost of a rental boat.*

5. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without any depreciation.

6. Emergency Towing

Should you have a mechanical breakdown on the water and call in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance separately and secondly, it ensures you are not left footing the bill for a costly tow.  Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible. We just want you safely off the water. *

*Limits apply

Cruiser Insurance

You shopped long and hard and decided on the boat that offers you the lifestyle of your choice, whether it be entertaining family, cruising to the Bahamas or spending time with your friends at the marina.  You have made a significant investment and deserve coverage that is catered to you.  Here are some things to consider when you are shopping for boat insurance.

1. Personal Effects

As the boat size grows, the contents increase.  Northstar automatically includes a limit for personal effects and this can be adjusted to suit your needs.

2. Emergency Towing

With a bigger boat comes the ability to venture further offshore.  Should something happen and you radio in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance separately and secondly, it ensures you are not left footing the bill for a costly tow. Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible.  We just want you safely off the water.*

3. Navigation Extensions

If you like to travel and are planning a winter escape South, a Northstar policy has options for navigation extensions that are quick, easy and affordable!

4. Medical Payments / Accidental Death
Boating is fun and relaxing but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned.  While we don’t like to think about it, a Northstar policy includes medical payments and accidental death coverage for you and your family.*

5. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without any depreciation.

*Limits apply

Personal Watercraft Insurance

Did you know that more people bought Personal Watercraft in 2013 than any other type of boat![1] If you’re the proud owner of a PWC you’re part of a growing trend and the marine insurance industry has been sitting up and taking notice.  Where once boat insurance companies approached PWC insurance with caution, they are now embracing these vessels and designing coverages specifically for them.

Here are some important coverages to consider as you’re looking for the right policy for you.

1. Ingestion coverage.

Jet drives work by sucking up water and turning it back out but that water isn’t always free of debris.  Personal watercraft are renowned for sucking up weeds or even their own ropes, causing extensive engine damage.  A Northstar policy has coverage for ingestion.

2. Theft

With popularity, comes risk.  Personal watercraft are highly sought after and unfortunately easier to steal than larger vessels.  When you are considering a marine policy be sure to ask if there are any restrictions on theft coverage.  A Northstar policy has no theft restrictions ie. You don’t need to store the machine in a locked building and you don’t need to lock the trailer.

3. Watersports

Did you know not all marine policies cover watersports liability ? A Northstar policy includes watersports liability automatically for Personal Watercraft (three or more seats).

4. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without depreciation.*

5. Emergency Towing

Should you have a mechanical breakdown on the water and call in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance separately and secondly, it ensures you are not left holding the bill for a lengthy tow.  We just want you safely off the water. Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible.*

*limits apply

[1] (NMMA Canada. NMMA Industry Statistics & Research Department.  2013 Canadian Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract. Print).

Bass Boat Insurance

Fishing is your way of life. You’re the ultimate angler with the ultimate machine.  You need the right protection.

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for bass boat insurance.

1. Tournaments
Did you know some boat insurance policies use the fine print to exclude tournaments?  A Northstar policy lets you compete in tournaments without worry, offering up to $2 million liability coverage and comprehensive physical damage protection.

2. Equipment

The average angler carries a lot of equipment, from rods and tackle to fish finders and downriggers.  Make sure you have the right coverage and aren’t left short if there’s a loss.  A Northstar policy has coverage automatically included for personal effects like rods and tackle plus coverage for equipment secured to the hull (downriggers, fish finders).  As your equipment inventory grows so too can your personal effects limit, giving you the protection you need for all the equipment you may have.

3. Trailering

Anglers tend to be mobile, traveling between tournaments and seeking out that perfect spot.  The ability to trailer your boat worry-free is extremely important.  Before settling on a marine policy be sure to ask if trailering is included and what restrictions apply.  At Northstar you are free to trailer your boat and do not need to worry about locking the trailer.  There are no restrictions for trailering so go try out that new tournament.

4. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without depreciation.

5. Emergency Towing

Should you have a mechanical breakdown on the water and call in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance and secondly, it ensures you’re not left footing the bill for a costly tow.  Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible.  We just want you safely off the water.*

*Limits apply

Fishing Boat Insurance

The aluminum fishing boat has come a long way!  These are no longer small boats with small engines, but are a significant investment between equipment, higher horsepower engines, trolling engines and rods and tackle. When you are the owner of an aluminum fishing boat there are certain types of coverages that are extremely important.

Here are a few things to think about as you consider a marine insurance policy for your fishing boat.

1. Trailering

Anglers tend to be mobile, seeking out that perfect spot.  The ability to trailer your boat worry-free is extremely important.  Before settling on a marine policy, be sure to ask if trailering is included and what restrictions apply.  At Northstar you are free to trailer your boat and do not need to worry about locking the trailer.

2. Equipment

The average angler carries a lot of equipment, from rods and tackle to fish finders and downriggers.  Make sure you have the right coverage and aren’t left short if there’s a loss.  A Northstar policy has coverage automatically included for personal effects like rods and tackle plus coverage for equipment secured to the hull (downriggers, fish finders).  As your equipment inventory grows so too can your personal effects limit, giving you the protection you need for all the equipment you may have.

3. Agreed Value Coverage

You’ve made a significant investment and need to be properly protected.  An Agreed Value Policy ensures that, should something happen to the boat, the insurance company will give you the insured value without depreciation.

4. Emergency Towing

Should you have a mechanical breakdown on the water and call in for a tow, the cost can catch you off-guard.  A marine policy that includes emergency towing at no additional cost does two things.  First, it saves you purchasing on-water assistance and secondly, it ensures you’re not left footing the bill for a costly tow.  Send us your tow receipt and we’ll pay it with no claim on your record and no deductible.  We just want you safely off the water.*

*Limits apply

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Northstar Marine Insurance Inc.
270-92 Caplan Ave, Barrie, ON, L4N 9J2
Phone 1-866-717-9295, Fax 1-866-354-7337
info@northstarinsurance.ca