How to Buy Boat Insurance ( Part 1)

Our primary role as your insurance broker is to shop the market on your behalf to obtain the best coverage at the best price. We are also here as your advocate and adviser on many issues related to boat ownership.

However, some people miss out on our free service and advice because they leave insurance to the very last minute.

“I just bought a boat and need insurance….”

We like to get calls from new boaters and will work hard to win your business.  However in some situations when the conversation starts with “I just bought a boat and need insurance” it means we will have to deliver bad news to the proud new owner  who just wants to get out on the water.

The most common problems we encounter that prevent people from enjoying their boat are as follows:

  1. The boat is over 15 years of age and requires a survey.  In the spring it can take weeks to get a surveyor due to the volume of requests they receive.  If we were called pre-purchase we will let you know if a survey is required.  If you have already launched then you have the added expense of hauling the boat for inspection below the waterline.
  2. You have a survey but the surveyor is not approved by the insurance company.  Before you spend a few hundred hard-earned dollars on a survey call us to find out which surveyors are accepted by the insurance companies.
  3. The  boat is not insurable.  This can occur for a number of reasons. Now that the boat has been surveyed by an approved surveyor you might discover the boat is not seaworthy and requires extensive repairs.
  4. The new owner is not insurable.  This may happen if you have  a poor claim history, convictions for dangerous driving or impaired driving,  no pleasure craft operators card, or it is a large vessel and you lack the qualifications to operate it.  This can all result in added expenses for the new owner and lost time on the water.

Before you buy a boat you want to ensure there will be no problems or unpleasant surprises so let’s roll the clock back a few months and start the conversation in a different way.

“I’m thinking of buying a boat and want to get information about insurance…” 


This is a much better way to start our conversation and removes the unpleasant surprises that can result from a rushed purchase. When you call before the purchase, we can provide recommendations for marine surveyors in the area that are approved.

Over the years we have helped thousands of first-time buyers with insurance and provided advice on how to get their boating life style off to a great start. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider:

  1. Where to store a boat
  2. Marina and Yacht club referrals
  3. Marine Surveyor recommendations
  4. Border crossing & customs brokers
  5. Where to find parts and supplies
  6. Boat yard recommendations if repairs are needed
  7. Licensing and registration
  8. Boating regulations and required safety equipment
  9. Trip planning  and more

So if you are thinking about buying a boat, now is the time to call us. Don’t wait to learn the hard lessons after you have bought the boat.

Call me at 1-800-661-7211 or email or try our online quote form 

Then discover what the marine insurance professionals at Skippers’ Plan can do for you.

Discover why boaters have trusted Skippers’ Plan
with their boat insurance for over 70 years!
Get an online quote today!
Skippers’ Plan Boat Insurance
Part of Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited
800-661-7211 | 416-789-7211
Report a Claim | Contact a Boat Insurance Specialist