Insurance Matters for Dinghy Sailors

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Most sailors start off in the dinghy classes when they are young and many have fond memories of time spent in Opti’s, Lasers, 420s, and many others. Young sailors are only concerned about the boat itself (and rightly so) while the responsibility for storage, transport, maintenance and insurance falls to their parents. If Mom & Dad are not sailors this can be a bit confusing and overwhelming so let us demystify one important aspect of dinghy sailing for you – Insurance.

Cottage sailboatThe Cottage Boat
If you have a Laser at the cottage the most reasonable option is adding it to your home or cottage policy. The home policy coverage is normally not as good as a stand-alone boat policy but it will meet the needs of most cottage sailors. If you can’t get it added to your policy then buying stand-alone coverage is easier than trying to find a new insurer for the cottage. Caution – if you attend that one regatta on your lake each year make sure the policy does not exclude racing. Most home policies exclude any type of racing for boats.

The Club Racer or Sail training boat
Opti 1When you move into this category it is time to seriously consider a stand-alone boat policy. This policy will provide better coverage for physical damage, and liability protection while racing and you will deal with adjusters experienced with boat repairs if there is a claim. The Gallagher Skippers’ Plan policy for day sailors was designed just for this type of sailor. Pricing is reasonable and you get agreed value coverage, so there is no depreciation applied to claims. Our policy covers you while sailing anywhere in Canada and the contiguous USA (no Alaska or Hawaii) from April 1st to November 1st. The boat is also covered on shore during the winter. If you plan on doing Mid-Winter regattas in Florida we can add an endorsement on request.

KidsCoverage is provided for the trailer/dolly up to $1500. This also covers you when transporting the boat behind your car or on a car-top carrier. This is important protection if you are doing regattas away from home. Our policy provides Medical Coverage up to $1000 for emergency treatment not covered by Canadian Health care coverage. If you race in the US and find yourself in an Emergency Room with a broken arm or needing stitches you will appreciate having this extra coverage. This is something you won’t likely get from your home insurance. The deductible on most boats is $100 and the premium ranges from $108 to $307 depending on the boat type and value. Liability coverage is included at $2 million.

Laser lock boxWhat is not Covered?
Every policy has exclusions so it is important to know what they are. Typical exclusions include wear and tear, gradual deterioration, scratching denting and freezing. These are the minor nicks and bruises that come from racing a boat or repeatedly launching and hauling on shore. Dinghies aren’t a good place for personal effects like phones or iPods and are not covered. It is best to leave these on shore. Our policy also excludes theft of equipment or outboards unless they are locked up. If you do a lot of regattas get yourself a box on the trailer that can hold your rudder, centreboard and other gear so you can lock it up.

If you have any questions or special needs for your dinghy give us a call (1.800.661.7211) and we will do our best to get you an answer and find a solution. Visit to obtain a quote for your dinghy.

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Gallagher Skippers’ Plan ‘Day Sailor Insurance Program’ is an exclusive product offer through Aviva’s Elite Insurance Company.
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