4 questions to ask yourself in case of an accident on the water

What could be more pleasant than a boat trip on a beautiful summer's day? You are there enjoying the sun, enjoying beautiful moments with family or friends when, suddenly, you have an accident. After the first shock, some questions will probably come to mind. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.


1.    Is this accident covered by my insurance policy?

This depends on whether you have all-risk insurance or liability insurance only.

  • If you purchased all-risk insurance policy:

  • If you purchased liability insurance only:

2.  Can I fill out a joint report or should I call the police?

There is no joint report for boats. If there is only material damage on both sides, you can simply note the contact information of the driver of the other boat involved (name, address, telephone number, licence number or registration certificate of the boat, insurance certificate) and all the details of the accident. Also, note the contact details of the witnesses and take pictures. Share this with your insurer.


If there are people injured or the damage seems very serious to you or if you are in danger, call 911 for help. The police will be able to compile a report and collect the witnesses' statements. Take note of the file number in order to provide it to your insurer.


3.    Who is responsible for damages?

It is always the insurer who determines the liability of its insured, based on the evidence, witness statements and all the information provided by both parties.


Whether or not you are at fault for the accident, it is your insurer (Aviva) who will compensate you for the damage.


If you are not responsible for the collision, your insurer will have a right of recourse against the driver of the other boat or his insurer, in order to claim the amount he has paid you in compensation. It is therefore preferable that you keep all supporting documents and evidence relating to your claim, even if you have already received your compensation, as long as Aviva has the opportunity to bring an action against the person at fault.


Deductible: Whether you are responsible or not, you will have to pay the deductible, except in the event of a total loss, in which case the claim will be fully covered.


4.    Will this accident have an impact on my insurance premium?

If you are not responsible for the collision and your insurer (Aviva) recovers the full amount of compensation from the other party, it will not affect your insurance premium at renewal.


However, if you are held liable for the collision, your premium will be increased by 15% for the next three renewals, unless the "Claims forgiveness" endorsement is included in your policy. This coverage allows you to keep your claim-free discount after a first at fault accident.





The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice. Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks of Aviva plc. and are used under licence by Aviva Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies.