Limiting damage in the event of a claim: a legal obligation

Collisions, fires, shipwrecks. Unfortunately, these are things that can happen during a boat trip. It is difficult to have the right response when confronted with an accident or damage on a boat. However, it is necessary to react quickly to limit the damage.


Your first priority – ensure you and your passenger’s safety

Before you think about anything else, make sure everyone on board is wearing their lifejacket.


React quickly to avoid further damage

  • If people are injured, if the damage seems very serious to you or if you are in danger, call 911 for help.
  • In the case of an accident with a third party, it is important to note the contact details of the operator of the other boat involved.
  • Protect the boat and the goods on board after the disaster. For example, if the boat's motor base is damaged, stop navigation as soon as possible to avoid further damage. 


In case your boat fills with water:

  • Turn on the bilge pumps, plug the waterway and, if necessary, remove the boat from the water. You can block the leak with: 
    • an underwater sealant on the submerged part of the boat, 
    • a self-adhesive plastic film reinforced with reinforced adhesive tape on the emerged part.
  • Disconnect batteries and power supplies by keeping pumps, alarms and radio running if possible.
  • Dry the bottoms and rinse what you can after f water fills your boat.
  • Wash and rinse the bottoms, floors and the part of the engine that has been submerged.
  • Protect from moisture.
  • If your outboard motor has fallen into the water, have the motor serviced by a professional as soon as possible.


In case of fire on your boat:

  • Isolate the burning area.
  • Turn off ventilation, gas and fuel supplies.
  • Once the fire is out, open the battery switches and ventilate them.


Once your boat is secure:

  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible to report the claim.
  • Wait for the claims adjuster's approval before making repairs.
  • Take pictures of the damage before making any repairs.
  • Keep damaged property.


You have the legal responsibility to limit damage

Even if the cause of the loss and the extent of coverage have not yet been determined, it is your duty to limit the damage caused. According to article 1479 of the Civil Code of Québec, if aggravated damages could have been avoided, the insurer is not required to compensate its client.


When travelling by boat, it is strongly recommended to always carry a functional communication device.




Limiter les dommages en cas de sinistre (in French only)

Démarches accidents de plaisance (in French only)



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