Incidental use coverage

Changes were made to the Canadian Maritime Law in January 2019. As a watercraft owner, Canadian law requires you to have sufficient legal liability insurance coverage if you’re using your watercraft for purposes that are incidental to your profession, or your work as a volunteer. You must have $250,000 of coverage per person, up to your watercraft’s maximum capacity (12 people).


As a result of this change, your insurer Aviva has launched the new Incidental use coverage that provides additional liability coverage when using your boat for such activities.


When added to a policy, Incidental Use provides $3,000,000 liability coverage that’s in addition to the $2,000,000 coverage already included in your NautiMax® boat policy, for a total of $5,000,000 liability coverage.


What is ‘incidental use’?

Incidental Use occurs when you occasionally (up to 25% of time) use your watercraft for entertaining employees, clients or others for your profession or business. It’s also when you occasionally use it in connection with any volunteer or charitable work. You shouldn’t be receiving any kind of payment, such as cash, gifts or rewards for the use of your boat.


Here are some examples of when you may need this coverage.

  • Company owned: Your boat is registered either in your business name or a numbered company, or you display any signs or logos on it in relation to a business.
  • Business clients: You’re entertaining your employees, valued clients or business associates on your boat, or using it to showcase waterfront properties to prospective buyers, if you are a realtor.
  • Charity: You’re bringing people aboard your boat to participate in a charity or volunteer event (such as children’s charity regatta).


How does it work if there is a loss?

If you have the Incidental Use endorsement on your policy, and:

  • were using your boat strictly for pleasure use at the time of loss, the standard $2,000,000 legal liability coverage applies.
  • were using your boat for incidental use at the time of loss, the $5,000,000 liability coverage will apply.


To learn more about this new coverage or to find out if you should add it to your Nautimax® boat policy, please contact your MD Marine broker.






Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks used under licence by the licensor. “NautiMax®” and associated word marks and logos are trademarks, designs and other forms of intellectual property of Aviva Canada Inc. NautiMax® boat insurance is underwritten by Elite Insurance Company. The content in this article is for information purposes only. The insurance products described in this document are subject to terms, conditions, restrictions and exclusions, which are outlined in our final policy wording.