Canadian Underwriter

Draft insurance rules for commercial boat owners released

August 8, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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The federal Transport Ministry has released proposals that would require owners of commercial passenger boats to carry specific levels of liability insurance.
Under the Marine Liability Act (MLA), compulsory insurance would be required for the owners of most vessels used by passengers for travel within Canada. This includes commercial ventures, plus publicly-run vessels such as ferries.
If the vessel is greater than 15 gross registered tons, owners would be required to carry coverage for their maximum liability. Under the MLA, the maximum liability of a ship owner for personal injury or death is about $350,000 per passenger. In the case of a fleet, only the top vessel would be used to determine the coverage required.
Those with boats under 15 tons would need $1 million liability coverage if they carry 12 passengers or less, or $2 million coverage for more passengers, regardless of whether it is a fleet or single boat.
Non-motorized or inflatable hull vessels, such as those used by adventure tourism companies, would not be required to carry such insurance. However, future legislative changes could be made with respect to these vessels.
Transport Canada is currently accepting feedback on the proposals.

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