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Buyer's Guide to Canoe and Kayak Insurance

Insurance for your canoe or kayak probably isn't foremost in your mind but there are several benefits to having cover in place. This guide will help explain canoe and kayak insurance, and enable you to choose the cover you need for the activities you like to do.

What's in this canoe and kayak insurance guide?

Why do I need canoe insurance?

Some insurance policies may add or build in cover for a canoe. For example: your home insurance may cover your canoe because it is stored in your garage at home. So, if your canoe gets stolen from your home (or sometimes even away from the home), your policy may cover you to get a replacement.

However, you’ll usually find this cover does not insure your canoe while in use. For example, if you're out on a river and your canoe gets damaged, or you damage someone else’s property while canoeing. It’s worth checking your policy wording to see what applies and if there are any gaps in cover.

Specific canoe and kayak insurance is designed to make sure you have cover in place while your canoe is in storage, in transit or speeding down some white water rapids (depending on the level of cover you choose).

Do I need insurance to canoe in the UK?

There is no legal obligation to have canoe or kayak insurance in the UK so it is up to you whether you choose to insure yours. What’s important to remember is there are some places you may wish to paddle where the waterways authorities will require you to have public liability cover in place. It’s worth checking before you paddle to make sure you have the correct level of liability cover for the area.

Find out more on the British Canoeing website.

How do I make sure my canoe is insured?

  • When purchasing or renewing home insurance make sure you double check what is covered and what isn’t. You may find that cover for your canoe is no longer included. If your home insurance doesn’t cover your canoe, read our guide to canoe insurance for more information on insuring it on its own policy.

  • Some kayaks could be classed as sports equipment under one insurer but not another. So always check the terms.

  • Be clear about what you want and get it in writing.

  • If you are advised that your watercraft is covered under your home and contents insurance be sure to make a note of the time and date of the call as well as the adviser you spoke to. This could help you when you come to claim at a later date in case you are told that you aren’t covered.

  • No matter how distinctive your vessel may be it doesn’t mean that it is easily traceable if it is stolen. Don’t assume that it will be easily recovered if there are only a few of them in the country.

  • If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your watercraft is stolen make sure you contact the police as soon as possible to get an incident number to enable you to claim for the theft.

  • It is also beneficial to set up email alerts on Gumtree, eBay and other listing sites for the next few months so if the thief tries to sell it on you may be able to catch them.

  • Register your property at Immobilise, which is designed to work with your local authority which could help to flag up your stolen item and stop the sale from happening.

  • Don’t just insure your larger vessels separately and leave your smaller craft overlooked, you could insure your canoe or kayak for under £50.00 a year which could save you hundreds.

Does my insurance cover both canoes and kayaks?

We understand that the two are not the same, but whether you canoe or kayak our insurance policies can provide cover.

  • Public liability – As we mentioned earlier, if you were to buy a canoe license from BCU you would receive £10million of public liability insurance cover. However, it’s important to have public liability insurance even if you are not intending to paddle on waterways that require a license. Public liability will cover injuries or damage to members of the public or their property, caused by your negligence directly linked to the use of your canoe.

  • Cover whilst in transit – Our policies can cover your canoe whilst you transfer it from A to B but each policy provides a different level of cover. Our Silver policy will cover events such as theft, fire and storm but will not cover accidental damage you may cause. Gold will cover the standard perils with the addition of accidental damage too. Transportation could be by trailer (provided it is fit for purpose) or on a roof rack.

  • Racing cover through the BCU - We have partnered with British Canoeing to offer insurance policies that relate specifically to the level of racing cover you require. You can purchase these policies through the BCU website alongside a membership which will also give you a license to paddle 4,500km of British waterways. Just select the cover best suited for your style of paddling - there are options for non-racers too.

  • 30 days European cover – If you fancy paddling to a few foreign shores, our cover will insure for 30 days per trip in Europe. Provided you do not exceed the 30 days during any one trip you can paddle in Europe as many times as you like per year.

Optional extras for canoe insurance

White water cover – If you need to insure your canoe or kayak for use on white water, you need to let us know when you set up your policy. If you buy online you can select the option for white water cover, or if you call, just ask the team to add it on. If you are not sure or you change your mind after you have purchased your policy, you can call us and add on the cover at any time. Just be aware that there may be a little extra to pay for the cover change.

Multiple vessels – If you have more than one canoe or kayak you can insure them as a group through our online quote and buy system. We can insure up to five paddle sport boats on one policy. Just make sure you insure them at the value it would be to insure them all.

Just note, the option to include multiple canoes or kayaks is an option only available if you purchase your policy online but if you get stuck you can always ask the team for help.

Personal accident cover - You can add personal accident cover to your canoe insurance policy. The limit of on this cover is £15,000 and you will also receive emergency medical expenses cover up to £500 per claim. Beware that if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, this cover will not apply.

Excess - You can choose an excess between £50 and £130 depending on what best suits you. Remember, this is what you will pay towards a claim if something should go wrong. Depending on the other options you have selected, increasing your excess could mean a lower premium. You can find out the effect this has on your policy premium by getting a quote through our website.

Canoe insurance exclusions explained

As with all insurance policies, our canoe and kayak insurance cover does have some exclusions. It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the terms of cover so you know whether the policy suits your insurance needs.

  • Scrapes whilst in transit- any scratching, bruising or denting which occurs while the canoe or kayak is being transported cannot be covered on any of our policies, so be cautious.

  • Trailers – Your canoe or kayak will be covered whilst in transit on a roof rack or on a trailer. The policy does not include cover while you canoe or kayak is in transit if the trailer you use is not fit for purpose. This means, the trailer must be well suited to or designed for transportation of canoes or kayaks. In addition, to be insured for theft of your canoe whilst on a trailer, the trailer must be fitted with a hitch lock or a wheel clamp when left unattended.

  • Wear and tear - You’ll find this is excluded on the majority of insurances. Any maintenance related repairs caused by general usage over time will not be included on the policy.

  • Unsecure storage- It sounds like common sense but you should ensure the storage location for your canoe is locked and secured at all times. If your canoe or kayak is stolen and there is no evidence of forcible or violent entry or exit from the premises, the insurer is unlikely to pay the claim.

Canoe and kayak insurance from Towergate

When you need to insure your canoe or kayak, speak to one of our specialist advisers to find the right cover for you. For more information see our canoe insurance webpage or call 0344 892 1987.

Canoe in transit upsidedown

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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