Cottage Rentals and Boat Inclusions
I know I’ve written a few articles on similar subject matter before. I find myself writing about this periodically as the Ads for such type of rentals continue to grow and the information is often limited if not non-existent. Nowadays folks have become far too focused on getting a good deal or securing a rental that they forget about liability and insurance. In Canada you are not permitted as an independent cottage owner to include a motorised boat within the cottage rental if the renter does not have the appropriate boater’s license. Moreover, if they do, you must also check with your insurance provider to verify what your policy includes and excludes. Most insurance carriers do not include third party allowance for motorised land and watercraft. I say most, because if you are a commercialised property like a resort, and have under your company/business, several watercraft that you lease out on short term basis, you would be required to obtain additional third party coverage that would permit you to provide this service.
Once a properly licensed boater leases the boat the insurance this individual carries as a driver for example, kicks in. If you do not drive a car, you are then required to provide another form of insurance, from what I understand, or purchase additional coverage from the service provider under their carrier. It would be similar to renting a car. If you don’t own a car, and occasionally rent one, you are then required to pay extra for insurance. Same principal. Sometimes the rentals include insurance and the rates are higher and there is no waffling about the insurance.
The challenges start when someone decides to cut corners. They know how to drive a boat, and don’t have a license, nor do they have valid driver’s license, in which case they have no car insurance. So what happens if Mr. Chalet decides to include his boat and motor to this fellow who has no valid driver’s license, boater’s license or insurance? Well nothing if he drives it and nothing happens to him, his passengers, the boat or the lake and its residents. However, if something goes wrong, and in some cases it does, the owner of the boat and their insurance company are liable. And if the owner of the boat has no insurance for the boat or a car or he/she breaches his insurance policy– then the outcome is far worse. Within the legal system of the province -the liability then falls upon whatever assets the boat owner has, up to and including his cottage and even his home.
Is it worth it?
That’s a question you would really need to think about upon speculation of making these types of advance vacation arrangements within cottage rental contract. As an owner, or as renter, I don’t recommend trying to cut corners for the sake of a few bucks. Try to capitalize on memories while divesting from the rules is just a path you don’t want to follow.
Be boat smart from the start!
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