Don't be Set Adrift - Speak to a Lawyer

I recently returned from a weekend camping adventure in beautiful Muskoka. On the last day of the trip, my friend had nearly tipped the canoe while boarding, which might have caused me to strike my head against the rocks. Thankfully the only damage was to our outdoorsmen reputations. But this led to a conversation on the paddle home; if I had been hurt, would a valid insurance policy have been in place to compensate me for any injuries I sustained?

It’s common knowledge that to legally operate a motor vehicle in the Province of Ontario one needs to have appropriate motor vehicle insurance coverage. Most standard insurance policies offer protection from third party liability claims up to $1,000,000.00 – in other words, $1,000,000.00 is available to respond to claims if you are found at fault for injuries another party sustains in a motor vehicle collision.

While similar insurance policies can be purchased to insure the owners and operators of large motor boats, it is less likely that you will find an insurance policy expressly intended to insure the owner or operator of a canoe. However, my friend was surprised when I told him that he likely had coverage in place on his homeowner’s policy. Many homeowner policies cover liability incurred due to injuries to others while the homeowner is operating a non-motorized watercraft, or even a motorized watercraft with limited horsepower. In other words, if I had injured myself in the canoe that day and decided to bring a claim against my friend, his homeowner’s insurance policy likely would have stepped in to provide third party liability coverage.

This underscores the importance of consulting a lawyer when you or a loved one is injured. At Ross & McBride LLP, the lawyers in our Personal Injury Group are skilled at reviewing and researching all possible avenues of compensation, to ensure that you and your family’s needs are met.