Aviva No Longer Requires Surveys for Certain Boats

Effective as of April 15, AVIVA, an insurance provider, no longer requires a complete survey for boats under 30 feet in length that have a current market value of under $30,000. Moving forward, all that is required are photos of each side of the boat.

Aviva offers insurance policies through several marine insurance companies, including MD Marine Insurance, which has been vocal in having the survey process modified. "We have lobbied aggressively on behalf of boaters and we're very pleased when the announcement was published by Aviva Canada,' says Rick Layzell, MD Marine Insurance's National Sales Manager.

Surveys have been a standard requirement in the boat insurance industry on older vessels. They're designed to provide pre-owned boat buyers with peace of mind prior to purchase. Surveys identify potential safety and maintenance issues with a client's boat and can provide an up-to-date value of the vessel, which helps to determine if it's over insured or under insured. However, they can cost boat owners hundreds to over a thousand dollars to have done depending on the size of their boat.

MD Marine believes the decision was made in part because of consumer feedback regarding the difficulty and cost of the process of acquiring a survey. Additionally, the company says that over 80 percent of recreational boats in Canada are under 30 feet in length, many of which are over 20 years of age.

With the proliferation of smartphones, Layzell says meeting these new requirements will be a lot simpler and less expensive, requiring only a few snapshots. Clients with boats older than 1995, less than 30 feet in length and worth under $30,000 in value only need to send over pictures of each side of their boat.