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You may or may not know that most inland waterways authorities in the UK will require you to hold a waterways licence before you’re permitted to canoe on their rivers, canals or lakes.

So while canoes obviously won’t cost as much to replace as a sailing boat or catamaran,  you can’t choose to forgo the canoe insurance if you want to canoe on most UK rivers and lakes.

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How much does canoe insurance cost?

Insurance providers take a wide range of factors into consideration when calculating the premium for your canoe insurance policy, so it’s difficult to predict how much you’re likely to pay.

The best plan is to use our price comparison service to compare canoe insurance quotes from a range of different insurance companies, and then go with the one that offers the best coverage at the best price.

If I only plan to use my canoe on the sea can I forgo canoe insurance?

Yes, if you’ve bought a seaworthy canoe (often referred to as a sea kayak) and you only ever plan to use it on the sea then canoe insurance isn’t likely to be mandatory.

However, even where canoe insurance is entirely optional it’s still worth considering, because it can help cover the cost of third party liability claims if you’re ever involved in a canoeing accident that was deemed to be your fault. If you didn’t have canoe insurance in place at the time of that incident you would be obliged to cover any liability claims (and accompanying legal fees) yourself.

Will ‘third party only’ coverage be enough when I’m taking out canoe insurance?

Third party boat insurance is the minimum level of cover you can take out for your canoe, which means it is likely to be more economical than some more fully comprehensive boat insurance policies.

And while owners of more expensive boats (such as yachts, catamarans, power boats and speed boats) would be well advised to consider upgrading their basic boat insurance for a more comprehensive policy that insures their own vessel as well as those of third parties, some canoers may decide that the relatively low cost of replacing their canoe means they aren’t taking such a big risk by opting for third party cover.

Of course, this does mean the canoer won’t be covered if their canoe is ever stolen or damaged in an accident, so it’s important to weigh up the costs and benefits of each policy.

What’s the minimum level of third party only coverage I can take out?

If you’re planning to canoe on inland waterways that are managed by a waterways authority then your third party canoe insurance will usually need to provide you with at least £1 million of third party coverage (although the Canal & River Trust requires £2 million of coverage).