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Does Your Boat Insurance Policy Cover Zebra Mussels?

Published on August 22, 2018   Boating Insurance Tips

As you likely already know, Zebra mussels have become a growing problem in Manitoba. Zebra mussels are D-shaped, fingernail-sized mollusks with light and dark brown stripes. Unlike other mollusks, they have hair-like filaments called byssal threads which they use to attach themselves to hard surfaces such as boats, docks, water-intake pipes and even the shells of other mussels.

Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasive species (AIS) – meaning they are not native to our lake’s ecosystem – and they are able to multiply very rapidly. One mussel can produce up to one million eggs during a single spawning season.

If you are a boat owner in Manitoba it might be time to check and see if your insurance policy will protect you in the event the cause damages to your boat or motor. Boat hulls are being damaged, and boat motors are overheating due to the collection of Zebra mussels on boats and inside their motors.

Our exclusive All Marine Advantage Insurance program provides coverage for losses caused by Zebra mussels. Engine damage as a result of overheating will be covered when the overheating is caused by internal blockage of cooling water passages by zebra mussels, provided that you use reasonable care in maintaining the vessel in light of the zebra mussel problem. There is also coverage for damage to the hull by zebra mussels.

If you haven’t reviewed your boat insurance recently, now is the best time to do so. Your current policy may exclude these types of losses which would put you in a terrible situation.

Remember to take these steps to prevent the spread of Zebra mussels:

  • Inspect and remove aquatic plants, animals, and mud from your boat, trailer, and equipment.
  • Drain all water from your motor, livewell, bilge, transom, etc.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash.
  • Wash your boat and equipment with hot and/or high-pressure water, particularly if moored for more than one day


  • Dry your boat and equipment thoroughly (in the sun) for five days.

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