Burlington’s LaSalle Marina can’t get insurance, season-opening likely delayed


Published April 26, 2022 at 11:27 am

No one wants to insure Burlington’s LaSalle Park Marina and it may be forced to stay closed.

The bombshell was announced in a letter addressed to members and associates of the LaSalle Park Marina Association sent Friday by the board of directors.

In the letter, Lorn Newton, on behalf of the board, told members the organization’s insurer, RSA/Coast Underwriters, would not renew their Operator’s Commercial Liability Insurance.

“We, as an organization, cannot open without Marina Operator’s Liability Insurance,” wrote Newton. “It is mandatory under our License & Operating Agreement with the City.”

According to Dan Lawrie Insurance, the marina’s long-time broker, RSA/Coast is refusing to renew the insurance because of a $7,900 claim for stolen motors and $97,000 paid out for fighting two lawsuits.

The City of Burlington can’t help them as the city charter prevents taking on liability for volunteer operators of their facilities.

The marina’s lawyer said other marine businesses have been hit with non-renewal notices due to the state of the insurance market. RSA/Coast has been purchased by Intact.

Newton wrote that they’ve had multiple brokers contacting underwriters looking for coverage without success. They’re now seeking out-of-country underwriters.

The marina is continuing to work with the city to find solutions that may include another group, which is insured, taking over management of the LaSalle marina.

“We are asking you to bear with us for the rest of April while we are waiting for an offer of coverage,” Newton wrote members.

“If we get insured, it is business as usual. If not, we will have to delay opening to give a little more time for a last-minute resolution.”

On its website, the City describes the LaSalle Park Community Marina as a beautiful location for residents and tourists to launch their boats and enjoy the crisp waters of Lake Ontario and Burlington’s breathtaking lakefront views.

The marina has 219 docking spaces and is protected by a floating wave break. In addition, the City of Burlington has a public boat launch at the Marina that is protected by the floating wave break.

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