Coverage for Maritime Tradesmen
Marine contractors perform a variety of essential functions, managing everything from bulkheads and dredging to piers and boat slips. To meet the needs of these businesses, insurers have developed special marina contractors insurance programs. Usually, these packages offer broad liability coverage at low rates for small to mid-sized businesses. Larger companies must meet different terms.
Why You Need a Commercial Liability Insurance Policy
The most important policy to a marine contractor is the commercial liability insurance policy, or commercial property policy (fire and hazard coverage), which protects your building, contents and any loss of business income from fire, wind, explosion, vandalism, etc.
Commercial liability insurance for marine contractors can also include:
- An inland marine floater to cover mobile property such as travel lifts, fork lifts, compressors and portable tools.
- General liability coverage.
- Employee dishonesty coverage to protect the owner from the loss of property or money if an employee steals from them.
- Boiler and machinery coverage
Insurance companies will often bundle a series of inexpensive additional coverage for a flat fee rather than pricing each type of coverage individually. These enhancements might include fine arts, outdoor property, computers, personal property of others, coverage for cash, mobile equipment, property in transit, sewer backup, spoilage, lock replacement and more.
Other Types of Marina Insurance
In addition to your base coverage, you will likely need separate coverage for:
- Owned boats or barges used as work or tow vessels
- Vessel hulls themselves
- Any borrowed, hired or non-owned vessels or barges
- Docks, piers, pilings and bulkheads
- Underground and above ground storage tanks
- Specialized tools and equipment
- Materials left on the job
- Employees (workers compensation and employment practices liability insurance)
- Commercial automobiles and trailers used to move boats, pick up supplies, etc. (commercial auto insurance)
- Non-owned or borrowed autos
- Flooding (flood insurance)
Any marine contractor wishing to secure higher limits of insurance (usually more than $1,000,000) should consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy or the broader Bumbershoot liability policy. These policies offer broader protection against lawsuits.
On occasion, marine contractors are asked to provide a performance bond to guarantee that the work they are contracted for will be performed on time and in accordance with the job specifications. This bond is underwritten by examining your financial status, workmanship and track record. A performance bond can take several weeks to finalize, which means you should start the underwriting process well before a bonded job’s scheduled start date.
If you frequently engage in bonded work, we can help you establish a bonding program with your agent and surety company so that you only need go through the underwriting process once per year rather than on a per-bond basis.
Hiring subcontractors is another area of potential problems. While marine contractors are not general contractors, there may be times when they hire a subcontractor to help with overflow work. When you hire a subcontractor, be aware that you are responsible for providing workers compensation to any of the subcontractor’s employees if they have failed to provide such coverage. You cannot avoid this exposure, and so your best protection is to obtain certificates of insurance for commercial liability insurance and workers compensation insurance, before the sub contractor ever sets foot on the job site.
Finding the Right Insurance Program for Your Business
Anderson Insurance Agency has been insuring New Jersey’s marine contractors since 1967. We represent some of the most respected insurance providers in the world, combining our personal connection to coastal New Jersey with our decades of expertise to create a comprehensive insurance package that you can feel confident in. Let us help secure the protection you need for your business, employees, and property.