By Chris Richmond
For WorkBoat Magazine.
Recently I presented a marine insurance session at a national conference. The topic was additional coverages – and I repeated what has become a mantra for these times: In today’s world just having hull and protection and indemnity may not be enough.
Does your vessel have tenders? While your hull’s coverage extends to the tenders and launches, they will also have the same deductible that your vessel carries. This could often be higher than the value of your tender. By listing your tenders separately, you can have them insured for a stated value and also have a much lower deductible for them. And don’t forget to let your agent know if you install a new outboard on your tender. It won’t have increased coverage unless you notify the insurance company.
Pollution is excluded from all hull and P&I policies. There is some buy back coverage available but it is limited and often still will not respond when needed. A stand-alone pollution policy provides-wide ranging coverage not only for clean up but also for fines, penalties and potential liability. And don’t forget that there is more to pollution besides petroleum spills. Black water and chemical spills can be just as damaging and costly to you.
Your vessel is often your sole means of making money. If your boat is not operating, then you are losing income. Having loss of income coverage added to your policy is a way to maintain a source of revenue while your boat is being repaired due to a covered claim. Coverage for loss of income is based on the amount you want; the more coverage the higher the premium. The big thing to remember is that loss of income is not triggered unless your vessel suffers a claim that is covered.
As a vessel operator your merchant mariners license can be as important to you as the vessel you operate. Without your license you are not operating a commercial vessel. Insurance coverage for your license can be as important should you find yourself in an admiralty hearing. Coverages are wide ranging and limits can vary depending on how much you desire to carry.
Insurance is never a one size fits all. Coverages vary depending on what you ask for and the limits that you and your business desire. Have a conversation with your agent to see if any of your operations are left unprotected.