By Chris Richmond
Originally Submitted to WorkBoat Magazine
Building boats can be the primary part of your business or just an occasional project. Regardless of how many or how often you do this, one thing is common: You will need a Hull Builders Risk insurance policy. And don’t think that this applies only to a new build. A vessel undergoing a major refit can be covered under this as well. The policy can be extended to cover not only the hull but also material and equipment that has not yet been installed on the vessel.
For the occasional new hull build or the major refit, your policy can be written on single hull basis. For yards in the business of building boats, there is an open builders risk policy for multiple boats.
Valuation of the hull can be calculated two ways. It can be written on the completed value of vessel, or for larger vessels it can be a monthly reporting schedule of the unfinished project which gradually increases to the completed value.
Some policies offer buyback coverage for faulty workmanship. There is a condition to conduct inspections during the build and report any findings to the your underwriter. Keep in mind that claims due to faulty design are not covered. You will want to a professional liability policy for this.
Additional coverages which can be added to the policy includes:
- Delivery of bare hull to yard to be finished off
- Launching of vessel
- Sea trials of vessel
- Delivery of completed boat to end user
Protection and Indemnity limits are added to cover liability claims due to injury on or around the vessel during the construction process as well as after the vessel has been launched and is conducting sea trials or delivery. And if you are providing crew on board after the vessel has been launched, be sure to have the policy amended to reflect this additional risk.
Whether you are building the vessel for a client of having one built for your own use, the day of launching is always a memorable occasion and one to celebrate. Be sure to do your due diligence beforehand to properly cover potential risks involved with your project to help make this day a great one.