By Chris Richmond
Originally Submitted to WorkBoat Magazine
Your commercial hull policy provides coverage for more than just your hull. A policy may extend coverage to the “hull, tackle, apparel, engines, boilers, machinery, appurtenances, equipment, stores, boats and furniture.”
But what happens when you have a claim involving any one of these items? If the claim is covered, then you will first have to pay the deductible. Depending on the amount of hull coverage you have, this can be rather sizable and may well exceed the value of what was damaged. Let’s look at some ways to help improve your coverage
Do you have a tender? Have it listed separately on the policy with its own hull limit and a smaller deductible. The liability from your vessel still extends to the small boat but when the tender has its own hull value listed, you can have a much more manageable deductible. And don’t forget to tell your insurance agent when you buy a new outboard for the tender. This can greatly increase its value and quickly exceed the value for which you have insured the tender.
Do you store items ashore during the off season? Some policies will reduce the coverage on these items while off the boat by covering only claims based on fire. Be aware: Should an item be stolen then your boat’s policy will not react.
Have you installed special equipment on your vessel to perform specific work? They can be scheduled on your policy with a stated value along with an appropriate deductible.
Do you operate equipment overboard? Good luck getting that added to your commercial hull policy. If you have ROV units stored on board your boat you may be able have them scheduled on your hull policy but as soon as they go overboard coverage would cease. Obtaining a stand-alone policy specifically written to cover your ROVs is the proper way to provide coverage. This policy will react to claims from incidents both on the boat as well as in the water.
Take a moment to look at your boat and the equipment that you have on board, then give your insurance agent a call and discuss the current limits you for the vessel and everything on it, especially what can be stored (or is stored) on land. You will be happy you did should you need to file a claim.