If you own a marina, chances are you know all about marina insurance. For residents of Fall River and other coastal areas of Southeastern Massachusetts, owning and operating a marina might seem like one of the most enjoyable careers of all. However, there are lots of things that must be considered with this type of business and, as with all other types of businesses these days, you must protect yourself from liability and exposure to risk associated with owning a marina. Making sure that you are properly insured should definitely be a top priority, especially if you are a new owner of a marina.
Risks Associated with Owning a Marina
Until you have experienced the responsibilities associated with marina ownership, chances are you do not fully understand or appreciate the associated risks. Accidents will happen, no matter how good of a business owner you are, so it is in your best interest to make sure that you are properly insured. Your Fall River insurance agent can explain all of these to you in full detail, but for marina owners in Southeastern Massachusetts, the risks listed here are just some of the ones you will likely endure.
Southeastern Massachusetts business owners have a lot of different marina insurance and marine related coverage options available to them, including:
- pier, wharf and dock coverage
- Marine Employers Liability (MEL)
- commercial general liability
- harbor insurance
- marina operators legal liability
- sudden and accidental pollution
- general protection and indemnity
Learn the Marina Insurance Lingo
You might know everything there is to know about owning a marina, but when it comes to marina insurance, it is important to take time to learn the lingo. For example, do you know what a “bumbershoot” or “sudden pollution” coverage is? You might think you know, but it is important to know for sure. Take a look at some definitions of these common marina insurance terms and a description that will help you to identify whether or not these options apply to your current business plan.
- protection and indemnity – This type of marina insurance covers nearly all of the liability that is associated with the operation of a vessel outside of coverage provided under Workers’ Compensation policies or under the collision clause provided in a hull policy. Often referred to simply as a “P&L”, most marina insurance policy packages should include this coverage.
- marina operators legal liability coverage – This type of policy is used to insure liability risks that are associated with the care, custody and control of watercraft during the operation of a marina. Coverage is extended to both traditional waterborne exposures and marina related land area within the overall business. If there are any hazards or deficiencies associated with the marina or specifically with the berth in which a vessel is set to moor, the marina operator is responsible for advising the vessel operator as part of their obligation to provide “safe harbor” to vessels that use its facility. The marina operator can be held liable for not advising vessel owners of these risks and would be responsible for damage caused as a result.
- sudden and accidental pollution – This type of policy covers any pollution that occurs as relating to a sudden accidental pollution event. Because most business owners who own a marina also provide services relating to refueling or repair of watercraft, they have the potential to create a situation where a sudden and accidental pollution event can occur.
- hull coverage – This type of policy is pretty straight forward and is designed to cover any physical damage that might occur to privately owned vessels that use the marina facility, such as tugs or work boats.
- bumbershoot – This type of marina insurance is an excess liability coverage that is primarily used for risks associated with shipyards and ocean marinas. It works like a general umbrella or excess liability policy that is typically seen in non-marine policies, however the term “bumbershoot” comes from the slang term for “umbrella” in Great Britain. The coverage associated with this type of policy is usually provided as an excess layer of liability limit for salvage expenses, collision, longshoremen and harbor workers act liability and protection and indemnity insurance.
Comprehensive Coverage for Your Unique Business
There are many marinas in the Southeastern Massachusetts area and no two marina businesses are exactly alike. It is important to choose a comprehensive coverage package that includes options that are relevant to you and your business. One-size-fits-all marina insurance policies might not include all of the coverage that you need when you own a marina, so it is important to work closely with your Fall River insurance agent to make sure you get all the coverage you require.
Before you meet with your Fall River insurance agent for marina insurance in Southeastern Massachusetts, make sure to create a list of all the questions you have about the options available and about any concerns you might have regarding coverage. Your agent will go over each of the available options and help you to choose the package that is most appropriate for your business. Call Sullivan Insurance today to set up an appointment with your Fall River insurance agent for the most comprehensive marina insurance coverage available.