Alabama Marina Insurance Policy Information
Alabama Marina Insurance. As a marina owner, you're tasked with a lot of responsibilities. Not only do you have to ensure that the vessels you keep watch over are well-protected, but you also have to ensure that your property is cared for, and of course, that any staff you employ is taken care of.
In other words, marina owners are exposed to a lot of risks.
Marinas, boat yards or boat moorage facilities offer a wide variety of services to both private and commercial boat or yacht owners and their guests. Marinas offer launching slips or dock space rental, some to members only and some to the public. Some offer storage facilities, both wet (in the water) and dry (out of the water).
Vessels stored in dry dock may be kept indoors or outdoors in a yard. Other services may include retail sales of accessories, fuel or supplies, pumping out of the vessel's waste tank (refuse from galley and head), boat rentals, service and repair facilities, dry docks for painting, cleaning, refitting, or winterizing, and restaurants or bars.
There may be a launching slip for customers' use. The marina may have lifts to take boats out of the water. They may offer instruction, boat races and contests, demonstrations and promotions. If the marina does not offer all the services mentioned, these may be contracted elsewhere to meet the needs of their customers.
As the owner and operator of a marina, you are liable for anything that goes wrong. In order to protect yourself from the risk of serious financial losses, you need to invest in the right type of Alabama marina insurance coverage.
What kind of insurance do you need? How much should you carry? Read on to find out how to properly protect your AL marina from any mishaps that may be thrown your way.
Alabama marina insurance protects your boat yard and moorage facility from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Marinas Need Insurance?
Despite trying your best to make sure that everything runs smoothly with your AL marina, there is always a chance that something could go wrong.
Your entire property could go up in flames, a storm could wipe out your bulkheads and piers, a customer could file a lawsuit against you, claiming that you were responsible for damaging their boat, or an employee could suffer a work-related injury. These are just a few examples of the things that could go wrong.
If something unexpected occurs, you could be looking at some serious financial losses. The cost of medical bills, repairs, property damage, and more could end up costing you a fortune. That's why having the right type of insurance coverage is so important.
As long as you're covered, instead of paying for any mishaps that do occur yourself, your insurance carrier will cover the cost for you. Not only will having the right kind of Alabama marina insurance coverage protect you from serious financial losses, but marina owners are also legally required to carry insurance coverage.
If you aren't covered, you could be looking at serious fines and could potentially even end up having your AL marina shut down.
What Type Of Insurance Do Marina Need?
There are several types of Alabama marina insurance coverage that marina owners will need. The specific type of coverage you'll require depends on a variety of factors; where your marina is located, the size of the marina, and the risk for storm damage in your area, for example.
Because AL insurance requirements may vary, it's best to speak with a reputable insurance agent who has experience insuring marina owners.
To give you an idea of some of the different types of insurance marina owners will need, here's a look at a few examples of the coverages you might need to carry:
- Commercial Property - This type of insurance coverage protects your commercial property, as well as the contents within it from acts of nature, vandalism, and theft. For example, if high winds pulled the roof off of your marina, an explosion occurred, or someone vandalized your building, this type of coverage would help to cover the cost of repairing or replacing any damages.
- Inland Marine - This type of insurance can be considered a "floater" policy, as it protects your property when it isn't on-site. For instance, it will cover your travel lifts, compressors, for lifts, and other gear and tools that you may use in different locations when they aren't on-site of your marina.
- General Liability - Like any other business owner in any other industry, you'll also need to invest in general liability coverage. This type of insurance protects you from third-party personal injury and property damage claims. For example, if a client were to fall off the bulkhead while docking their boat and claim that the accident occurred because you didn't properly maintain the bulkhead, this coverage would protect you. It helps to cover any legal expenses, as well as compensation that you may be required to pay.
- Workers Compensation - If you employ a staff, it's your responsibility to provide them with a safe work environment. If one of your employees were to become injured on the job, workers' comp would help to pay for any medical care that they require, as well cover any wages that they may lose if they were unable to work while recovering.
The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Alabama marina insurance coverage you should consider for your boat yard.
AL Marina' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to waterfront facilities and the public access to the premises. Tripping and slip and fall hazards are common. Waiting areas should be provided for customers whose vessels are being repaired. Customers should not be permitted access to the service area.
The moving, rearranging and hooking up of owned and non-owned watercraft pose a collision hazard to persons or to property of others. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls.
If the premises are open after dark, adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area must be present. Watercraft stored outside may pose an attractive nuisance to children and teens, especially during the off season. Chains and fences should be in place to prevent entrance to the premises after hours.
The more land-based the operation, the greater the exposure because once the customer boards a vessel, the premises liability stops and the inland or ocean marine exposure begins. Docks present numerous hazards. Wet or slippery surfaces, inadequate markings, poor maintenance, obstacles left on the dock by the insured or others may result in injuries to customers or guests.
If alcohol is sold on premises, there is a significant liquor liability exposure since alcohol combined with watercraft can be a deadly combination. Repair operations are the major products/completed operations exposures.
There should be a check-off procedure in place prior to release of the watercraft to the customer to prevent its return with any vital functions not working properly.
Environmental impairment exposure can be significant due to the storage of gasoline and other flammable liquids in tanks and the disposal of used oils, solvents and other hazardous wastes from repair and pump-out operations. All above-ground and underground tanks are subject to state or federal regulations and should be routinely tested for leakage.
Adequate procedures should be in place and must be followed to prevent any leakage or contamination. Fuel pumps that are available to the public pose an exposure due to the possibility of spillage into waterways. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals.
Workers compensation exposures are most significant in the repair operation and any transport. Back injuries, hernias, strains and sprains can result from lifting. Repair may involve painting, welding, or work with fiberglass hulls. Safety equipment should be provided. Casual and seasonal labor can impact the ability to control hazards. Turnover may be high.
If large boats are repaired there may be work at heights. Refueling should be done only in well-ventilated areas to minimize inhaling of fumes. Information regarding chemicals should be available to employees along with early warning signs of problems.
The transporting of boats from storage to the water may involve cranes, lifts, winches or other heavy equipment, including rails. There may be Longshore & Harborworkers Compensation Act or Maritime exposure if work is done on or near the water.
Property exposure may be limited to a retail store operation or include hazards of boat repair, spray painting and even a full-service restaurant. If painting, welding, fiberglass repair or cooking exposures are done on premises; the exposure to fire will be increased. Cooking surfaces must be properly protected. Flammables must be properly labeled, stored and separated.
Spray painting should be conducted in spray booths with good ventilation, UL-approved wiring and fixtures and adequate controls. If welding is a part of the repair and body work operation, it needs to be evaluated for proper handling of the tanks and gases and adequate separation from other operations with either a separate room or flash/welding curtains.
Good housekeeping is critical. Oily rags must be kept in covered metal containers. Work areas must be cleaned regularly and trash removed from the building. Marinas are often at a distance from fire stations, and access may be difficult due to natural obstructions or poor road quality.
Although located near water, lack of equipment, procedures or training may result in a severe fire loss. Wind, wind-driven water and hurricane damage pose catastrophe potential as the marina is close to the water.
Theft is a concern as watercraft can be target items. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers such as chains, fences, or gates, lighting to deter access to the premises after hours, and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Employee dishonesty is controlled through background checks, inventory monitoring, control of the cash register, and division of duties. Physical audits should be conducted at least annually. Storage and handling of keys presents an often overlooked exposure to theft.
Inland marine exposures come from accounts receivable if the operation offers credit; bailees customers for watercraft in for service, repair or storage; computers used to monitor inventory; goods in transit if the operation delivers watercraft to customers; and valuable papers and records for manufacturers' and customers' records.
Contractors' equipment may include marine railways, hoists and other marine equipment used to move boats in and out of the water, equipment used for lifting and transporting vessels and to maintain the premises.
Particular concern should be shown for any item that is used near or in the water. Watercraft stored in the open are particularly susceptible to damage by vandalism and theft. Lots should be well lighted with chains, fences or gates to prevent access and transport.
An alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department should be used. Security guards may be appropriate in some areas. The operator may own one or more boats. There may also be a rental boat exposure.
Ocean marine exposure includes the dock and any owned vessels. Piers and docks may be susceptible to weather perils as well as damage from vessels. Hoisting exposures seaside may be similar to those under inland marine, but the catastrophe potential is often significantly increased due to the higher value of ocean-going watercraft and the unpredictability of the ocean.
The insured may own one or more boats or other watercraft that are for personal use and/or rental. Ocean marine includes the liability exposures (as protection and indemnity coverage) so any rental operation can add a significant exposure.
Commercial auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands to pick up parts for repair operations. All employee drivers should have appropriate licenses with their MVRs regularly checked. All vehicles must be regularly maintained with records retained.
There should be written procedures for personal and permissive use of vehicles furnished to employees. If the dealership offers pickup and delivery of watercraft to its customers, the exposure increases. Transportation hazards include failure to secure the load properly and equipment failure, especially tie-downs and hitches.
Drivers must be trained to transport oversized loads that can shift on the road. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted.
Alabama Marina Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the exact types of Alabama marina insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage your boat yard needs - speak with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks of marinas.
Alabama Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Every business-minded person who is looking into opening a business knows that location plays a huge role in their success. It's important to ensure that the area where you're thinking establishing a business is conducive to your industry. Additionally, it's important to have a firm understanding of the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial operations in the area.
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in the state of Alabama, read on to find an overview of The Heart of Dixie's economic data and commercial insurance requirements.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alabama
Unemployment rate is an important factor that prospective business owners should take into consideration before establishing a corporation, as it directly reflects the labor market of the area. A low rate of unemployment indicates that there are enough jobs to support the overall population, and jobs indicate that local businesses are successful.
This information directly reflects whether or not the economy of a state is healthy enough to support new businesses. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alabama's unemployment rate was 2.7% as of 2020, 0.8% lower than the national average of 3.5%. This is a good sign for entrepreneurs who are considering establishing a business in the state.
Birmingham is one of the top cities for business in Alabama. It's considered the hub of technological growth in the state, and is the site for numerous tech startups. Huntsville is also a key location for startups in the tech industry, as it's regarded as one of the most "tech-friendly" cities of the Southern United States. Montgomery and Tuscaloosa are also two cities potential business owners might consider setting up shop in the state of Alabama.
While several industries do well in the state, the following key sectors are experiencing the most growth in AL:
- Aerospace and aviation
- Beverage production
- Chemical development
- Corporate operations
- Metals, such as iron and steel
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alabama
The Alabama Department of Insurance regulates insurance in AL. Alabama mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alabama requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you have 5 or more employees on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alabama also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other insurance policies that business owners in AL need to invest in depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Miscellaneous Insurance
Find informative articles on miscellaneous businesses including the types of commercial insurance they need, costs and other considerations.
- Adult Daycare Insurance
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
- Bail Agent
- Control of Well
- Employment / Staffing Agency
- Engraving Business
- Facility Support Services
- Mail Order
- Oil And Gas Lease
- Personal Concierge
- Photofinishing Lab
- Portable Sanitation
- Printers & Publishers
- Private Water Districts
- Process Server
- RV Parks & Campgrounds
- Security Guard
- Surety Bonds
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Drone
- Waste Disposal Landfill
- Wedding Planner
An insurance contract is an agreement where one party obligates itself to make good the financial loss or damage sustained by a second party when a designated event occurs. The event must be fortuitous and happen by accident. The named insured must have insurable interest at the time of loss. One final point is that in order for any contract to be considered insurance, there must be a risk of loss.
Fortuitous Event - An occurrence largely beyond the control of any involved party; happening by chance; accidental; for example: fire, lightning, windstorm, explosion or flood.
Insurable Interest - In order to recover from a loss to property, the holder must have an insurable interest in the property at the time of the event or occurrence. An insurable interest is any right, title or interest in property where the holder of that right, title or interest sustains financial loss if the property is damaged or destroyed. Any lawful and substantial economic interest in the safety or preservation of the property from loss, destruction or damage also constitutes an insurable interest.
An entity does not have to be the property owner to have an insurable interest in it. Examples include, but are not limited to, mortgagees, trustees, vendors, lessees and bailees. Insurable interest for any entity must exist at the time the loss occurs.
Risk Of Loss - If property could never be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. If property must necessarily disintegrate or be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. Between these two extremes is the exposure of risk that can be insured.
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