Montana Boat Dealers Insurance Policy Information
Montana Boat Dealers Insurance. Boating is a beloved pastime of many. It's also a vital industry that plays a key role in the economy. Whether you sell leisure boats, such sailboats, speed boats, pontoon boats, or yachts, or you supply the vessels for business, such as ferries, water taxis, and fishing boats, you provide an invaluable service for your clients.
You're also exposed to a lot of risks. Some of those risks are similar to the risks that business owners in all industries face, while some are unique to boat dealers.
Boat dealers sell all types and sizes of watercraft, including jet skis, canoes, rowboats, inboard/outboard motorboats, sailboats, houseboats and yachts. Boat accessories and parts are usually sold, as well as other recreational items such as fishing gear, water skiing gear, and surfing equipment.
Boat dealers typically offer maintenance and repair services, either by performing the work themselves or by subcontracting to a specialty shop. Inventory and labor may fluctuate depending on the season.
The dealer may sell used watercraft from trade-ins, operate a marina or provide off-season boat storage. While a selection of boats may be displayed in a showroom, many are stored in open lots outside the building.
In order to protect yourself from the unexpected, having the right type of Montana boat dealers insurance coverage is an absolute must.
What kind of insurance do you need? How much should you carry? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
Montana boat dealers insurance protects your dealership from lawsuits with rates as low as $59/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Boat Dealers Need Insurance?
As mentioned, MT boat dealers are exposed to a variety of risks. While you do your best to make sure that everything with your business runs smoothly, there's always a chance that something could go wrong.
An employee could get injured on the job. A vendor could slip and fall while making a delivery to your dealership. A client could file a lawsuit against you, citing that the equipment you supplied was defective. Your inventory could be vandalized or your dealership could be damaged in a storm.
As the owner and operator of your boat dealership, you are liable for anything that does go wrong. That means that you are also responsible for paying any related expenses, and those expenses can be expensive.
Lawsuits, medical bills, repairs, and more; the cost of all of these things can be exorbitant. With the right type of Montana boat dealers insurance coverage, if something does go wrong, instead of paying the expenses out of your own pocket, your carrier will cover them for you.
In other words, having the correct commercial insurance can protect you from serious financial losses. Plus, being properly insured ensures that your MT operation is legal, as some types of coverage are required by law.
What Type Of Insurance Do Boat Dealers Need?
There are several forms of Montana boat dealers insurance coverage that boat dealerships should carry; however, the specific type of coverage you'll need does vary.
There are numerous factors that will affect the coverage you need, such as where your MT operation is located, the type of inventory you carry, and even the clients you serve. Because insurance needs vary, it's important to speak with an insurance agent who has experience covering boat dealers.
To give you a basic idea of the type of coverage you may need, however, here's a look at some of the policies that you will likely need to invest in:
- Commercial General Liability: This type of insurance offers broad coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. For instance, if a vendor were to sustain an injury at your place of business and file a lawsuit against you, this policy would cover any expenses that would be related to such an incident, such as legal fees and any damages that a court may find you liable for.
- Commercial Property: This coverage protects the physical structure of your business, some of the structures that surround it, and the contents within it from acts of nature, vandalism, and theft. For example, if a fire were to break out at your dealership, this coverage would help to pay for any necessary repairs, or to replace things that may not be reparable.
- Business Income: In the event that you need to close your boat dealership down, business income insurance would help to cover any income that you might lose during the shutdown. For instance, if a fire were to break out and you needed to be closed until your facility was repaired, business income insurance would replace any income that you may lose during that period of time.
- Workers' Compensation: You'll also need to carry a workers' compensation policy to protect your employees. In the event that a staff member suffers an injury at work, this policy would cover their medical expenses, as well as replace any wages that they may lose if they are unable to work as a result of that injury.
The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Montana boat dealers insurance coverage you should consider for your dealership.
MT Boat Dealership's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to public access to the display areas, parking lots and repair areas. Floor coverings inside the showroom should be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
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 can pose an attractive nuisance to children and teens, especially in the off season. Chains and fences should be in place to prevent entrance to the dealership after hours.
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.
General liability policies exclude most watercraft exposures. If boats can be taken onto the water for test drives by customers, a watercraft or ocean marine protection and indemnity coverage is needed.
Environmental impairment exposures 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 operations.
All above-ground and underground tanks and pipes are subject to montana 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. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals.
Workers compensation exposure is most significant in the repair operation and during 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 sold 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. There may be Longshore and Harborworkers Compensation Act exposure if work is done on or near the water.
Property exposure comes from the flammable paints, lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents used in service and repair operations and the combustibility of watercraft. Flammables must be properly labeled, stored and separated. If done on premises, spray painting should be in spray booths with good ventilation, UL-approved wiring and fixtures and adequate controls.
Welding is often a part of the repair and body work operation that 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. Greasy, oily rags must be kept in covered metal containers. Work areas must be cleaned regularly and trash removed from the building.
Lubricants and fuels should be drained from any watercraft stored during the off-season to reduce the potential for a fire. Wind, wind-driven water and hurricane damage pose catastrophe potential, especially if the operation 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 exposure comes from employee dishonesty, theft of money and securities, burglary and robbery. 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 exposure comes from accounts receivable if the dealer offers credit; bailees customers if the dealer offers service, repair, or storage; computers used to monitor inventory; floor plan coverage for watercraft furnished by manufacturers and held for sale; goods in transit if the dealer delivers watercraft to customers; and valuable papers and records for manufacturers' and customers' records.
Boats stored in the open are particularly susceptible to damage by hail, wind, flood, vandalism and theft. Areas should be well lighted with chains, fences or gates to prevent access and transport. The more expensive models should be moved inside to the showroom.
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. Property on consignment or off premises at shows and exhibitions may require special controls and coverages.
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.
Boat Dealers Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specific types of Montana boat dealers insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage your dealership needs - speak with an experienced insurance broker.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee 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.
Montana also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Retail Insurance
Read valuable small business retail insurance policy information. In a retail business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your store, employees, and inventory are protected.
- Adult Novelty
- Antique Dealers
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Art Gallery
- Bicycle Shop
- Boat Dealers
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Dry Cleaning
- Equipment Rental
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Hardware Store
- Home Improvement Store
- Hotel Motel
- Ice Cream Shop
- Jewelry Store
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tire Store
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- Wig Store
Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic, but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most.
All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment, but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured's interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important.
The businessowners policy was designed with retail exposures and operations in mind. For this reason alone, it should always be the first type of package coverage to consider. However, for those risks not eligible for the business owners policy program, the commercial package policy (CPP) is a practical and convenient way to combine a number of coverages into one policy.
Retail businesses generate income through interaction with customers. This interaction is also how a customer can sustain an injury and then sue the retailer for damages. Hazards, exposures and operations both on premises and off are important and must be covered, but liability the retailer may incur because of the merchandise sold must also be considered and insurance protection arranged.
Inventory or stock is the major property exposure for most retail operations. Because stock values tend to fluctuate or have significant peaks at certain times of the year, value reporting or peak season valuation options should be considered. Business income coverage, including business income from dependent properties coverage, may mean the difference between a retail operation staying in business or being forced into bankruptcy following a loss.
When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Most retail businesses offer endless opportunities for a variety of criminal activities. For this reason, the coverages needed must be carefully evaluated. Holdup and robbery losses may be the most obvious concerns but employee theft, fraud and counterfeit money losses are also serious issues that cannot be dismissed.
Retail businesses are gaining greater exposure to international issues because of the growth in sales via the internet. As these sales increase, the added exposures faced by these retailers must be evaluated. While their operating horizons are expanding so are their potential loss exposures.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Bailees Customers, Goods in Transit, Jewelers Block, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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