Specialty Marine Insurance

Get My Quote

Or call for your free quote:

Get information small business specialty insurance types including; excess and surplus coverage, exposures, risks, requirments, policies & more.

The Specialty Marine Insurance Guide

Marine Insurance

Marine Insurance. This guide provides information on excess, surplus and specialty lines small business insurance policies and risks.

Here you can find basic descriptions of the specific industry risks or specialty coverage types available for Marine Insurance.

For certain types of small businesses, particularly new ones - it is often very hard to know what types of commercial insurance is needed, what the risks are that should be covered - and where to find coverage.

We wanted to provide reference for specialty commercial insurance to help our readers get a better understanding of Marine Insurance policies they might need to do business.

Learn about Specialty Marine Insurance to better understand common risks, exposures and the types of commercial insurance coverage available to protect your small business and it's operations.

Marine Insurance Types

Click on the links below to learn more about Specialty Marine Insurance types and coverages:



What Type Of Insurance Do Aquaculture Operations Need?

Aquaculture operations or marine farming is similar to other farming operations, but it has some unique and unusual exposures. Flood and windstorm coverage is available through various insurance pools, while private insurers provide other property and liability coverage. Unique exposures include disease and contamination of fish, shellfish, and shrimp crops during cultivation.


What Type Of Insurance Do Boat Dealers Need?

Boat dealers sell new and used watercraft. The dealers may be land or water based. Policies designed for boat dealers cover stocks of boats, accessories, and supplies held for sale. Property and marine coverage is usually written on an "all risks" type basis. Coverages are similar to open lot automobile coverage and garagekeepers legal liability.


What Type Of Insurance Do Boatyards Or Boat Repair And Servicing Operations Need?

Boatyards work with their clients to repair and service their boats, haul them out of water in the fall, store them over the winter, and launch them in the spring. The general liability exposure is similar to that of an automobile repair operation with the added hazard of water-related activities. The storage and moorage exposure can be significant.


What Is Bumbershoot Liability Insurance?

This is a special form of umbrella liability designed for marine accounts that operate vessels or use docks. It covers protection and indemnity, general average, collision, salvage charges, sue and labor, and all other legal and contractual liability. It also covers employers liability; liability under admiralty laws and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act; automobile liability; and general liability.


What Type Of Insurance Do Charter Boat Operations Need?

Standard protection and indemnity coverage written in conjunction with small watercraft and boats hull insurance policies does not apply when a boat is hired or chartered to others. However, coverage is available for owners or operators of such vessels used to carry passengers for a fee for sightseeing, fishing, transportation, entertainment, or marine observation. Coverage is usually subject to a deductible. Liability exposures concern underwriters more than loss or damage to the hull.


What Type Of Insurance Do Commercial Fishing Boats Need?

Commercial fishing boats are subject to significant hazards. As a result, the market for them is quite limited. Protection and indemnity (P&I) exposures concern underwriters more than hull physical damage exposures. By far, the greatest hazard is crew coverage for employees who work on vessels. Employees who work on land also need coverage. Workers compensation, U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act coverage, and Jones Act liability coverage must be coordinated to protect owners and operators against claims for injuries to all employees. Commercial general liability coverage for non-marine exposures is also required. Many specialty liability carriers refuse to insure the crew hazard.


What Are Customs Bonds?

The United States Customs Bureau requires that an importer secure a bond to guarantee that it will pay all duties on goods brought into the country. Shippers must secure open customs bonds that cover shipments on a continuous basis. Custom bonds are available for others on a single shipment basis that are written for amounts equal to the value of the goods and include applicable duties and fees. Related to customs bonds, Non-Vessel Owners Common Carrier (NVOCC) bonds and freight forwarders bonds for importers and exporters are required by the Federal Maritime Commission and protect exporters for their cargoes while being shipped.


What Type Of Insurance Do Customs Brokers And Freight Forwarders Need?

Customs brokers and freight forwarders work with importers to ensure that their commodity shipments clear customs according to government guidelines and regulations. Customs brokers manage the paperwork on the import from the time it arrives at the port of entry. They also act as freight forwarders to deliver goods to the customer's inland location, regardless of the distance. Customs brokers errors and omissions coverage protects them against suits that arise from their negligence in arranging for clearance and forwarding imports on the importer's behalf.


What Type Of Insurance Do Dredging Contractors Need?

Dredging contractors move dirt, sand, and accumulated debris from waterways (fresh and saltwater), primarily to redirect, clear, or establish new channels. Many dredging contracts involve coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers. Dredging equipment is usually on a barge that floats over the site.


What Is Excess Marine Liability Insurance?

Excess limits over primary marine liability limits are often needed. Marine employers' liability and commercial general liability limits on policies for marine businesses, such as boat builders and repairers, marine contractors, dredgers, and other vessel services, can be extended by using specialty markets that write excess marine liability limits. Excess liability coverages for marina operators, stevedores, charterers, wharfingers, and terminal operators can be written over self-insured retention (SIR) programs or over primary policies.


What Is Excess Maritime Employers Liability Insurance?

Employers liability for maritime risks usually falls under the jurisdiction of either the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (USL&HWCA) or admiralty jurisdiction via the Jones Act. Coverage for workers involved in offshore oil drilling, marine diving or dredging, employed on fishing vessels, or serving as crew members on tugs, barges, ferries, scows, work boats, and pleasure yachts can be difficult to place because the work they perform is dangerous. Certain specialists well acquainted with maritime exposures provide excess maritime employers liability.


What Type Of Insurance Do Ferry Operators Need?

Bridges are not cost effective or possible in certain locales. In some cases, there are organizations that transport people, cargo and/or vehicles across the body of water. Ferries usually operate on lakes, bays, and rivers on a fixed schedule. Smaller ones may operate only during fixed seasons. Some ferries may also provide tourist cruises. Ocean marine hull coverage and protection and indemnity (P&I) coverage is needed for vessel and liability exposures. General Liability, property, and workers compensation coverages are needed for the pier and on-shore operations. Inland marine coverage may also be needed for mobile property that may be on land or on the ferry.


What Is Food Rejection Insurance?

This coverage insures against food being rejected at its port of entry due to government actions such as arbitrary rejection or detention, or through a miscarriage of administrative food-safety determination. Meat and fish are two common examples of food products that may be rejected due to contamination by impurities, packing cartons, or other cargo. The premium for this insurance is substantial due to consumer attitudes about tainted food and strict federal government regulations.


What Type Of Insurance Do High Performance Boats Need?

Insurance on this class of business is written on broad form marine policies and covers business-owned vessels capable of attaining speeds of 100 miles per hour or more. Hull and liability coverage is available, including medical payments, personal effects, and uninsured boaters coverage. These policies are issued at agreed value with named operator warranties. Extended land transit coverage and transit and storage coverage options are available, as are extended navigation areas. Boats with either single or multi-hulls are eligible.


What Type Of Insurance Do Houseboats Need?

Insurance underwriters categorize houseboats and yachts in the same way. This results in correspondingly similar rates, insuring conditions, and coverages. The yacht coverage form or policy is used to write hull coverage and the protection and indemnity liability coverage for houseboats. The main differences between houseboats and yachts are that houseboats are more difficult to navigate, are less seaworthy in rough water, and are more unwieldy than yachts because of the way they are constructed. Single or twin inboard or outboard drive engines with up to 400 horsepower usually power houseboats. These policies are underwritten based on the owner's or pilot's experience, the vessel's use, operating season, and the rates for the operating area. Coverages provided include hull, boat equipment, personal effects, liability, medical payments, and uninsured boaters coverage and are usually subject to deductibles.


What Type Of Insurance Do Marina Operations Need?

Marinas are important to yacht and pleasure boat owners. They provide these boat owners with mooring facilities, repair, alteration, maintenance, storage, fueling and many other services. Coverage under a marina package policy includes property, commercial general liability, marina operators' legal liability, and protection and indemnity insurance, along with coverage on piers, wharves, and docks. The marina operators' legal liability policy covers the marina operator's legal liability for loss of or damage to private pleasure boats while in its care, custody, or control. This policy closes the gap left by the "care, custody, and control" exclusion in the commercial general liability policy. Water sports' rental insurance is available for marinas that rent out personal watercraft, pleasure boats, kayaks, water skis, and wind surfers. Insurance can be arranged on operations such as parasailing and boat charters.


What Is Marine Cargo Insurance?

The open cargo policy is the most common cargo policy. It covers all shipments the insured makes on a continuous basis until coverage is cancelled. The only thing the insured must do is report the shipment being made and its destination. The policy is customized to meet the insured's special requirements but is written subject to average clauses that determine the extent to which losses are paid.


What Is Marine Hull Insurance?

Marine hull insurance on seagoing vessels has been written since Lloyd's of London commenced operations. The major market in the United States is the American Hull Insurance Syndicate, a pool of major domestic underwriters that can provide large capacity on any one vessel. The policy protects the owner's investment in the vessel and its machinery and equipment. Coverage is usually written on a broad named perils basis and insures against contact with land or any conveyance, as well as negligence of the master, charterer, or pilot. Hull insurance is also written on many different types of commercial craft that operate on rivers, harbors, and other inland waterways.


What Is Marine War Risk Coverage?

Ocean marine underwriters place war exclusions on policies based on the anticipated routes traveled. Some underwriters are willing to remove those exclusions and accept the war risk exposure for a significant premium and subject to prescribed safety protocols.


What Is Marine-Related Professional Liability And Errors And Omissions Insurance?

Businesses that design yachts, pleasure craft, and commercial vessels, as well as marine surveyors, port and harbor managers, and other miscellaneous marine-related risks all have professional and/or errors and omissions liability exposures.


What Is Maritime Liability Insurance?

This coverage is called Protection and Indemnity (P&I) insurance. It applies to liability incurred by businesses that work on or engage in activities associated with ships, piers, and seagoing enterprises. Ship repairers, charterers, and stevedoring activities, as well as oil well drilling, exploration, and diving firms are eligible for this specialty coverage.


What Type Of Insurance Do Oceanography Risks Need?

There is increasing undersea research activity conducted by commercial corporations or the United States and other governments as each attempts to discover resources that might be used to meet the increasing demands of growing world populations. Submarines and sea laboratories, platforms, and surface equipment used to service underwater vessels are just some of the types of vessels involved in oceanographic ventures. Hull and liability insurance coverage on this and other oceanographic equipment is needed. In order to properly underwrite an individual or joint oceanography risk, marine underwriters need information on the insured's background in undersea projects, a detailed list and description of equipment, the nature of the project, operating depths and geographical area, details on support vessels, means of communication, and previous loss experience. This is an extremely specialized and technical field.


What Type Of Insurance Do Offshore Oil Drilling And Service Risks Need?

Property coverage for this class of business is usually written on a named or specified perils basis. There are several different types of offshore rigs, including mobile offshore drilling units and ship-shape floaters, and rigs built on ship hulls. Rigs that are anchored into the seabed and rigs that have submersible oil drilling apparatus pose problems for property insurers. Offshore drilling operations also have significant liability and workers compensation exposures. Workers compensation requires United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Act and Jones Act coverage and must have sufficiently high limits to protect the owners, operators, and drilling contractors and their employees. The threat of water pollution from offshore oil drilling operations adds to an already difficult and complicated insurance coverage arrangement.


What Type Of Insurance Do Pier And Dock Contractors Need?

The water exposure is significant so these contractors must carry both land-based and ocean-based coverages. Coverages for injury to employees is especially difficult because the employer may be required to satisfy state workers compensation laws as well as federal laws such as the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. These contractors have significant general liability exposures but may also have protection and indemnity (P&I) exposures when they work on the water. In addition, many of them own watercraft from which they perform operations.


What Is Pollution Cleanup Indemnity Insurance For Marine Operations?

This coverage protects an insured vessel owner and operator for legal liability that arises from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and its amendments. The original federal legislation that dealt with water pollution was the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970. It imposed liability on vessel owners for cleanup of oil spills. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 broadened the scope of the original legislation to also include liability for cleanup of discharges of hazardous substances as well as oil or petroleum products.


What Is Marine Protection And Indemnity Insurance?

Protection and Indemnity (P&I) insurance covers the insured's liability for injury to both the public and the crew in addition to its liability for damage to the cargo and other property. On land-based risks, this same coverage requires issuing a commercial general liability policy for the bodily injury and property damage, a workers compensation policy to cover the master and crew, and a motor truck cargo carrier's legal liability policy for the cargo.


What Type Of Insurance Do River and Harbor Craft Need?

Special marine hull coverage forms are used to insure vessels that operate on rivers or in harbors. Such vessels include barges, car floats and ferryboats, dredges, and floating dry docks. River and harbor congestion and the special type of work that these vessels do require carefully underwriting each case.


What Type Of Insurance Do River Boat Gambling Casinos Need?

Marine insurers write insurance on this class of business on combined hull and protection and indemnity (P&I) forms. P&I covers liability for injuries to both passengers and crew along with damages alleged by others. Only a few underwriters are willing to assume liability on boats that can carry as many as 1,500 passengers. Tricky navigation in shallow and crowded waters such as the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and the liquor liability exposure make this class difficult to underwrite.


What Is Ship Charterers Legal Liability Insurance?

This coverage protects the party that charters a vessel against liability incurred for loss of or damage to that hired vessel. Liability is usually limited to damage caused by loading, unloading, or failure to provide a safe berth. Coverage may be written on an open basis with a flat premium charged for each voyage or based on insuring each voyage separately.


What Is Ship Repairers Legal Liability Insurance?

This coverage protects an individual ship repairer, marina, or boat yard operator for its legal liability to the vessel's owner for damage to the vessel being repaired. This "care, custody, or control" coverage applies to only property damage liability to the vessel being repaired. In addition, coverage may be extended to include the insured's legal liability if a vessel that is in for repair damages other property, such as during a test run.


What Type Of Insurance Do Sport Fishing Boats Need?

Sport fishing boats are available for hire to parties who go deep sea fishing for game fish such as tuna, marlin, swordfish, or sharks. Property and liability insurance is needed for the hull, passengers, and the crew. Insurance carriers that specialize in marine insurance coverages provide such protection. Coverage is available in warm water areas, such as off the coasts of Mexico, Hawaii, the West Indies, the Bahamas, as well as off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico.


What Is Stevedore Legal Liability Insurance?

This coverage protects stevedoring operations against claims for loss or damage to vessels or their cargo that arise out of loading or unloading operations. The coverage provided is usually limited to legal liability, as opposed to contractual liability. Premiums are usually a percentage of gross receipts or based on cargo tonnage moved.


What Is Vessel Pollution Insurance?

Pollution caused by vessels, such as the Exxon Valdez incident in Prince William Sound in Alaska, can lead to extremely large losses. The vessel pollution coverage pays damages for leaks and spills of crude refined oil and other chemicals by ocean-going vessels that harm the environment. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) must approve any insurer that provides this coverage before coverage is placed with it. If an incident does occur, all clean-up must be conducted according to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and any subsequent revisions.


What Is Water Ski Schools Liability Insurance?

Water ski schools provide instruction for water skiing, wave boarding, tubing, barefoot water skiing, and other types of propelled water-related activities. Instruction is usually conducted in less hazardous water areas relatively free of other watercraft. Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is available.


What Type Of Insurance Do Water Sport Rentals Need?

Renting watercraft is a popular alternative to ownership. The types of watercraft rented range from personal watercraft such as ski-doos to houseboats. The coverage provided is for the benefit of the rental unit's owner, not the renter. Hull damage, water sports liability, and other liability coverages are available. Underwriters require a written rental agreement that contains appropriate hold harmless language.


What Is Wharfingers Legal Liability Insurance?

This coverage is also known as wharfkeepers legal liability or landing dock bailee liability insurance. It covers the insured's legal liability for loss or damage to vessels in the insured's care, custody, or control. Coverage is also provided for the insured's legal liability for loss or damage to other property that is caused by vessels in its care, custody, or control. This liability coverage is usually purchased by insureds that have vessels, watercraft, or other equipment moored on their premises. The rating is based on the number of days or hours a vessel is on the insured's premises. Underwriters usually charge a minimum deposit premium against which the rate per vessel day is adjusted. The coverage may be included in the general coverage for a marina operator where a combined policy covers ship repairers' legal liability, wharfingers liability, and liability to vessels stored.


What Type Of Insurance Do Yachts And Pleasure Boats Need?

Package-type policies are available for most types of power and sailing vessels. Property coverage is usually provided on an "all risks" type basis for physical damage (hull) coverage. Liability is provided under protection and indemnity type coverage. Passenger, water skiing liability and property coverage on equipment and trailers are optional coverages that are available. Coverage for boat trailers, personal effects, medical payments, and uninsured boaters are other important available options. Watercraft more than 25 years of age is usually written under separate antique and classic boat programs.


Marine Insurance - The Bottom Line

We hope that the Marine Insurance helps you to better understand the some of the specialty small business commercial insurance policies available for your business. To find out what types of coverage your unique business needs, speak to a professional commercial broker with experience in insuring businesses like yours.

Specialty Small Business Insurance Guide By Industry, Risk Or Policy Type



Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations

Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.

Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.

Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.

Small Business Information

Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.

Small Business Insurance Information

In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.

The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.

Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.

According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.

Types Of Small Business Insurance

Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:

  • What type of business am I running?
  • What are common risks associated with this industry?
  • Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
  • Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
  • Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?

A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:

Business Insurance Policy Type What Is Covered?
General Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.
Workers Compensation InsuranceWhat is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.
Product Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.
Commercial Property InsuranceWhat is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.
Commercial Auto InsuranceWhat is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.
Commercial Umbrella PoliciesWhat is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.
Liquor Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.
Surety BondWhat is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).


Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.

Business Insurance Required by Law
Small Business Commercial Insurance

If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.

Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.

Other Types Of Small Business Insurance

There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Commercial Flood Insurance
  • Contractor's Insurance
  • Cyber Liability
  • Data Breach
  • Directors and Officers
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Environmental or Pollution Liability
  • Management Liability
  • Sexual Misconduct Liability

Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.

Also learn about small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including small business commercial insurance costs. Call us (855) 767-7828.

Free Business Insurance Quote Click Here