Washington Commercial Fishermen Insurance

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Washington Commercial Fishermen Insurance Policy Information

WA Commercial Fishermen Insurance

Washington Commercial Fishermen Insurance. Tuna, salmon, crab, lobster, clam, scallops; the sea provides a bounty of food, and as a commercial fishermen, you play a vital role in supplying food to people around the globe.

Whether you operate a small outfit with just a few vessels and supply fresh seafood to local markets, or you are the proprietor of a national or international operation with a large fleet of vessels and you supply seafood to markets around the globe, you need to make sure that your business is properly protected.

How do you do that? By investing in the right type of Washington commercial fishermen insurance.

Commercial fishermen catch and trap fish and shellfish, including carp, cod, flounder, herring, salmon, sardines, tuna, clams, crab, lobsters, scallops, shrimp, and squid. The business may be owned by a family or a large corporation.

Equipment used include cranes, dredges, nets, poles, traps, and trolling lines. Fish and shellfish are highly perishable and must be kept from deteriorating between the time of capture and pickup by a processor, restaurant, retail store, or wholesaler.

Aboard the fishing vessel, the fish may be gutted and washed, then chilled or iced in refrigerated containers or salted until delivered to shore. Shellfish may be kept alive in tanks while on the vessel.

Once the vessel lands, the catch may be picked up by or delivered directly to customers or stored temporarily in a warehouse. Seafood is subject to FDA requirements, which are provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA provides sanitation inspections of vessels and storage facilities along with product quality, grading and certification services.

As the owner and operator of a commercial fishermen, 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 Washington commercial fishermen 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 commercial fishermen from any mishaps that may be thrown your way.

Why do WA commercial fishermen need to be insured? What type of insurance should they carry? Below, we'll explore the answers to these key questions and more.

Washington commercial fishermen insurance protects your fishing operation from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Why Do Commercial Fishermen Need Insurance?

As a commercial fisherman, the very nature of your business is risky. The sea can be volatile and is difficult to predict. An unexpected storm could blow in, capsize one of your vessels, resulting in serious injuries, loss of any product that was caught, and damage to the ship.

This isn't the only type of issue that commercial fishermen could experience. A client could file a lawsuit against you, claiming that the products you supplied were responsible for illnesses. The dock where you keep your vessels could be damaged in a storm. These are just some of the issues that commercial fishermen face.

As the owner and operator of your WA commercial fishing outfit, you are liable for any of the costs that are associated with mishaps that may occur. As you can imagine, these costs can be exorbitant and if you have to pay for them out of your own pocket, you could be looking at serious financial losses.

If, however, something unexpected does occur and you do have the right kind of Washington commercial fishermen insurance coverage, instead of paying for the associated expenses yourself, your carrier would cover them for you.

In other words, insurance can protect you from financial hardships, and can even help you avoid losing your business.

Of course, in addition to the financial security insurance provides, commercial fishermen are legally required to carry certain types of coverage. If you fail to have mandated coverages, you could be hit with major penalties and may even end up having your operation shut down.

What Type Of Insurance Do Commercial Fishing Operations Need?

There are several types of insurance that commercial fishermen will need to carry. The specific types of Washington commercial fishermen insurance coverage that fishing businesses will need are dependent on several factors that relate to the individual operations; the size of the business, where it is located, what type of clients the business supplies products to, etc.

With that said, however, here's a look at some of the most basic types of coverage that most WA commercial fishermen will require:

  • Commercial General Liability - This kind of insurance protects you from third-party property damage and personal injury liability claims. For instance, if a vendor or a client were to slip, fall, and suffer an injury on your business' premise and they filed a lawsuit against you, citing that it was your negligence that resulted in the accident and injury, commercial general liability insurance would help to cover your legal expenses, as well as any settlements that you may be required to pay.
  • Commercial Property - You'll also want to carry a commercial property insurance policy, which protects the physical structure of the buildings that are used for your business, as well as the contents within them, from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. If someone were to steal one of your vessels, this coverage would assist with replacing it, as well as pay for any repairs that your property may require.
  • Workers' Compensation - You are responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. In the event that one of your employees suffers a work-related injury or illness, you would be responsible for covering the cost of their medical care, as well as reimbursing them for any wages that they may lose if they are unable to work. Workers' compensation would help to pay for the expenses that are associated with any employee-related injuries or illnesses.

The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Washington commercial fishermen insurance coverage you should consider for your fishing operation.

WA Commercial Fishing's Risks & Exposures

Ocean marine exposures are from the vessel, its cargo, third party liability, and injury or death to the crew while working away from shore. The size of the vessel, the equipment used, the type of fish or seafood being sought, whether fishing is in fresh or salt water, the distance from shore, and the length of time out to sea are all important considerations.

Communication with land, Coast Guard, and other nearby fisherman is vital. Regular maintenance of the vessel and all equipment must be documented. Cargo areas must be appropriate for the type of seafood or fish that is caught and the length of time the catch is held.

Bodily injury and property damage caused by the vessel is an important exposure. The crew and master must be trained in navigating the fishing area and must have the needed tools to prevent contact with other fixed objects such as piers, bridges and docks and other vessels.

Injury to the crew and captain is considered an ocean marine exposure because of maritime law and the Jones Act. The exposures are severe due to the hazardous working conditions aboard the vessel. Long hours, strenuous work, dangerous equipment (such as cranes or winches), and severe weather conditions combine to make commercial fishing one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

Fishermen can fall overboard or drown when the vessel capsizes, is flooded, or becomes unstable due to high waves and/or heavy winds. Safety equipment, including use of personal flotation devices (PFDs) equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) while on deck, emergency stops on winches, and hatch and door monitoring systems to prevent progressive flooding, should be required.

Drills on safe evacuation procedures should be regularly conducted. As operations are conducted in remote areas, it is difficult to transport an injured worker to a medical facility to receive prompt treatment.

Premises liability exposure is light. There may be an office as well as some selling of fish and seafood on the pier, but this is very limited. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, refer to the Fish Packers or the Meat Markets classifications. Commercial fishing corporations can be targeted by conservation or animal rights groups. Additional security may be required if there are demonstrations.

Products liability exposure does not exist unless the fisherman processes the fish. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, refer to the Fish Packers or the Meat Markets classifications.

Environmental impairment exposure is high due to the potential for water pollution from waste products from fish and seafood, which can include heads, skin, viscera and carcasses along with briny storage fluid. Disposal must be documented and meet all FDA and EPA standards. Fishing operations may damage coral reefs.

Workers compensation exposure is limited on shore to that of an office plus light maintenance type operations related to the equipment used on the vessel. The fishing operations are not covered by workers compensation but by federal maritime law and the Jones Act. Additional coverage in Alaska is available through the state's Fishermen's Fund.

Property exposure is limited to items kept on shore, including an office and storage of items needed to support the vessel. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, refer to the Fish Packers or the Meat Markets classifications.

Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, should be obtained on each employee prior to hiring. Ordering and billing must be handled by two different employees.

Employee theft of fresh seafood is a particular problem because of the high value of certain types of seafood and the lack of clear identification or markings on the items.

Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable for customers with credit arrangements, computers for tracking inventories, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information and documentation of regulatory requirements.

Business auto exposure may be limited to hired or non-owned from employees using their vehicles to run errands. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, there may be delivery to customers in refrigerated trucks and the transporting of frozen goods.

Drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with records kept in a central location.

Washington Commercial Fishermen Insurance - The Bottom Line

To find out what other kinds of Washington commercial fishermen insurance coverage you should carry and to develop a policy that is customized to meet your unique needs, speak with a reputable agent who specializes in WA commercial fishing insurance.

Washington State Economic Outlook & Business Insurance Requirements

For anyone who is thinking about starting up a business, it is important that they choose a location that suites the industry that they wish to work in. With that said, in order to determine whether or not a location is the right choice for your business, you should have an idea about the state's economic status. You should also have an understanding of the WA state regulations related to the types of commercial insurance that you are required to carry.

Made In Washington

If you are thinking about starting up a business in the State of Washington, below, we offer some insight into the state's economic status. We also offer a glimpse at the WA insurance requirements that business owners must abide by.

State Of The Economy In Washington

Washington state may be famous for its gloomy weather, but when it comes to the economy, things here look bright. The economic outlook for Washington is healthy. It is expected that there will be more jobs added in the 2021 calendar year. There will be an increase in the productivity of labor. There will also be an increase in the state's unemployment rate during the year 2021, with a forecasted rate of 4.7 percent.

Washington is regarded as one of the top for businesses in the nation. In fact, it is listed at the 11th best state for business by Forbes. The industry that is expected to see the most growth are related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Among the top industries in this state include information technology. Education, healthcare, finance, and travel and tourism also contribute largely to the awesome economy of this state.

Commercial Insurance Requirements In WA

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner regulates the insurance industry in WA. Businesses are legally required to carry workers' compensation insurance. This type of coverage is required for any business that employs either hourly or salaried employees, and either part-time or full-time employees. You are also required to carry commercial auto insurance if you use a vehicle to conduct any type of business in this state. That means that if you are using a car to transport goods, make deliveries, or meet with clients, you must carry business auto insurance.

While commercial general liability insurance is not required in Washington, it is highly recommended. This type of insurance offers protection from lawsuits and other legal fees that may arise.

Additional Resources For Agribusiness Insurance

Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.


Agribusiness Insurance

Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.

Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:

The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.

The second is liability for both premises and products.

The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.

There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.

Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.

Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.

Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.

Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).


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Also find Washington insurance agents & brokers and learn about Washington small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including WA business insurance costs. Call us (206) 801-0021.

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