West Virginia Commercial Fishermen Insurance

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West Virginia Commercial Fishermen Insurance Policy Information

WV Commercial Fishermen Insurance

West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 WV 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.

West Virginia 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 WV 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 WV 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 West Virginia commercial fishermen insurance coverage you should consider for your fishing operation.

WV 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.

West Virginia Commercial Fishermen Insurance - The Bottom Line

To find out what other kinds of West Virginia 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 WV commercial fishing insurance.

West Virginia Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance

Made In West Virginia

Are you thinking about starting your first business? Do you already own a successful business and you're looking to expand to a new location? Whatever the case may be, when it comes to running a business, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure your success.

Of these factors, the location of your establishment is one of the most important. In order to achieve as much success as possible, the location must offer a favorable climate and a market that can benefit from the products or services you intend on providing.

The unemployment rate of a state is a good indicator of the overall economy. The lower the rate, the more jobs are available, which indicates that there are more successful businesses in the state. Also, it's important to know which industries are seeing the most growth in the state, as well as what type of insurance you'll need to carry to properly protect yourself and ensure you are complaint with laws.

If you are a business owner who has your sights set on West Virginia, read on for an overview of the economic trends and business insurance requirements in the Mountain State.

Economic Trends For Business Owners In West Virginia

In December, 2019, the unemployment rate in West Virginia was 5.0%, which was 1.5% higher than the national average of 3.5% at the same time. Additionally, the rate increased slightly over the course of the year, as it was 4.7% in July of the same year, 4.6% in August, and 4.9% in November.

The rate has been relatively steady over the four years; however, there has been a marked decrease, as in December of 2015, the unemployment rate was 6.4%.

As with most states, the prime areas for business development in West Virginia include urban regions and the surrounding suburbs. These locations offer a large target market, a larger workforce, and are with closer proximity to surrounding regions, hence why they're more promising for businesses. As such, Charleston, Huntington, Charlestown, Wheeling, and Beckley are the best areas to open a business in the Mountain State.

There are several industries that are thriving in the state of West Virginia. These industries include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Automotive engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Retail

If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in West Virginia are favorable.

Commercial Insurance Requirements In West Virginia

The West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner regulates insurance in WV. West Virginia mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.

West Virginia 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.

West Virginia 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 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 West Virginia insurance agents & brokers and learn about West Virginia small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including WV business insurance costs. Call us (304) 908-4800.

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