Everything you need to know about Marine Liability Insurance

Sep 30, 2021

If you are a Contractor that works on boats/watercraft or conducts your business activities on, or near the water, you may need to consider a specialty Marine Liability insurance policy (or alternatively known as Shiprepairers Liability).

Generally, all off-the-shelf Public Liability insurance policies contain a standard exclusion that reads as follows:

What we exclude: Personal Injury and/or Property Damage arising from the operation or use of Watercraft exceeding ten (10) metres in length, whilst such Watercraft is on, in or underwater.

If you are a Marine Tradesperson, such as a boat mechanic, boat electrician, shipwright or boat detailer, it is highly likely that you will work on vessels that exceed ten metres in length, therefore a standard Liability insurance policy will not respond in the event of a claim.

Additionally, most standard Liability policies will have a limit as low as $100,000 for Goods in Control which will leave you very exposed if you are working on an expensive boat.

Thankfully, there is a solution in the form of a Marine Combined Liability Policy, which does not contain a vessel length exclusion or Goods in Control limit.

yacht painting

What are some of the additional benefits of a Marine Combined Liability Wording?

Property in Physical & Legal Control: Most Public Liability policies usually include a standard sub-limit of $250,000, for goods that are in the physical control of a repairer, such as a boat. Given the high valued nature of most vessels, under a Marine Liability policy, the standard $250,000 limit is increased to the full policy limit, e.g. $20,000,000.

This is particularly important, as certain Pleasurecraft insurance policies may not respond to out-of-water repair works being conducted. An example of a claim here could be a vessel catching fire due to the work you may be performing. It is likely that the boat repairer would be held liable for the loss if proven negligent.

Testing & Commissioning: Similar to the above, if a vessel is over 10 metres in length is being tested on water and something occurs to the vessel during testing, the Marine Combined Liability Policy will respond to a loss, in line with the terms and conditions of the wording.

Removal of Wreck: Should a vessel sink during the repair or commissioning, the Marine Combined Liability wording will respond to cover the costs to recover the wreck.

Professional Advice: If you provide professional advice to your Customers (which you don’t charge a fee for) and you receive a claim alleging the advice was wrongful, a bespoke Marine Liability policy will provide coverage for this, in line with the terms and conditions of the wording.

Statutory Liability: Should you received fines or penalties from a Statutory Body, a Marine Liability policy will respond to cover these fines or penalties. An example of a claim could be from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for pollution caused by the runoff of chemicals while servicing a vessel.

How much Marine Liability Insurance do I need?

These days, most Contractors are unable to enter a boatyard or a marina, without providing evidence of $20,000,000 Public & Products Liability Insurance.

Given the loss potential in the marine industry, most Contractors should always purchase a minimum of $20,000,000 Public & Products Liability cover.

At Trident Insurance Group we are Marine Industry Specialists and will review your overall business risk and recommend a tailored package that suits your requirements. We have over 27 years of insurance broking experience in the marine industry, so you can trust us to protect your business.

How can I obtain an Insurance Quote?

Contact our expert team today to obtain a competitive quote for your Marine Liability Insurance.