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Is marine business insurance necessary?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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marine business insuranceIf one owns a business that includes boats or cargo, they may wonder, “Is marine business insurance necessary?” Marine businesses today have a large amount of exposure, thus there’s a need for marine business insurance.

Marine Insurance:

Marine insurance provides cover from risks involved with marine businesses or businesses that make use of it. It includes boats, ships, cargo, cargo storage locations and places where ships are docked. Marine insurance is divided into two parts.

– Inland Marine Insurance

Marine insurance is like car insurance for water bound vessels. This type of insurance provides protection to vessels that do not travel on the open seas. It can also be called boat insurance and usually takes care of private needs of individuals who own a seafaring vessel. This will include speedboats, ferries, yachts or jet-skies.

If the boat is used to carry cargo then the insurance policy will be amended to reflect this. If the vessel is used to carry people, then liability business insurance will need to be added to the marine insurance policy to protect the owner from injury, death or other third party claims. It is essentially a general policy that covers the most basic dangers. For more rare hazards, specialist policies will be needed just like a vintage or a sports car will require specialized car insurance.

– Ocean Marine Insurance

This type of policy applies to vessels that travel across the oceans. Typically, it provides insurance against cargo being damaged due to loading and offloading, en-route damage from fire, sinking, stranding, theft, etc. It also insures the vessel itself against similar perils, while the employees aboard are usually covered for injury or stranding. The owners of the vessels will need to be covered for liability should someone get injured or their property get destroyed.

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Inland Marine Insurance

Originally, this type of insurance cover was designed to protect goods being transported over water, though, in recent years it has expanded to include goods being carried over land also. It can even include things like:

• Transport of property
• Computer equipment and data
• Accounts receivable
• Valuable artwork

Every business that wants to protect its assets and minimize losses due to accidents or other unforeseen incidents can benefit from inland marine insurance. For example, individuals who repair, clean or carry out some other work on the property of other people can use inland marine insurance to cover losses. Tools of their trade can be protected with this insurance, while they are on the work premises or in transit or while the goods are in storage.

Ocean Marine Insurance

ocean marine insurance

Businesses involved in transporting goods across the oceans face numerous dangers. Both the owner of the vessel and the business having their cargo being shipped benefit from this type of policy.

Ocean marine insurance does not apply to ships only, but covers goods being transported by air as well as land. Usually it involves the transport of goods across international borders; it is not regulated by any single country. However, since it protects the interests of all parties involved in case there is an accident and the goods and vessel can be damaged, it is in the interest of the parties involved to make sure they are sufficiently protected.

Some of the typical types of marine insurance policies include the following:

  • Hull Insurance includes coverage for physical damage to a vessel, salvage costs and limited property damage while the vessel is in operation. If required, this policy can be modified to cover specialized requirements.
  • Protection & Indemnity takes care of bodily injury and property damage liability. This policy covers wreck removal, as well as liability of crew and vessel.
  • Commercial General Liability is a standard business policy that provides coverage for injuries or damage claims that may arise from the day-to-day operation of the business. The vessel itself is not included in this policy.
  • Marine General Liability is a new policy that combines the standard marine insurance with different maritime liabilities to provide package cover. This policy combines the requirements of businesses that require both land and maritime liabilities. Sometimes, these policies are basic Commercial General Liability policies that are altered to the benefit of the insurance company’s risks to loss. Hence, they may not fully protect the policy holder.
  • Flood Insurance is becoming more of a necessity, as lately floods have been in the news quite some bit. Since most marine facilities are near the waterfront, they are in greater danger of being flooded. This policy is one of the best ways of limiting one’s exposure to floods.
  • Workers Compensation takes care of the obligatory requirements of an employer for injuries to employees. Usually worker’s compensation is fairly straightforward, however when the numerous maritime statutes come into play, the policy becomes expensive. An employer can be liable for injuries at almost all times under the state worker compensation laws; hence, the policy is important.

The Importance of Marine Insurance Today

The world today is truly a global village and as such, it has changed the way business is carried out. With increased competition from around the globe, margins today are smaller and risks greater. Uninsured losses today tend to be greater than they have ever been in the past. Almost every business has to analyze the supply-chain operation and make sure it is most efficient, incurring the minimum costs possible. Marine business insurance plays a major role in ensuring the business gets proper risk protection across the globe that integrates all facets of the product delivery process.

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