Commercial insurance

Discussion in 'Commercial Fishermen's Forum' started by jim, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. jim

    jim Captain

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    My boat hasn't been in the water in over a year and my insurance company has me paying $6800 a year for $400k on the hull. Again the boat is on dry land in a shop being refit. WTF? Does that seem like a shitload of money? Tired of being bled dry by everyone without having a chance to make it back.
     
    jim,
  2. TAftw

    TAftw Senior Member

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    If it’s on the hard I’d imagine you could just cancel your policy until it goes back in the water, no? The yard will most likely require you to have a liability policy on the boat especially if you’re doing work to it. I think paid like $190 for the year for a basic policy that would cover me if the boat went up in flames in the storage yard.
     
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  3. captcod

    captcod Member

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    definitely to much and shame on them for not working with you while the boat is on the hard.
    that being said, there has been some competition for business between 2 companies here on cape cod and southeastern MA. Most commercial guys I knew were using a company out of RI but another from fair haven became much more prominent and supposedly has a better underwriter and has been beating many quotes and won some business. Now despite saying it couldn't be done, the original companies rates have decreased quite a bit.
     
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  4. jim

    jim Captain

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    My guy is out of NY but uses the same underwriter as the company from RI so RI wont give me the time of day. Can you PM me with the info on the company out of Fair Haven. I just found out a friend has been using the same underwriter as me and paying a lot less for a million dollar hull value and larger crew doing the same fishery. Something stinks.
     
    jim,
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  5. jim

    jim Captain

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    That is what I thought but I guess you need to carry a "port risk" policy. Another middle man with his hands in your pocket.
     
    jim,
  6. Dr Dude

    Dr Dude Captain

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    Try Smithwick and Mariners Ins
    207 781 5553
    Falmouth ,Me.
     
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  7. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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    Jim - what is meant by a "port risk" policy? If you are on the hard and not using your boat, how on Earth can there be any kind of port risk involved? Yes, something stinks for sure.
     
  8. speedwagon

    speedwagon Senior Member

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    Dumb question but do I need commercial insurance if participating in the RI fishery? Boat ownership is personal not LLC or other.
     
  9. Captinlon

    Captinlon Senior Member

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  10. synergistic

    synergistic Senior Member

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    Call the company in Fairhaven, I’ve been using them for a few years now and they’re great. They actually called me to tell me I could be getting more for a bit less which was great. Just switched underwriters and saved 500 a year. Idk what fishery your in but I’m covered 300+ days a year out to a 100 miles for a pretty reasonable rate.
     
  11. jim

    jim Captain

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    Thanks I called them today and got the ball rolling waiting to hear back.
     
    jim,
  12. TAftw

    TAftw Senior Member

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    Something doesn’t sound right about that. I’d talk with your yard about what they specifically require for coverage when you’re on the hard and then see if you can just cancel the policy you have and start over with a different one.
     
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  13. Joshbel02

    Joshbel02 Senior Member

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  14. Kailua Kid

    Kailua Kid Senior Member

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    I have practised Maritime Law for 35 years, so far, the first 17 of which was dedicated almost exclusively to marine insurance defense and coverage (insurance policy interpretation) litigation. I also sometimes fish commercially, in Alaska and Washington, and have a 50 ton license.

    Unless your marina requires you to have insurance as a condition of the mooring agreement (this would be typical), or your mortgage if any on the boat (First Preferred Ship's Mortgage) requires you to maintain insurance (Protection and Indemnity, Hull and Machinery, Pollution Liability, typically), the only thing that likely would require you to carry insurance would be a desire to avoid potentially devastating liability from an accident (including crew injury or death, pollution incident, collision or allision, etc.) or damage to or loss of your vessel.

    If you created an LLC to hold title to the vessel and to hire and pay your crew, pay vendors and suppliers, etc. and to receive all fishing operation income (recommended), and if you were absolutely scrupulous in keeping your personal/ household finances separate from the finances of the LLC (very important, both for tax purposes and for maintaining the protection of the "corporate veil"), and if you always made certain you had a written, signed, well-crafted crew agreement in the name of the LLC with every crew member, whether a relative or friend or whatever (required, by the way, by federal statute) (David Farrell, on the Cape would be a good source, or he can point you to someone maybe closer to you), you would still be wise to procure a proper marine insurance policy, with port-risk during the off season unless the boat is on the hard, to decrease the chance of losing everything you have and or hope to have in the next decade or so.

    Harsh, I know, but I can tell you from experience that to run bare is to run a level of risk that is beyond what you might imagine.

    I carry full insurances of the types referenced above on every boat I own, whether in commercial or recreational service, even when everyone on my crew or otherwise on board is my own son or daughter.

    Hope this responds to your question.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  15. jersey52

    jersey52 Member

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    In this situation it seems a builders risk policy covering the boat while still being built would be the way to go. Recommend giving Patrick a call to discuss and quote. Used him and agency during my build process.

    Patrick A. Chamberlin, CLCS
    Strong Insurance Agency
    446 Main Street
    Thomaston, Maine 04861
    Office:(207) 596-6775 Cell: (207) 691-3451
    pchamberlin@strongagency.com
     
  16. Kailua Kid

    Kailua Kid Senior Member

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    jersey52: My post was responding to speedwagon's post above about whether insurance is required to engage in a commercial fishery. I trust that Jim is well on his way towards getting a port risk policy with a repair endorsement, or similar. Perhaps a builder's risk policy, but I would normally expect to see (at least out here on the Left Coast) a builder's risk policy for new builds. For re-fits, I think more typically a port risk policy with a repair endorsement would provide the appropriate coverages.
     
  17. jim

    jim Captain

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    I have a port risk policy and have had one for the two years my boat has been up on the hard at the shop for two years now....my complaint is $6800 a year for port risk is thievery.
     
    jim,
  18. Kailua Kid

    Kailua Kid Senior Member

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    Jim:

    Sounds like the problem is that your broker might not understand that the boat is out of service, on the hard, at a repair facility for an extensive re-fit.

    In such a situation, unless the yard requires you to maintain insurance on the boat, or you have a mortgagee requiring you to maintain insurance, you might not need insurance, especially if the boat is in the care, custody and control of the yard (and the yard has insurance broad enough to cover their liability for damage to boats in their care custody and control).

    I cannot speak to the rate for any insurance required or desired; that would be totally out of my wheelhouse, of course.

    If during the re-fit you have access to the boat and especially if you are doing any work or maintenance on the boat while the repairer is doing the re-fit, then if something happens to the boat or to someone else’s boat or gear or person as a result of your boat or your activity on or in connection with your boat, you would have potential exposure to liability or loss and would therefore want your own insurance despite any insurance carried by the repairer/yard.

    All of the above should be discussed with your broker (or a broker) so the broker can advise you about what if any coverages might be needed. Whatever the result of that discussion, the premiums you have already paid for the coverages you have had in place are going to be deemed “ earned” and not refundable after the fact, except as to any portion of the policy period pre-paid but remaining.

    Hope this helps, although nothing you did not already know, I suspect.
     
  19. jim

    jim Captain

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    I made sure on several occasions to explain to my broker the boat was at a shop, out of the water being refit. I tried a broker everyone one here raves about. I guess my broker and this new broker have the same underwriter so he wouldnt even talk to me. I called several brokers mentioned in this thread that only cover lobster fisherman and one guy who after 2 months still has not got a quote from his underwriter. I can imagine how long it would take them to get back to me if I filed a claim.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    jim,
  20. jim

    jim Captain

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    Can any of you insurance gurus explain to me why a 35ft charter boat that can fish out to 100 miles from the Hague line to Key West with 6 passengers aboard is insured for 6 million in liability and has the hull insured for $200k pays $1700 a year for insurance using the same fishing gear I use. and he doesnt need half the safety gear I need!!!!

    I pay $12k a year for $500,000 in liability and 400k for the hull? Something aint right here.
     
    jim,

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