Whether you own a small sailboat, a pleasure yacht, a fishing fleet, or Panamax cargo ships, marine insurance is extremely necessary to protect your craft, and potentially your business. Just like the boats and ships on the water, marine insurance comes in many shapes and sizes and can be customized to fit just about any waterborne craft.
Personal boat insurance is going to be the most basic marine insurance policy and could be required if you take out a loan to purchase the boat. Boat insurance can cover anything from a small jet ski up to a large luxury yacht. The exact scope and amount of coverage depends on the owner of the craft and what they want to insure. For something as simple as a jet ski, there generally is not much property to insure, so other than liability coverage for the operator and the jet ski itself, the marine insurance policy is quite simple. For something larger, even a small motorboat, generally there are small electronics used for navigation and sometimes personal property, such as fishing poles, so the marine insurance policy would need riders to cover that. On luxury craft, everything from the galley appliances to the artwork in the cabins can be covered, so comprehensive marine insurance can be written. Boat insurance generally covers fires, sinking, fuel spills, and grounding, and dock liability riders can be added for extra protection from liability and damage done at a dock or marina.
Marine insurance for ships of commerce can get more complicated. Anything from a small motorboat used for fishing tours to the latest super tankers can be covered under commercial marine insurance. The difference is that commercial ships have certain extras that need coverage that personal craft do not. Commercial marine insurance needs to address cargo and crew coverage in addition to hull coverage. Damaged cargo is probably one of the most frequent liability situations faced by ship owners. Marine insurance policies can provide coverage toward the value of the goods damaged in shipment. Similar to personal marine insurance policies, commercial marine insurance policies provide coverage from much of the same hazards on the water, including fires, sinking, fuel spills, and grounding. Commercial marine insurance can help offset the cost of salvaging the boat or ship in the event something renders it inoperable.
Marine insurance is important for anyone who owns and operates a boat or ship. There are many hazards on the water and even a small error can have severe consequences. Marine insurance affords boat and ship owners peace of mind and keeps them from being left on the hook for a large bill if unfortunate events occur. Shopping for marine insurance and finding the best insurance policy for your boat or ship can be a hassle, but using an independent insurance agent can save you time and money. Independent insurance agents are partnered with many insurance providers and can do the hard work for you while finding the best marine insurance policy for your boat or ship.