Do you understand the nuances of your marine insurance? Become an informed consumer with this glossary of common terms. Here, we reveal items often listed on a quote, insurance binder or declarations page of an insurance policy. Still have questions? Call the marine insurance advisors at Wallace Welch & Willingham. We make the answers as clear as that water you’re planning to navigate.
When deciding among marine coverage options, take note of these terms and questions to ask regarding them:
Crew liability (Jones Act) – Is coverage automatic for maintenance and cure and injuries sustained to paid crew, or must this coverage be scheduled?
Commercial Towing & Assistance – Does a maximum limit apply for emergency towing assistance if your yacht is away from safe harbor?
Hull/Machinery & Equipment – This denotes direct accidental physical damage/loss to your vessel not otherwise excluded.
Medical Payments – Medical expenses to others accidentally injured on your vessel regardless of fault/negligence.
Oil spill/Pollution – Clean up coverage applies if you are held legally liable but most insurance companies usually do NOT extend coverage for fines or penalties issued by a government agency.
Personal Property – Coverage for clothing, sports equipment, fishing equipment (some carriers have separate coverage for fishing equipment – make sure it’s there if you need it).
Protection & Indemnity (P&I, aka Watercraft Liability) – This represents sums you are legally obligated to pay as damages from a claim or suit as a result of the ownership, use or maintenance of your boat.
Uninsured Boaters Liability – This indicates the owner or operator of a boat (not owned by you) legally responsible for an accident and either has no bodily injury liability coverage or inadequate bodily injury limits, or the at-fault party can’t be identified.
Tenders (Dinghies & Outboards) – Most important in this category is making sure you have liability coverage when operating that tender; if someone is injured, this coverage will be extremely critical. Make sure to ask the following: Does my policy automatically extend coverage for my tender for both Property Coverage and P&I? Do I need to schedule my tender separately for a lower deductible?
Trailer – Does my policy automatically cover property damage to the trailer, or do I need to schedule the trailer on the policy?
Navigation Limits – Am I clear regarding where I can and cannot navigate my vessel? Do any restrictions exist during the storm season for navigation or mooring locations? Do I have a specific offshore mileage within my navigational limits?
Named Operator Warranty – Can anyone operate my boat with my expressed permission? Some policies specifically warrant the underwriting approval of all boat operators for coverage to apply.