Top tips to make sure your marine business is protected

Some standard business insurance policies will cover certain aspects of the marine trade industry. However, the small print of these policies may reveal that your business is not protected for some of the risks faced specifically by marine trades.

The marine environment is often classed as a ‘hazardous location’ and cover for accidents that occur can often be excluded by general insurers. Check your cover and ask the following questions to see if you’re covered:

  • Does your policy cover you and your employees for working at height?

Some standard business policies will cover the liabilities of working to a certain height (usually around 12 metres). However if you or your employees are working up masts etc., this height stipulation may restrict your cover.

  • Does your policy cover your workers when working on water?

Working on or near open water may be classed as a hazardous location by your insurer so your employer’s liability may only cover your employees on your premises but not when working on vessels in water or on pontoons.

  • Does your employer’s liability cover everyone working under your direction?

Any person that you ask to do labour-only work for your business, under your direction, using your tools, whether paid or unpaid, is by law acting as an employee. Therefore you are liable for any material damage or hurt caused to other employees or members of the public by that person. Check your employer’s liability cover extends to ‘sub-contractors’ working on labour-only projects.*

  • Does your public liability insurance cover extend to work done on vessels used for commercial use?

If your work includes working on vessels used for commercial use, you’ll need to let your insurers know. Some insurers exclude commercial use boats completely or will only cover work done on certain types of vessels, lengths and values.

  • Are you covered to exhibit?

If you are planning to exhibit at the London Boat Show this winter or operate a stand at any other event, check that your policy has exhibition cover to protect your exhibition property, stock or vessels at the show and in transit, and any liabilities to anyone who might have accident on your stand.

If these questions relate to your business and you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of them, ask us about our marine trade specific insurance. We’ve over 30 years experience insuring marine based businesses and will work with you to shape a policy that fits your business. For help and advice contact our marine trade team on 0344 346 0906.

*This does not apply when you have paid for a sub-contractor to provide you with a service, under their own assessment and direction, using their own tools. Any damage caused to property or other employees/ public should be covered under the sub-contractors own insurance.