September 6, 2019 by Mike Innis

Marinas are sometimes called “insurance exams” by insurance brokers because the business operations that will exist on the property can be exceptionally varied and carry with them very different risk profiles.  Some marinas will sell marine fuel, offer charters, do auto marine electric sales and service, and moorage to name just a few.

These greatly varied exposures, and the complexity of insurance against them, can leave owners confused as to if they have the right insurance in place.

Find out four commonly overlooked coverages for marina owners:

1. Moorage receipts are not always automatically included with your insurance package

Inspecting a marina’s insurance coverage to find that there is not coverage for lost moorage revenues should an insured loss happen to the on water property; it’s more frequent than you’d think. Repairs to docks and wharves can take a very long time depending on the type and this lost time is directly lost revenue. It would be a nasty surprise to find our you aren’t covered for this income.

2. Coverage for hauling boats overland is not covered by your general liability OR your ICBC coverage

Marina owners might have the ability to pull the boat out of the water, and likely have the trailer to put it on, and the truck to tow it – but who has the boat covered if there’s an accident along route?

Not ICBC; they don’t insurance cargo. Certainly not your commercial general liability; it doesn’t have any auto coverage. Maybe the vessel owner, but if the marina owner shown to be at fault, the boat owner’s insurance might come after the replacement bill.

For marina owners, it’s best to have a motor truck cargo policy in place. These have a low premium and excellent coverage for overland hauling operations.

3. Wind and wave are excluded perils on some piers, wharves, and docks’ insurance forms

How do some insurers make their rates seem low? Remove coverage for the most common types of losses, of course. The straight can really do damage to on-water property and “damage resulting from wind and or waves” being excluded when a big storm kicks up can be bad news no matter how successful a marina is.

4. Host liquor liability is usually excluded on your general liability insurance

Whether a barbecue, rendezvous, bachelor party, or a wedding, as soon as the marina owner becomes the “host,” they suddenly have the burden of responsibility to ensure that nothing bad happens as a result of being connected to the supply of that alcohol.

Typical commercial general liability will not include proper coverage for the consumption of alcohol on the premises. Without this coverage, should a patron injure someone while intoxicated after drinking, this person could allege that they were over-served and the marina could be held vicariously, or jointly, liable for damages to the injured party.

This is a reality that pub owners have faced for years, but in an industry where liquor sales are less predominant, it can be easily overlooked.

If your policy is missing one of these key items, or if you’d like to have a conversation with an insurance professional regarding your marina’s insurance, contact our experts. You’d be surprised just how reasonably priced the right insurance can be. 

Mike Innis is a commercial insurance broker at Hendry Swinton McKenzie Insurance.

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