Commercial General Liability insurance is designed to cover land-based operations. Typically, there is an exclusion in most CGL policies for any work done onboard ship, docks, or piers. The reason for this exclusion is that marine risks are better suited for a Marine General Liability policy. One major area of concern for a marine risk is the coverage for care, custody, and control. This coverage is critical for ship repairers especially and is a standard coverage on an MGL policy.
A Look Back
As you may have read in one of our previous blog posts, Marine General Liability vs. General Liability, we explained that General Liability excludes work done on ships, docks, and bridges. A General Liability policy doesn’t include watercraft coverage; including the ownership, maintenance, and use of watercraft owned by you, the insured. The client, shipyard or vessel may never know all these exclusion by just looking at a certificate of insurance. The forms and endorsements are included in the policy wording- which brings up the fact that an experienced insurance broker could help you when it comes to the specifics of policy exclusions and/or benefits.
Commercial General Liability
Commercial General Liability policies protect business owners against claims of liability for bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury (slander and false advertising). Premises/operations coverage pays for bodily injury or property damage that occurs on your premises or as a result of your business operations. Products/completed operations coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage that occurs away from your business premises and is caused by your products or completed work.
Marine General Liability
Marine General Liability policies are designed specifically for those who work on vessels, docks, and ports. These policies include coverage for Marine Contractors, ship repairers, and others who work on or near water.
Why didn’t I Know about This?
Often, contractors that perform work such as carpentry or welding will be asked to do work on a ship or in a port. Their normal operations are on land and they carry CGL coverage. Many do not realize that their current policy will not cover them for work done on a vessel or on a dock. Most shipyards, vessels, and ports don’t check the coverages listed on a certificate of insurance provided by the contractor, they may let them work with improper coverages, not knowing the exclusions that the contractors have in their policies. This is where the problem arises, since they may not be covered in the event of a loss or accident.
Why aren’t Marine Contractors Covered?
Commercial General Liability policies are not designed to cover marine operations. In order to offer coverage for a risk, the underwriter needs to understand the operation. Class codes are used as a way for an underwriter to rate a risk and determine the premium paid. Class codes are also a way for an insurance company to decide what types of business they want to insure. It is important that the company that insures your business understands exactly what you do and how you do it. Otherwise, you may be paying for a policy that will not cover a loss specific to your business. Marine businesses are best insured by a marine underwriter with an insurance company that is familiar with the marine industries.
Working with an expert insurance broker, like the brokers at MHG Insurance Brokers, can help you obtain a policy that specifically addresses your needs and is customized to your benefit. Remember, cruise lines and marinas require proof of appropriate insurance coverage before any job can begin, so make sure you have the right policy in hand. To learn more about the advantages of Marine General Liability coverage, contact an MHG broker today by visiting mhginsurance.com or calling 954-828-1819. For more information on filing an MGL claim, read our previous blog, “How to File a Marine General Liability Insurance Claim”.