Do You Need A Marine General Liability Policy?

Posted April 13 2017

Marine Contractor working on a ship in a shipyard No matter what type of business you have, every company has unique needs when it comes to liability protection. Especially if your business is conducted near or on the water, such as marinas and shipyards. Marine general liability coverage is necessary for businesses of this nature, however there are some business owners who aren’t aware of the difference between Marine General Liability and Commercial General Liability. So, let’s look at a few reasons why you might need a Marine General Liability policy (MGL) over a Commercial General Liability policy (CGL).

Define the Difference

One easy way to understand what type of policy best suits your business is by defining the different types of insurance.

Commercial General Liability policies protect business owners against third party claims for bodily injury, property damage, damage to premises, fire damage to premises caused by negligence of the insured, and personal and advertising injury (slander and false advertising). These policies are designed for business that conduct their operations on land only. Most contain specific exclusions for work done on watercraft and any work done over water. The standard Commercial General Liability policy will also not extend liability for anyone operating a watercraft or for damage to a watercraft that is in the insured’s care, custody, or control.

Marine General Liability policies will respond to a third party claim for liability in the same way as a Commercial General Liability policy and they will also include coverages designed specifically for those who work at sea. These policies include coverage for marine contractors and others who work on or near water. They provide coverage for the typical liability risks that businesses incur, which are covered in a standard commercial general liability policy, and may be endorsed to offer additional, more specific protection that addresses the more unique needs and potential risks associated with maritime operation, such as:

  • Liability when renting or leasing a boat or watercraft. Protection includes property damage to the vessel, as well as pier damage;
  • Liability and hazards faced by marina operators, and includes property and structure damage protection;
  • Liability met by terminal operators against loss or damage of cargo;
  • Liability met by operators and owners of piers or wharves, covering damage to property of others while in their custody, including tugs, tows, cargo and equipment.

Many are Uninsured or Underinsured

Companies may try to save money by choosing a policy with a lower premium. The problem they often face is that they may be purchasing a policy that specifically excludes the work they do on a daily basis. Even if you spend the majority of your time working on land, one project on a ship or over water might lead to a claim that is not covered by a standard Commercial General Liability policy. Your insurance broker should consider your risks, as working around water means specific coverages are needed.

Custom Plans are Available

Marine General Liability coverage can be tailored to include hull and P&I, international liability, contractor’s equipment, and more.  It is essential to seek the advice and information from a trusted, knowledgeable broker, such as MHG Insurance Brokers. The team at MHG Insurance Brokers is well versed in the risks and coverage requirements of those who work in the industry. MHG Insurance Brokers works with you to determine your specific needs and budget, and will create a comprehensive liability package that will meet every one of those needs.

Having the proper insurance coverage is crucial for the success of any business, and every business needs coverage specific for its characteristics. If you have any more questions, would like further explanation, want to change your general liability policy to a marine general liability policy, or are interested in any other form of business insurance, please contact us by calling 954-828-1819 or visiting We look forward to assisting you with all your insurance needs.