Guide to Marine Contractors Insurance

As a marine contractor dealing with the construction, repair, and maintenance of structures in coastal areas surrounded by freshwater and marine environments, your insurance needs are going to be slightly different from the needs of the average contractor.

Your role is specialized, and you should really have a specialist marine contractor insurance policy in place before you start work on any project.

With that in mind, below you can find a simple guide to marine contractors insurance in NJ.

What Is Marine Contractors Insurance?

If you are a contractor, you’ve probably already had some experience with insurance in the form of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation. You may even know a bit about the benefits of bonding. These are all standard in typical contracting jobs, but with marine contract insurance, which is a bit more specialized, there are some extra protections that you may desire, or which may be necessary to have by law.

That being said, no two marine contractors have the same insurance requirements. No two companies are the same, which means their coverage is not the same either. That being said, there are usually some commonalities in marine insurance policies that you need to know about. They include the following:

Marine General Liability

As a marine contractor, there are a lot of things that can go wrong because of your proximity to the water. Marine general liability insurance is just like your average contractor’s general liability insurance, which covers things like damage to property or person, but you can also add a wide range of extras, including accidental pollution coverage, which may be more applicable in your work as a marine contractor.

This is probably the most important form of marine contractors insurance you should have.

Marine Contractor’s Liability

This will cover you as a marine contractor should any of your actions result in the damage or destruction of property. Marine structures can be more difficult to deal with than other structures because of their location and the fact that water can be unpredictable, so this is a very important addition to any marine contractors insurance policy.

Watercraft and Hull Protection

One of the biggest perils of being a marine contractor is the risk of extreme weather conditions, which can happen and catch you by surprise. Often, this can lead to accidents and collisions. That’s why, if your work is likely to require the use of workboats or their vessels, perhaps if you work in the offshore construction industry, it’s probably a good idea to ensure that you have watercraft and hull protection.

This kind of addition to your policy can cover you as a contractor, should your vessel be out of commission because of an accident or act of weather. It will protect you from any legal liabilities or negligence claims, be they for property damage or injury to an employee, member of the public, or even yourself.

Contractors Equipment

As a contractor, if the tools of your trade are lost, stolen, or damaged, it can render you unable to carry out your working duties and leave you unable to pay the bills, Luckily, it is possible for a good marine contractors insurance policy to cover the vast bulk of tools and equipment used in the job, including heavy machinery. Often, you will need to buy this separately from your main marine contractor’s insurance policy, but some companies will include it in your main policy too, so be sure to ask before you sign anything.


This is a marine umbrella policy that can help to protect you against those unexpected losses that can come as a blow to any marine contractor. They offer excess liability for things like worldwide coverage territory, crisis management services, and collision and salvage expenses, which hopefully you will never have to deal with, but which could be catastrophically expensive if you do.

Property and Casualty Coverages

Protecting yourself as a maritime contractor means more than having just a basic marine policy. If you add property and casualty coverage to your policy, it will protect you from many more scenarios that could harm your business including the breakdown of equipment, crime that leaves you unable to work, inland marine incidents, and business interruption amongst other things. So, although it is not completely necessary, it is well worth asking your insurance agent about these kinds of covers.

Worker’s Compensation

If you hire any employees during your work as a marine contractor, then you absolutely need to take out a workers compensation insurance policy. Should an employee be injured while working for you, they could bring negligence proceedings against you, and that could prove very expensive. By having a workers compensation policy, you can mitigate against that and ensure that, should the worst happen, you will be able to deal with it financially. Of course, doing everything in your power to ensure that your operation is safe is important too.

How Much Does Marine Contractors Insurance Cost?

That depends on a huge number of factors from the level of coverage you require to how many employees you have, with quotes ranging from $200 to $10,000. If you’re a small contractor, you’ll be happy to know yours is quite likely to be closer to the former than the latter, but to ensure that you get the best possible price for your insurance, it’s a good idea to talk to someone who knows the marine insurance industry inside out, and who can help you include the elements you need while leaving out those that won’t make a difference to you when drawing up your insurance policy.

John B. Wright Insurance Offers Marine Contractors Insurance

John B. Wright is a leading expert in marine insurance, If you’re looking to protect yourself as a contractor, contact us for advice on putting together the best marine contractors insurance today. You won’t be disappointed.