Guide to Marine Contractors Insurance

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Complete 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 differ slightly from the needs of the average contractor.

Your role is specialized, so 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, such as general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. You may even know a bit about the benefits of bonding. These are all standard in typical contracting jobs, but with marine contractor 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:

Marine General Liability

Maritime risks go far beyond the water. Marine general liability covers general liability exposures on an occurrence basis. At John B. Wright Insurance, we can tailor protection for your needs by providing coverage for a vast range of marine liability exposures, including those typically written separately. Our customized marine liability package will help your maritime operation stay afloat.

Our marine general liability policy includes legal liability coverage for property damage to property of others in your insured’s care, along with custody or control for the purposes of their maritime operations.

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 contractor’s insurance policy. Protecting yourself from litigation is just as important as protecting your own vessel.

Not only does marine contractor’s liability insurance cover damage to foreign objects, but it also covers bodily injury. If liable for any medical costs, payment won’t be cheap. However, this type of insurance policy could cover those costs, protecting your business.

Watercraft and Hull Protection

One of the biggest perils of being a marine contractor is the risk of extreme weather, which can 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, 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 also protect you from any legal liabilities or negligence claims resulting from 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 any marine contractor can experience. They offer excess liability for things like worldwide coverage territory, crisis management services, and collision and salvage expenses. You hopefully will never have to deal with one of these blows, as they can be catastrophically expensive if you do.

Workers' 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 get injured while working for you, they could bring negligence proceedings against you. This could prove very expensive. By having a workers’ compensation policy, you can mitigate against that and ensure that if the worst happens, you can deal with it financially. Of course, doing everything in your power to ensure that your operation is safe is important too.

Protection and Indemnity

Protection and indemnity insurance covers practically all maritime liability risks associated with the operation of a vessel, including third-party risks for damage caused to cargo during transit, risks of environmental damage such as oil spills and pollution, war, and political risks. The exceptions are those covered under a workers compensation policy and under the collision clause in a hull policy.

The primary purpose of P&I insurance is to provide policyholders with protection against personal injury, illness and death claims from crew, passengers, etc.

Marine Crew Coverage

While protection and indemnity insurance covers illnesses or injuries that occur while on board and are work related, the unique demands of marine crew members may require international healthcare plans. Thankfully, there are travel insurance plans designed specifically for the marine industry. Marine crew coverage provides worldwide comprehensive and flexible coverage for international professional marine crew members when they’re traveling outside their respective home countries. This way no matter where your crew is docked, they will be covered.

Longshore (USL&H)

While most businesses are familiar with the standard workers’ compensation insurance coverage, there are more specialized types of coverage that certain industries may be required to carry. USL&H coverage is federally mandated and is a form of workers’ compensation for businesses working adjacent to or near the navigable waters of the United States. Examples include terminals, bridges, adjacent piers, marine railway, and any adjacent area used for unloading, dismantling, repairing or building a vessel.

USL&H claims have higher benefits, stricter legal ramifications, and harsher penalties than traditional workers’ compensation policies. If your company employs workers who qualify for the above, or hires uninsured subcontractors with such workers, you need insurance to secure the payment of Longshore benefits.

You can receive coverage for your company under a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Coverage Endorsement that will be attached to your standard workers’ compensation insurance policy.

How Much Does Marine Contractors Insurance Cost?

Cost depends on many factors, including the level of coverage you require and how many employees you have. Quotes can range from $200 to $10,000. If you’re a small contractor, you’ll be happy to know yours is 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. They can help you include the elements you need while leaving out those which 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 leader 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.