Wednesday, December 3, 2014

So you want to become a Captain - Insuring Yourself

While working as a Licensed Captain on a vessel owned by a corporation, you will be covered by the company’s liability insurance policy. However, if you provide training on a client’s boat or choose to work as a self-employed delivery captain this will not be true. In this case the owner of the vessel must have their policy amended to provide the necessary insurance required to cover you. 

This insurance “Rider” provides the policyholder extra protection beyond the provisions contained in their standard insurance agreement. Current law prevents you from being able to buy insurance to cover another person’s boat. This means that you cannot insure a customer’s boat under a policy which you have purchased.

The process of being added to the vessels policy is generally simple and straight forward.  The owner just needs to call their agent and pay a small fee to have you listed as the “co-insured” Captain on their policy. In most cases you will be required to supply a current copy of your USCG license and a resume covering your boating experience. The policy holder will receive a letter stating that you are now covered by their insurance. Be sure to obtain a photocopy of this letter for your records and do not leave the dock until you have done so. In the unlikely event that something where to go wrong you need more than the owners word that this insurance is in place to protect yourself.

Here are a couple of advantages of becoming “named co-insured” on your clients policy:
  • You now are covered for liability and damage in the vent of an accident.
  • This would make it very difficult for your customer to sue you for damage if an accident should occur since he would in effect be suing himself.


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