Lesson's from the Boat Yard: How insurance doesn't always match expectations

Received this e-mail yesterday. This is all second-hand information. Worth passing on as scuttlebutt information.

How insurance doesn't always match expectations. This applies to recreational use, I don't know about commercial.

Maybe I'm just a little green behind the ears & you already know all this. Last week a crew member transporting an empty trailer with electric mule from the boatyard to hoist made contact with a parked vehicle in lot causing minor damage.

To my surprise, BoatUS policy (Gieco Marine) did not cover this, even though trailer is insured & policy has higher limits. Surprising considering their 'permissive use' inclusion that extends liability to anyone the policy holder/owner authorizes to use boat, even when that person isn't present.

After speaking with many agents, brokers, & insurance companies the following was found to be true:

  • Marine insurance liability coverage ends the moment boat leaves the water.

  • Operator becomes responsible party. That includes hoist, electric mule, storage in yard & transportation in between.

  • Only the operators insurance is applicable such as home owners, or umbrella.

  • BoatUS/Gieco doesn't even offer an option to extend coverage in such situations.

So if you're having crew hoist boat, collect trailer, or any action where boat leaves the water, remember you are most likely not covered under a marine insurance policy.

Not very "progressive." Seems like the old law of the sea still applies where there can only be one responcible person.


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