Common Exclusions in a Commercial Boat Policy & How to Avoid Them

Commercial boat insurance can help you pay for the repairs or replacement of your marine watercraft if you’re in an accident. However, many policies have a lot of exclusions. Let’s take a look at the common boat insurance exclusions and how you can avoid them.

Common Boat Insurance Exclusions

Many commercial boat insurance policies have one or more exclusions. It’s important to read your policy and speak with your agent to make sure you understand the limitations of the policy.

Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear is rarely covered on a commercial boat insurance policy. Things like saltwater, hull scratches, damage to electronics, fading paint, engine wear and propeller damage that occur during the normal operation of your boat is considered your responsibility.

How to Avoid

Always check your boat for incidental damage and get it repaired as soon as possible. This can include having scratches repaired and regular repainting as well as regularly testing and checking your electronics, engines and propellers.

Lack of Maintenance

If damage to your commercial boat is determined to be caused by a lack of maintenance, your insurance most likely will not cover it. This is because properly maintaining your boat is your responsibility. For example, if you take your boat out on the water, and it sinks because it wasn’t seaworthy when you set sail, you could be liable for the recovery and towing costs and replacing your boat.

How to Avoid

Use checklists to determine if your boat is seaworthy before you depart. If any problems are found, have them repaired before setting sail.

Personal/ Business Property

If your boat sinks and takes all of your commercial fishing gear and equipment with it, your commercial boat insurance may not cover the loss. This is because commercial boat insurance covers the boat, electronics, engines, propellers and things that are physically attached to the boat.

How to Avoid

While commercial boat insurance doesn’t cover your gear, you can get a separate policy that does cover those things. Additional policies you may want to consider include nets and gear coverage and cargo coverage.

Pest and Infestations

Commercial boat insurance does not typically cover pests and infestations. This means that if your boat is attacked by mice, rats, raccoons, ants, termites, roaches or other types of pests, paying for their extermination and the subsequent repairs to your boat are your responsibility. It’s important to note that mold, mildew and barnacle damage are also not typically covered.

How to Avoid

To avoid pest infestations, it’s important to make sure your boat is clean and dry after each use. If anything is spilled in your boat, you’ll want to clean it up immediately before it has a chance to attract vermin.

Professional Boat Racing

If you enter your commercial boat in a race or conduct speed tests, your standard commercial boat policy doesn’t cover you if you get into an accident or your boat is damaged. It’s important to note that professional boat racing is considered racing for money. You may be covered if you enter a club race or race for pleasure. It’s important to talk to your agent in order to determine which events are covered under your policy.

How to Avoid

It’s best to not enter your boat in a professional race unless you have the cash on hand to repair or replace your commercial watercraft. Additionally, you can get a policy that covers professional boat racing.

Failure to Transport and Store Your Boat Properly

Commercial boat insurance policies typically include comprehensive coverage. This part of your insurance policy covers things like fire, vandalism and the theft of your boat. However, these policies typically don’t cover your boat if it was damaged while being improperly stored or towed.

How to Avoid

-Make sure to read the transport and storing exclusions in your policy and make sure to always safely and professionally transport and store your boat.

Navigating Outside of Certain Limits

Some insurance policies place navigational limits on watercraft, and if you are in an accident outside of those limits, your insurance policy may not cover any losses.

How to Avoid

Make sure to read your policy thoroughly and understand the navigational limits. If you need additional coverage, speak with your agent about adding another policy.

Commercial Boat Insurance with Fearnow

If you need commercial boat insurance, we can help you get the coverage you need to protect your fleet of ships. We also offer boat dealership insurance, commercial vehicle policies and commercial umbrella insurance.

If you need commercial boat insurance in Florida, give us a call at 813-689-8878. We’d be happy to explain the various policies and get you a quote.