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  #11  
Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
dawg, at the risk of promoting risky behavior...One might consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) and having the company contract for the delivery. I think that would allow their employee to be shielded from individual suits other than gross negligence.

Form corporation, hire freelance skippers, keep a percent...money to be made here? Move over Avon lady?
That's been tried several times. The only one I heard of who made it work was Patrick Ellam back in the 70s when the bareboat companies were getting their boats from FL.
Actually, I take that back. I think there's an outfit in the UK doing that; they may have gone under after losing a couple of boats. And I think there's a guy working for R&C in SA doing it. I understand they don't pay well enough to get really experienced people, but they may be a place to start.
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Andrew, dawg's question asked about delivery skippes protecting themselves, i.e. liability insurance. That is totally unaffected by whatever insurance the boat owner has, because even if the boat owner is fully insured? The insurance company will then proceed to sue the delivery skipper to get back everything they paid the owner.

That's the way it works. The only thing that will protect your assets, if you are the delivery captain, is professional liability insurance. Personally liability or umbrella coverage could exclude any business related activities, so you'd have to check for policy exclusions. And of course, it wouldn't necessarily be a business expense either.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

I guess I'm just very careful not to screw up...as you might have guessed reading some of my other advice about heading offshore.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Andrew,
You are certainly entitled to your rant. Different folks have different approaches. I agree that there is a philosophical difference among sailors and many of us on Sailnet.

I am not a captain, delivery or otherwise. I do however own a business. My general liability insurance doesn't protect me so much as it protects my wife and children. It protects my family from losing our assets. I see it as necessary for being a professional in business where certain risks are mine to assume in return for which I am able to charge a fair market rate for my services. I doubt you will find many professionals such as doctors, engineers, attorneys, etc. practicing their profession without liability insurance. I don't see why a professional delivery captain would want to operate differently. I can think of thousands of reasons why insurance is a good idea for professionals but only the cost can I see as a negative. My $1M policy is almost a negligible operating expense. And as a business I count insurance as an operating expense that comes off the top before taxes.

It is my understanding that you can refuse to leave your vessel even if the USCG orders you off. I don't believe that you will be able to enjoy the benefits of having a captains license if you do though.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't carry insurance to protect others, I carry it to protect me and my loved ones.

To each our own I guess.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

As you say, Silvio; different approaches to life. I prefer to accept responsibility for what I do. And I suspect I don't have much in the way of assets that an insurance company would see profit in going after. Surprisingly enough, delivering boats hasn't made me rich!
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

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As you say, Silvio; different approaches to life. I prefer to accept responsibility for what I do. And I suspect I don't have much in the way of assets that an insurance company would see profit in going after. Surprisingly enough, delivering boats hasn't made me rich!
Well crap,
There goes my second career plans.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

The reason i posted the questions is to learn how to minimize my exposure to ludicrous lawsuit. If I ask my lawyer, he will say:

1. I don't want you to delivery for any boat for anyone with or without compensation.
2. I don't want you to crew for others
3. I don't wan to hire any crews unless you are in a LLC

If you don't follow my advise, I will double my fee when I need to defend you. In this type of scenario, even you win, you lose big time. Obviously, there is no way that I can follow his recommendation. They are absurd. But the liability is real.

If you have two crews, you tell them tethered at all time at night and never go out on deck. You come up to the deck at night, he is missing. His family lawyer does some homework on your net worth. And decide to take legal action.

Many of us are not like that. But the exposure is there. This will suck all the fun out of sailing.

Therefore if there is a professional liability in place, I would be more comfortable. Architect, engineer, Physician, Nurse, pharmacist and etc have liability for their practices. Captains and owners should have it too if you want.

I am just sayin'
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Rockdawg,
I just realized that I started a thread very similar to yours. Sorry, I was trying to avoid hijacking your thread and may have inadvertently duplicated your original thought.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

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Rockdawg,
I just realized that I started a thread very similar to yours. Sorry, I was trying to avoid hijacking your thread and may have inadvertently duplicated your original thought.
No problem. I think more people rise the concerns and understand our risk is better. Besides, my post is probably full of grammatical errors. If my proofreader at the office sees this. She will have all red ink over it.

I sucks in English and Poetry. hahaha.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Forming an LLC that is the contracting party, which you own and work for, will do absolutely nothing to reduce your liability. You are still responsible as Captain.

A great point was made above about the owner's insurance trying to subrogate their loss against you, if you were the cause. You may want to ask for a waiver of subrogation from the insurance company. The owner can buy that feature, which limits the insurance company's options and, therefore, costs a bit more.

I got a real chuckle thinking of this. The delivery Captain that I use for any passage of significance is way more experienced than I. Multiple trips per year, back and forth from the Caribbean. The insurance company should lower my rate, when he has the boat!!
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