Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

1. For those professional captains whose main source income is from delivery, and charge $300 to 1000 a day, do you carry your professional liability insurance for yourself?

2. For those part time delivery captains, do you have your professional liability insurance or you intend to default to your personal umbrella insurance.

3. For those captains who is hiring a crew for cruising, do you have a specific crew insurance in your boat policy or you reply your own person umbrella policy.

We all hate this stuff, but ignoring it does not make it go away. How you do protect your nest egg?
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-10-2013
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Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Great post Dawg! Dying to read some responses!
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

bump
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Years ago when I used to do deliveries I didn't carry insurance, and nobody ever asked. I never damaged anything.

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post #5 of 33 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

When I was making my living as a full time delivery captain, the vessel's insurance policy covered the vessel and crew. I would suggest that you not deliver an uninsured vessel; if they can't afford insurance, at least for the delivery, maybe they can't afford to pay you?
I had a contract that the owner or agent (bare boat company operations manager) had to sign. Simply put, I was responsible for any damage to the vessel on the voyage that was not covered in an "acts of God" clause such as running through crude oil at sea, a lightning strike or hitting something at night, etc. The contract made me a very popular delivery captain, even though I rarely had damage to pay for out of my pocket.
Keep in mind that most sailboats that you will deliver are not being delivered by their owners or captains because there are significant problems with the boat. For instance; one at the end of it's bareboat service. Do a quick visual survey of the boat upon boarding, noting on the contract any damage or problems, just like you do renting a car. Carry a very extensive tool kit, a sail sewing kit and lots of duct tape. (PM me if you'd like more detailed info, but be patient; internet here in FdF is terrible).
As for crew insurance, especially those sailing for experience (non-professionally), say on a cruising boat, again it should fall under the vessel's own policy, but there is an "element of risk" factor when choosing to undertake a crew position on a boat which an attorney told me laid most of the burden on the crew doing as directed by a competent officer. However, if some very stupid woman can put a cup of hot coffee between her legs and get rich by blaming someone else when SHE spills it, who knows?
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

I recall when I first learned that nearly no deliver Captain has their own insurance. Surprising. The owner buys a rider to their policy to insure the delivery. The insurance company typically wants a copy of their skipper's license and must have wanted some experience form, the latter I don't recall specifically. On the other hand, it isn't terribly expensive. I recall about $150 for a 900 mile trip. They do not add an additional charge for shorter coastal trips, but I still inform them to confirm coverage.
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

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?
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Having just read through the policy for my own boat, I notice there are provisions for hiring delivery skippers. It's a pretty common extra.

I've never heard of a delivery captain carrying insurance to deliver his client's boats. He'd have to get a separate policy for each boat; one policy wouldn't cover both a boat worth $30K on one trip and another with a dinghy worth that. And me having to buy a policy would mean a rate increase, costing an owner much more than merely getting a rider on his.

I've been in the business so long that I have a history with most insurance companies and can say to my client, "Just tell your agent that it's me delivering your boat." They usually get by with a minimal, if any, extra cost. I just got insurance for a client whose old wooden boat I'm delivering north from Central America. He couldn't find any insurance at all--even for himself--until I made a call.
This is one of the benefits of hiring a pro to do a delivery.

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post #9 of 33 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

"one policy wouldn't cover both a boat worth $30K on one trip and another with a dinghy worth that. "
Why not? If you are writing a professional liability coverage policy, you are going to write limits on the policy, mainly dollar limits.

My auto liability insurance is written based on what I own, but for what I don't own, it is strictly dollar based. If I get in a POS or a Lamborghini, either way, I'm covered based on my own liability limit. If the vehicle is worth more, or I do more damage, the insurer really doesn't care. Why should a delivery skipper's liability policy be any different? He's not buying insurance on the boat, he's buying it on his liability.
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Re: Professional Liability Insurance for delivery or hiring crews

Hellosailor makes an important distinction between a boat policy and general liability policy. The general liability policy would cover the captain against actions against him/her, not necessarily for damage to the boat. For instance I would want a general liability policy to protect me if my actions caused an oil spill at a fuel dock while making a delivery for hire. I imagine that the dock owner's insurance would come after me personally and the boat owner's insurance company as well. The boat owner's insurance company would not want to be on the hook for my actions at the dock, and since there is no damage o the boat I can see where they would all look at me for liability.

Just a thought.

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