For longshore and marine contractors who make their living doing dangerous work, handshake deals have been the norm for years. But a handshake just doesn’t cut it when you’re talking about who’s responsible if something goes wrong.
A great way for marine contractors to safeguard business before work begins is with a watertight contract to help plug any holes. Read on for five good tips to make part of your contract checklist.
If you’re contracted for more than one marine construction job with the same client, consider a Master Service Agreement. An MSA will act as a framework for current and future projects in terms of who is responsible for losses to people, property, and pollution that could occur during the course of work.
Before signing, make sure anything you agree to verbally is reflected in the written contract—like start and end dates, project scope, materials, cost, payment schedule, and any other specifics regarding who is responsible for delays or budget overages. If any details change while the project progresses, remember to update the contract with the new information.
Are you acting as the General Contractor on the job, or have you been subcontracted to do one specific portion? Depending on the answer, your ability to tender a claim could change. That’s why GCs should make sure they have the proper Certificates of Insurance (COIs) for all their subs and try to be listed as an additional insured on sub policies. Conversely, if you’re a smaller marine contractor in a sub role, your ability to transfer risk up the chain is limited so it’s important to know what potential insurance liability you could have.
Do you know what exclusions you’re agreeing to? Look for them under the EXCLUSIONS heading in your policy. And check to see if completed operations coverage is part of your GL. Do you understand all the insurance terms used in your contract, like hold harmless, waivers of subrogation, and knock-for-knock indemnity? To better protect yourself, make sure to learn what these terms mean and how they could affect you.
We know it isn’t feasible to make a quick run to a dredging platform. But if the job is somewhere accessible, do a pre-check to see if there are any potential hazards on site—particularly if you’re doing structural work. Taking “before” photos is also a good idea to prove conditions prior to your start date.
ProSight’s all-lines approach to longshore and marine contractor insurance combines traditional maritime coverage with property and casualty insurance to bring you a single, comprehensive offering.
Small to mid-sized recreational, residential, and commercial marine contractors working in or by a body of water with 10 or fewer vessels, including:
Recreational: Marina, yacht club, and boat yard construction/repairs
Residential: Boat lift installation and dock, sea wall, and bulkhead construction/repairs
Commercial: Marine pile driving, dredging, shoreline restoration/stabilization, bridge construction, and rip rap, bulkhead, jetty, and pier construction/repairs
Customer Segment President
ProSight Specialty Insurance
Value Creation Executive
ProSight Specialty Insurance
We’ve teamed up with International Special Risks to bring our all-lines offering to longshore and marine contractors. As one of the largest marine intermediary insurance brokers on the East Coast, ISR delivers significant marine industry experience and a customer-focused approach.