Getting back to work after Covid-19

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, most workboat companies were probably looking for ways to save money as the economy ground to a halt. One way is to change your insurance policy to lower premiums but this can also affect your coverage.

As you start to get back to business, take a look at any changes you may have made to your insurance policy and see if you need to undo them.

After the coronavirus pandemic hit, some of the first requests I received from clients was to remove navigation from their commercial vessels. Business had slowed down and there was no work for the boats, so this was an obvious way to lower insurance premiums. As the economy starts back up again and demand and work for vessels increases, businesses must make sure that lay up is removed from their insurance policies. While the boat is insured at the dock, during lay up the moment you drop the lines coverage ceases unless you have added navigation back to the policy.

Business owners also sought to cut their insurance bills by reducing annual projected payrolls for their workers’ compensation or USL&H. During the economic downturn, companies reduced their workforce and workers’ compensation, and USL&H renewals reflected this. As business picks up again and laid-off workers are brought back, companies’ annual projected payrolls will increase. Companies can wait until the audit at the end of the policy term and get hit with a large additional premium or can contact their agents and report payroll increases. This will spread out the premium increase over the remaining term of the policy.

Finally, if you have been shut down for a period of time and equipment has been idle, be sure to do your due diligence and make sure everything works as it should. Routine maintenance may have been missed or deferred. Inspection dates could have been missed for safety equipment or log books could be out of date for safety review. Take the time to clean up these areas before you’re hit with a fine.

Restarting a business means getting both customers and employees back in the door, but don’t forget to contact your insurance agent as well.

About the author

Chris Richmond

Chris Richmond is a marine insurance agent and licensed mariner with Allen Insurance and Financial. He can be reached at 800-439-4311 or via email.

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