Be prepared to become extremely confused. How? Try figuring out what forms of liability insurance a shipyard needs to stay in business. I'll try to clear it up by going over the basics and why the coverages can get extremely complicated. First, there's general liability insurance. But it's not just regular general liability insurance, it's "marine general liability" insurance. How does this differ from land-based non-marine general liability insurance? There are many forms of marine general liability. That's because there's really no standard form. The usual forms cover your liability for operation of non-owned watercraft with either no length restriction or a maximum covered length. Always remember that in marine insurance, almost everything is negotiable.

What about vessels in your care, custody and control? In other words, vessels that you're working on, are stored waiting to be worked on, and vessels waiting for components to be delivered? That's where ship repairers legal liability insurance comes in. It covers the gap left by the marine general liability policy, which excludes any vessel in your care, custody or control. Since we're on the subject of vessels in your care, what about vessels that tie up to your docks? For that you'll need wharfingers legal liability insurance. It also can be bundled with ship repairers legal liability insurance to cut premiums.

Then there's the question of how employees and vessel owners will be protected when they are actually on the water for sea trials, vessel deliveries, etc. Protection and Indemnity (P&I) covers that. This coverage is a combination of waterborne workers compensation and waterborne liability for bodily injuries that may occur while on the water.

Also needed, in fact required, are land-based workers compensation insurance as well as U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers insurance.

This look at the major areas that need insurance coverage at shipbuilding and ship repair facilities may answer some questions why marine repair work seems so expensive.

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