Here are a few important things I discuss with my clients during a typical month:

• When you talk with your crew or employees about safety it’s not a money thing. It’s a safety thing. Stress that you want them to stay healthy and injury free.

• Each time there is a problem that creates a dangerous situation investigate it as fact finding, not fault finding. The investigation will garner much more usable information to help prevent something from happening again.

• If there are any changes in the use, operating territory, or a major change in the vessel itself report it immediately to your ocean marine insurance agent.

• When your insurance company wants to send a loss control or risk management people out to your location, keep in mind that their goal is not to cost you money. The goal is to keep your place safe so you are less likely to have a claim.

• When a crewmember falls ill during a voyage it should be treated exactly the same as an injury. Admiralty law treats maintenance, cure and wages the same for crew injury or illness. Submit the claim to your ocean marine insurer as soon as you can.

• If you have damage to your property (whether vessel or on land), your insurance agent can be your best advocate when the claims adjuster comes to visit. Most people have no idea what’s going to transpire when a claim occurs. Your insurance agent has probably been through many claims with clients and can help you understand the process. You have enough to worry about with the damage so don’t stress over the process.

• You’ll quickly forget how much you paid for your insurance coverage once you have a loss that isn’t covered. Perhaps my best advice is to buy what will cover as many losses as possible. It will be money well spent when claim time comes.

• Document your valuables with a camera. Make sure the photos are dated and finish the task. Email copies of the photos to your insurance agent right away. Don’t let the photos sit in the camera or your computer. 

I hope you find these tips useful. Remember, you create your own good luck.

A collection of stories from guest authors.