Skippers Choice® Liability Insurance for Mariners
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance compulsory?
A: No. Liability Insurance is usually not required to operate a boat in most jurisdictions. However, if you operate commercially in Canadian waters after January 11, 2019, you must have minimum insurance of $250,000 CAD whilst operating in Canadian waters.
Q. If I have an accident and its not my fault, why should I buy insurance?
A. Regardless of fault, you could be sued by anyone alleging you harmed them or damaged their property. Skippers Choice® would pay for a lawyer to defend you, irrespective of who is at fault.
Q. The boats I operate are insured. Why should I spend the money for insurance I don’t need?
A. The boat you operate may be insured but may not cover you. Most owners believe their insurance covers anyone who operates it, but we have seen many claims where the operator was not covered, the claim was denied, and the operator was facing a personal lawsuit.
Q. The boat I operate is insured. I know I am covered under the policy as an operator. Why would I need my own policy?
A. A man was operating a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) at night delivering friends from one island to another. He ran the RIB into a cruise ship mooring dolphin. The mooring dolphin had a light on it, but the operator was distracted or did not see it, despite having made the trip many times. The operator was killed as was a passenger. Others were hurt. A potential personal lawsuit of $5 million was in the works the last time we checked. No insurance on the RIB. He had insurance on his big (charter) boat but never added the RIB to his policy.
In the scenarios above the operator believed he was insured but was not.
Q. I have nothing of value. If someone sued me, they would never collect.
A. A situation recently arose where a man was personally sued for $750,000. He had nothing except a 12-year-old car and a dog. No ex-wives or children. He rented an apartment, had worthless furniture. He had debts. He had a well-paying job and spent every cent he earned. An attorney obtained a $750,000 judgement against him and garnished his salary. A large portion of his earnings will go to the attorney, probably for the rest of his life or he will declare bankruptcy.
This could be you.
Q. I operate different boats for different Owners. Will Skippers Choice® cover me?
A. Yes. Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance policy is your personal protection policy 24/7 and is portable from one boat to another. You are not required to notify us if you switch employers, take a side job or make a last-minute change in your plans.
Q. On a weekend or a Holiday, I am offered a last-minute job to replace a buddy or a no-show skipper. Am I covered, or do I need to notify you?
A. You are covered and you do not have to notify us.
Q. I am not sure if the Owner’s insurance covers me. His insurance agent’s office is closed and will not open before I leave. Will Skippers Choice® insure me?
A. Yes. Skippers Choice® does not require you to be insured as an operator by the Owner’s policy however there may be restrictions in the Owner’s policy limiting his coverage of you as an operator.
Q. I have had claims. Can I purchase Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance?
A. Probably. Request a Quote using the link below and provide your claims history. Underwriters will review and comment.
Q: Does Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance cover the boat or its deductible?
A: Skippers Choice Liability Insurance covers your Third-Party personal liability as an operator. The Owner’s boat is not insured under your Skipper’s Choice policy. Damage to the Owner’s boat should be referred to the Owner’s Insurer. Coverage for the boat and/or its deductible may be available for an extra charge.
Q: Lawsuits result in substantial attorney’s fees. Who pays them?
A: Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance includes cover for legal fees, even if the suit is groundless.
Q: Often I am hired as a skipper on a Bareboat (non-crewed or demise) charter. Will Skippers Choice® cover me?
A: Charter Skippers, particularly Bareboat or non-crewed/demise charter skippers and crew are especially at risk. Skippers Choice® was designed with their exposure in mind and covers you fully.
Q: If I am driving someone’s boat and I hit another boat or injure someone in the water or on land, am I covered under Skippers Choice®?
Q: I drive a water-taxi. Do Skippers Choice® cover me?
Q: I waited to the last minute. Can I get coverage?
A: Yes. If you telephone our office and speak to a Skippers Choice® representative, we can arrange coverage if you have access to the internet and we know you need insurance right away.
Q: I work for a delivery service and deliver different boats from A to B regularly. Can I purchase Skippers Choice® insurance?
Q: I am self-employed. Does Skippers Choice® cover self-employed individuals?
Q: Do I need to have a Captain’s License to have Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance?
A: There is no requirement to have a Captain’s licence. Skippers Choice® insurance is based on your experience. Submit your application and our team will review and get back to you.
In some jurisdictions you may be required to have maritime qualifications. Check with your local authority.
Q: Is the Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance expensive?
A: Coverage start starts at less than $3 a day for US navigation. It is less if US navigation is not included.
Q: How long a period is the Skippers Choice® insurance policy?
A: 12 months is the standard policy term. Shorter periods are available and will be offered in your Skippers Choice® premium indication.
Q: Do you have a payment plan?
Q: I live in Australia. Can I purchase Skippers Choice®?
A: Yes. Skippers Choice is available worldwide.
Q: I am a boat broker and operate boats for Buyers, Sellers or Dealers. Will Skippers Choice® cover me?
A: Yes. Skippers Choice ® Personal Liability Insurance is designed to cover Boat Brokers.
Q: Do I need to have a USCG Coast Guard Licence (or equivalent) to be covered by Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance?
A: No. You do not have to be licenced as a USCG Captain or Mariner (or equivalent qualification) to be covered by Skippers Choice® Personal Liability Insurance.
*DISCLOSURE: The information above is for illustrative purposes only and does not replace any terms, conditions, limitation or restrictions of any insurance policy. READ YOUR POLICY.