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Commercial Watercraft Coverage for Business

5 unique business ventures that require it

Posted in Property & Casualty

Author: Jim Walsh

On January 1, 2020, JM Wilson officially opened a separate stand-alone Marine division.   Even though JM Wilson has been busy writing business for watercraft in the past,  we are expanding beyond personal watercraft and will also write commercial watercraft coverages.  With a variety of different coverages and our ability to offer low rates, we wanted to highlight some of the more unique commercial business ventures we see at J.M. Wilson.

Top 5 Uncommon Business Ventures We Cover:

Boat School

Boat schools that are offered by a formal school should consider commercial watercraft coverage. Under this type of coverage, the insured is protected from risks while performing the instruction of boating skills and education. Policies also include coverage for recreational use by the First Named Insured and anyone they grant permission.

Boat Club

Formal clubs, associations or time-sharing groups that allow members and their guests to use boats for pleasure fall under this category. It is important that the insured has appropriate proactive loss prevention and risk management practices including acceptable contact, adequate supervision, detailed training, and checkout procedures and navigation limits.


For clients who use their watercraft in a commercial capacity, they should consider owner/operator watercraft coverage. Professions that would be a good fit for this coverage include:

  1. Artisan
  2. Environmental
  3. Fish Farm
  4. Photography
  5. Real Estate
  6. Rental Support
  7. Corporately Owned/Client Entertainment/Employee Use
  8. Weed Control and WorkBoat – Marina
  9. Safety or Security Patrol
  10. Dock/Shoreline Construction
  11. Camp/Youth Organization
  12. Transport – Worker/Materials
Like boat school coverage, policies also include coverage for recreational use by the First Named Insured or anyone they permit.


Bareboats are vessels that are rented for an extended period of time without a paid skipper or crew being provided by the business. Examples include powerboats, sailboats and trawlers that are larger than 26′. The insurance benefits pass through to the charterer, however, the First Named Insured or anyone they grant permission can be covered when using for pleasure. While no skipper or crew coverage can be provided with these policies, the charterer may hire a skipper and crew that is not insured.

Bed and Breakfast

Floating Bed and Breakfasts are also candidates for commercial watercraft coverage. Although these businesses typically don’t leave the dock, there are still risks that should be covered. This coverage can include motor yachts, trawlers, sailboats, and houseboats. Like other commercial watercraft coverage, policies also include recreational use by the First Named Insured or anyone with their permission.

Other coverages can be added to a policy such as cargo liability, premise liability, or medical payments to tailor coverage to the unique usage. Have a client in mind? Contact us today, to learn more about our Marine Coverages!

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