It’s About More Than the Catalina Wine Mixer: Why You Should Insure Your Wayfaring Business

When you manage a touring business in California, you likely want to mimic the majestic beauty of the Napa Wine Train or the Catalina Wine Mixer. However, your business needs more than a catchy slogan, gorgeous vistas, and a worthy vessel.

Your wayfaring business needs the best insurance coverage for the boat, your company, and all the activities you’ve planned. Take a look at what’s required of your business to protect your investment, continue operating, and plan for worst case scenarios.

What Is Your Navigational Area?

You must have an understanding of where you are covered in the water. Plus, you may need to review where you go with our insurance brokers to determine which carriers will work best for your operation. For example, most policies will cover you up to around 75 miles off the coast of the United States. Boating insurance also covers inland waters and inter-coastal waterways in most cases.

If you feel your boating operation stretches the bounds of these limits, you shouldn’t purchase a “cookie cutter” policy without first speaking to an agent.

Agreed Value Coverage?

Your vessel—as trustworthy and beautiful as it is—is depreciating every day just like a car. When you buy into an “actual cash value” policy, you may not get the coverage you need to fully replace the vessel. Moreover, you may not have enough money to even make a down payment on a new boat.

An “agreed value” policy allows you to file a claim for the amount you insured the boat for, minus your deductible.

Liability Insurance

Again, boating insurance and auto insurance are not all that different. Liability coverage protects you when you are found to be at-fault for an accident or incident. The same is true if one of our passengers is injured. Without this coverage, you cannot pay for medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses incurred by someone who is injured by the boat or as a result of a journey on the vessel.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage is a unique insurance policy that covers necessary medical care after a boating accident. Generally, you would use this insurance to cover yourself or your passengers, but it can also by used to assist other pilots, passengers, etc.

Physical Damage Insurance

In the event of an accident or incident, it can be quite expensive to repair your vessel, the trailer (if needed), and other equipment on the boat. Choose physical damage coverage to keep the boat in good repair. You never want to try to DIY these repairs when you can file an insurance claim and have those repairs completed by a professional.

You might also choose personal effects coverage to pay for lost valuables.

Uninsured or Underinsured Vessels

Once again, boating insurance mirrors the automotive world. When other pilots or vessels are not insured (or woefully underinsured), you can use this coverage to pay for damage that they can’t afford. Yes, you could hire an attorney and sue to recover damages, but someone who doesn’t have insurance likely can’t afford to pay a settlement or judgment resulting from a lawsuit.

Ask our agents how much uninsured or underinsured coverage you should carry given the routes you take, the value of the boat, etc.

Fuel Spill and Wreckage Insurance

If there is a massive fuel spill or your vessel cannot return to port as usual, you need insurance that pays for the cleanup and recovery of the vessel. This is an extremely important line of insurance because you simply cannot afford to be fined by the EPA, cited by the Coast Guard, questioned by local authorities, or worse because you could not handle an emergency situation.

While no one wants to think about them, fuel spills and accidents resulting in a total loss are more common than you think.

Unattached Equipment Coverage

If you keep equipment on the boat that is not permanently attached, It should be covered under this type of insurance. Yes, this is a new line of insurance for which you must pay yet another premium, but many charter carriers and boat owners keep gear on the vessel that is used all the time, enhances the voyage, and is expensive to replace.

Emergency Assistance Package

An emergency assistance package is another useful tool in the arsenal of any captain or charter provider. The emergency package can pay for towing, gas delivery, battery replacement or charging, etc. Remember, this sort of coverage doesn’t take the place of fuel spill coverage—which addresses a specific incident at a high level.

Contact Cormarc Insurance for Help With Boating Insurance

Reach out to our team at Cormarc when you want to learn more about our boating insurance options, especially as they relate to a wayfaring business. You take to the waters off the California coast every day, but are you covered? We’re happy to review your coverage, build a new policy, or make adjustments as needed.


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