Commercial Marine Insurance – British Columbia

Marine businesses play a vital part of our everyday lives, from ensuring quick shipping times for online shoppers or ensuring goods are in stock and available for Canadians. Whether domestic or international routes, there are risks not only to your marine fleet, but also the goods you’re hauling. We’ve highlighted six primary coverages that all commercial marine businesses need to know about. We’re no mariner, but we are experts in commercial marine insurance. Let us help find the right coverage for your business, and we’ll leave the high seas to the experts!

As your local insurance experts for over 40 years, we know that each business in BC is unique in its own way. From major cargo boats that visit the Port of Vancouver often to those who have marinas located along the Strait of Georgia, and all other marine businesses in between, we’ve got you covered. With all it has to offer, it’s not hard to understand why so many people decide to set up shop in BC. And with 100 locations across the province, there’s sure to be a Westland location near you.

We understand it’s vital to protect what’s most important to you and your business. Our expert insurance advisors are here to ensure you’re protected and provide peace of mind so you can focus on nurturing your business for the future.

Why Choose Westland?

We know that your business insurance needs to match your goals, your business and your budget. Our expert business insurance advisors get to know you and your business, so that they can tailor a policy to your exact needs. We’ll work with you to build a risk management solution, ensuring coverages line up with your business needs.

We understand that insurance can be complex sometimes. Let our expert insurance advisors do the heavy lifting! We’ll help you find a policy that you feel is the best fit and provides peace of mind. To learn more about the benefits of being a Westland client, click here.

Jump to Highlighted Coverage Details:

  • Cargo Insurance/Stock Throughput
  • Motor Truck Cargo Carriers’ Legal Liability
  • Hull & Machinery / Protection & Indemnity
  • Freight Broker & Freight Forwarder Errors & Omissions

Cargo Insurance / Stock Throughput

Goods in transit are highly susceptible to damage from external sources. The right cargo insurance policy will offer the best protection for your investment while they are in the hands of a 3rd party carrier. Whether you’re shipping your goods across town, or around the world, a cargo insurance policy will help ensure you’re not exposed for the additional costs of repair or replacement of your damaged cargo.

Many consumers mistakenly rely on the carrier’s insurance for protection of their cargo. It’s important to understand that the carrier’s insurance is there to protect the carrier, not the cargo owner. A carrier’s insurance policy is a legal liability policy, which only responds if the carrier is found to be legally liable for damages. If the carrier is found to be legally responsible, there are numerous domestic and international trade treaties that allow the carrier to limit their liability based on a per pound or per unit basis. In short, depending on the circumstances of the loss, a cargo owner may only receive a settlement of pennies on the dollar.

  • Valuation
    What’s your cargo worth? In the event of a loss, underwriters will need to confirm the value. In most cases, this is very simple. However, in the event your cargo is rare, used, or a custom fabrication, you may need to provide additional paperwork to establish your loss.
  • Destination
    In today’s world of geopolitics, your cargo may originate or be destined for a part of the globe currently considered high-risk by underwriters.
  • Packaging
    Insurance is intended to address unforeseen losses. In today’s economic climate of cost-cutting, we’ve seen cargo owners reduce their protective packing, leading to losses due to insufficiency of packing, an area often declined by underwriters.

Motor Truck Cargo Carriers’ Legal Liability

A motor truck carriers’ legal liability (“MTCLL”) policy insures your legal liability to your customers in the event of damage to their cargo in your possession. This coverage can include storage insurance whilst at terminal(s), if agreed in advance by underwriters.

As a carrier, you take possession of unmarked, non-valued goods, packed by others, and loaded into the trailer by the shipper, all on a daily basis. These goods are now in your custody and you are responsible for their safe delivery. The normal rigors of transit lead to a high probability of loss to cargo during the shipment and an MTCLL policy will both cover the losses you are liable for and defend your company for losses which you are not liable for.

  • Am I able to limit my liability?
    Under Canadian and US law, carriers are able to limit their liability for damage to cargo. There are numerous factors that go into determining your liability, including the terms set forth in the Waybill or Bill of Lading.
  • Am I allowed to offer full coverage insurance to my customers?
    Absolutely. Under certain policies, you’re able to move your clients’ goods under a agreed Declared Value Bill of Lading. This allows you to avoid any disagreements in the event of a loss and allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with your customers.
  • Are there excluded goods?
    Yes. Every MTCLL policy will have certain exclusions for high value or high target goods.
  • Trading Conditions
    Are you and your customer on the same page with regard to responsibilities and expectations? A clear and concise Waybill sets out the terms for both parties. Terms such as proper packing, delivery times, loading & unloading, and security measures.
  • Valuation of Cargo
    Is the cargo new or used? If used, how is the current condition and value established? In the event of a loss, both you and your customer should understand the method and scope of the claims process.

Hull & Machinery / Protection & Indemnity

Similar to your car insurance, insuring your vessel is 2-pronged:

  1. insuring the physical damage to your vessel,
  2. insuring the legal liability arising out of the ownership and operation of your vessel.

Liability which includes: Passenger Liability, Collision Liability, Cargo Liability, Pollution Liability, and more.

Although Hull & Machinery insurance is optional, P&I insurance is required by Federal and Provincial regulations. In addition, the Canadian government has set minimum liability requirements based on your operations which must be adhered to. In order to remain in compliance with all Federal and Provincial laws and regulations.

  • What is my vessel worth?
    In the event of a total loss, what would it take to replace your vessel? Are you able to find a similar vessel in the market or will you need to construct a new one? How do you determine the appropriate value for your Hull & Machinery Insurance?
  • What are my operational exposures?
    What is my maximum liability for bodily injury to passengers? Do I need cargo coverage? How are the personal effects of the passengers handled?
  • Do I need a sea waybill?
    In the event of a loss to cargo shipped aboard my vessel, what are my liabilities?
  • Do I need a passenger waiver?
    When is a waiver required, and what limitations do they offer?

Freight Broker & Freight Forwarder Errors & Omissions

As a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th party logistics operation, you may become liable for the damage to your clients’ cargo or additional costs incurred for shipments arranged by you. An errors and omissions insurance policy covers your legal liability to your clients for losses incurred during a shipment arranged by you or your staff.

Your clients rely on your expertise to get their cargo shipped from A to B, safely, including all stops in between. Should a loss occur, you are typically the first party sued for damages even though you may never have handled the cargo directly.

  • Valuation
    What’s the cargo worth? In the event of a loss, underwriters will need to confirm the value. In most cases, this is very simple. However, in the event your cargo is rare, used, or a custom fabrication, your client may need to provide additional paperwork to establish the value of loss. Please speak with us to help guide you through the process.
  • Destination
    In today’s world of geopolitics, your cargo may originate or be destined for a part of the globe currently considered high-risk by underwriters.
  • Packaging
    Insurance is intended to address unforeseen losses. In today’s economic climate of cost-cutting, we’ve seen cargo owners reduce their protective packing, leading to losses due to insufficiency of packing, an area often declined by underwriters.

Ship Repairers’ Legal Liability

A ship repairers’ legal liability (“SRLL”) policy insures your liability for bodily injury or damage to 3rd party property arising out of your operations. In the event of a fire caused by welding, or theft of property at your yard, an SRLL policy ensures your exposures are covered.

There are numerous exposures covered under an SRLL policy, both physical damage to vessels in your care, to tenant’s legal liability for damage to your leased warehouse or yard. During certain times of the year, you may find yourself with a yard packed full of tug boats and yachts, all under your responsibility. Are you covered for a catastrophic loss?

  • What is my maximum exposure?
    Without your immediate attention, the value of vessels taken in by your staff during normal operations could become far more excessive than you think. Is your policy able to cope with such a high limit?
  • What happens in the event of a loss to vessel at my yard?
    Will my customer and my underwriter agree on the value? What can I do to avoid any arguments?
  • What if I am required to conduct sea trials with a customer’s vessel?
    Is it my policy or their policy that covers a collision?

Marina Operators’ Legal Liability

A marina operators’ legal liability (“MOLL”) policy insures your liability for bodily injury or damage to 3rd party property arising out of the ownership and operation of a marina. Coverage can extend to cover various sales, service, and storage related to the marina operations.

There are numerous exposures covered under an MOLL policy, both direct physical damage to your property and your legal liability for the damage to vessels moored or stored at your facility. Whether you lease or own your marina, your best protection for your investment is with an MOLL policy.

  • What is my maximum exposure?
    Without your immediate attention, the value of vessels taken in by your staff during normal operations could become far more excessive than you think. Is your policy able to cope with such a high limit?
  • What happens in the event of a loss to vessel at my yard?
    Will my customer and my underwriter agree on the value? What can I do to avoid any arguments?

Review Your Insurance and Get a Quote with Westland

Ready to discuss your insurance needs? Our expert advisors are here to review your current insurance policies, discuss your unique risks and operations, and find the perfect insurance policy for your business. Whether it’s over email, the phone or in person we are ready to help! To get started on a quote now and see price estimates for your business coverage, click the button below. Our advisors will contact you right away and help navigate your risk management needs. Of course, we are always available to talk over the phone or in person. Check out our locations page to connect with an office closest to you!

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10 BC Business Facts

  1. British Columbia has a solid small business sector, with 98% of all businesses in the province and over one million people employed.
  2. British Columbia is one of the top 3 producing regions of cranberries and blueberries in the world.
  3. BC ranks first in the country for small businesses (per capita), with 84.2 businesses per 1,000 people.
  4. Over 38% of self-employed BC residents are women, making BC the second-highest rate of women-led businesses in the country.
  5. The primary industry in BC is the service industry, accounting for more than 75% of the province’s GDP.
  6. In Vancouver alone, there are approximately 79,989 businesses.
  7. BC’s forest industry contributes about $12.9 billion to the provincial GDP every year.
  8. The film industry in BC employs over 70,000 people.
  9. Fan of seafood? BC is the place for you, exporting salmon, crab, shrimp, you name it!
  10. British Columbia is one of the most popular wine regions on the continent.

Claims Experience from Westland Clients

“We had a line of our skincare product that ended up causing damage to the customer’s skin”.

Our goal is to find the best coverage for you so that you can continue to live your life the way you want to. To learn more about being a Westland client, click here.

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