Creating a Safe Harbor for Vessel Owners

Safe harbor. That’s what vessel owners expect from a marina, which is why marina owners who understand this principle will go to great lengths to maintain excellent condition of their facilities and thoroughly train employees. This is just the one part to creating a safe harbor, however, as even the most secure facilities with the best-trained staff can never fully eliminate the risk of accidents.

Another part that is frequently overlooked/ignored, is your marina’s efficacy in responding to a potential accidents. To truly be a safe harbor for your guests, your marina must 1) be adequately prepared to respond to the different incidents that could arise; and 2) be properly insured to alleviate financial liabilities and losses that arise from those incidents.


Effective Risk Management = Increased Profitability

Owning a marina creates a particular mixture of risks including natural disasters; liability for damages to vessels; waterborne hazards like floods; unsafe dock conditions; employee injuries; theft; fuel-related dangers; and (often exacerbated by) alcoholic beverages – just to name a few.

Having a comprehensive insurance program in place is crucial to effective risk management as it helps protect marina owners from suffering catastrophic financial losses. Yet, a marina’s insurance program is only as good as its owner/operator’s understanding of how the different types of policies address all your marina’s risks. This is where working with a marine insurance specialist can pay dividends for marina owners.

 A Marine Insurance Specialist should help you navigate the different coverages marina owners/operators should have in-place to properly insure operations. A comprehensive Marina insurance package will usually contain most, if not all of the following policies/coverages:

¨ Marine General Liability

¨ Marina Operators Legal Liability

¨ Piers, Docks & Wharves

¨ Commercial Property including Flood

¨ Marina and/or Tank Pollution

¨ General Liability / Liquor Liability

¨ Crime & Employment Practices Liability

¨ Cyber Liability

¨ Workers Compensation and possibly USL&H

¨ Commercial Auto

¨ Watercraft Hull P&I

¨ Bumbershoot / Excess Umbrella


The Sentry Experience

Our core values center on strong client relationships, transparency and authenticity. When we meet marina owners, we first sit down to learn more about them and gain a deeper understanding of their marina’s risk profile and insurance needs.

After understanding the owner’s goals, seeing the marina, and reviewing the current insurance plan, we then leverage our network of the industry’s top carriers and marine underwrites to achieve the best policies for that owner’s goals. We bring underwriting expertise and proprietary data insights to help us negotiate the best terms and rates on your behalf.

With a better plan selected, we then introduce you to your personal Sentry service team who will manage your day-to-day risks and ensure optimal performance of your specific plan. This includes confirming contractor insurance credentials and managing any claims. We are committed to your success, and our in-house policy performance and claims management services are designed to ensure that for every client.


Your Marina Insurance Specialist

 I’m Andy Fajardo CMIP CLCS, Principal Partner at Sentry Insurance Partners.  After over four years of challenging coursework, testing and nationwide seminars, I am at your service as a Certified Marine Insurance Professional (CMIP). Similar to a CMM or CMO, the designation from the International Institute of Marine Insurance Studies recognizes success in the premier educational and training for Marine and Longshore Insurance. My primary concentration is in marine/maritime business, specifically helping business owners effectively manage their risk and achieve custom-tailored insurance plans that address each client’s unique exposures and needs.

In my time working with marine business owners, I’ve had the opportunity to navigate dozens of situations in which I have provided reduced insurance costs and/or better, proper coverage for my clients.  One such instance was with a marina owner who engaged me to see where they may be leaving money on the table. We discussed their specific situation, toured the facilities, and reviewed the existing insurance plan. Right away I noticed they had both Tank liability and Pollution liability coverage. Digging deeper we uncovered that the Marina’s Pollution policy already included a Tank liability policy, effectively resulting in the owner overspending for 2x the insurance. We quickly resolved the duplicate coverage and procedure for consolidating these policies, saving my (now) client thousands of dollars in premiums.

Overlooked exposures is another frequent issue we encounter. Recently we uncovered insufficient minimum coverage of the service providers/subcontractors servicing vessels at a local yacht club. By adopting simple loss prevention measures, we helped the board of directors better protect themselves and the club’s assets moving forward, while reducing their Marine General Liability premiums by 8%.

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