Charter Captain Interests   08/09/2022

The Importance of Marine License and Liability Insurance for Captains

By Chris Buseman

The Importance of Marine License and Liability Insurance for Captains

The day-to-day life of a captain can be hectic. Vessel Operators need to ensure their crew completes tasks and are meeting the needs of any passengers, clients or shipments being transported. Maritime insurance isn’t usually top-of-mind for captains, but it should be; the consequences of not having mariner liability insurance coverage can be devastating.

Why do you need Mariner Liability Insurance?

Whether you hold your masters or Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) license, you should know the importance of having Mariner Liability Insurance. Captains involved in maritime incidents and shipping casualties could suffer suspensions of their licenses or face potential civil or criminal lawsuits as a result. Although such an incident may not be the captain’s fault, unfavorable weather and other hazards can lead to vessel damage, personal injury and even fatalities, ultimately the captain of a vessel has a responsibility to the safety of the crew, passengers, and environment. Having a mariner liability insurance policy in place is necessary to protect you, your career, and your financial future. You've worked hard to build your career as a captain— don't leave the security of your future to chance.

Even the most experienced and highly skilled captains can find themselves in situations that necessitates legal assistance. Like other licensed professionals— such as doctors, accountants, and attorneys— things can happen that are beyond your control. Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased 300% over the past 20 years, according to a new study by the American Geophysical Union. With this increase in maritime traffic, accidents or issues at sea seem inevitable.

Mariner liability insurance provides admiralty attorneys to help defend your license if a regulatory or governmental authority questions your qualifications. Admiralty attorneys provide additional services as well; such as giving statements, attending depositions and court proceedings and assisting you with any and all legal documentation relative to your license or legal proceedings.

Mariner liability insurance policies may also help protect your income if your marine license is temporarily suspended or revoked for any specified time period.

What does it cover?

360 Coverage Pros Mariner Liability Insurance includes coverage for:

  • $1 million in license protection and defense costs (higher limits available).
    • The cost of investigations and charges by the United States Coast Guard or any other governmental authority
  • $10,000 coverage for fines and penalties issued by the USCG or governmental authorities.
  • Foreign Jurisdiction and Loss of Personal Property Coverage.
  • Legal representation and defense of civil or criminal proceedings that arise from a shipping casualty or vessel incident.
  • Civil damages you are legally liable to pay for bodily injury and/or property damages incurred due to a shipping casualty
  • Some examples of common allegations or incidents include are:
    • Accidental discharge of oil, groundings and wake damage.
    • Injuries to passengers caused while operating a vessel.
    • Collisions and Allisions
  • Loss of Income Coverage: Monthly compensation for up to 12 months— plus a daily allowance for subsistence in the event of the suspension or the revocation of your license.

Understand what you’re buying.

This Mariner Liability Insurance program was developed by marine professionals who understand the risks and challenges professional mariners face on a daily basis. In this program, a higher-scope license holder, like a master (25 GRT+)  operating an OUPV vessel, would be insured under the program's lower limits of liability and a captain would apply as a “charter captain”. However, an individual operating a Coast-Guard inspected vessel with a higher scope license is eligible for increased limits of liability. . Keep in mind that you don’t have to go through this alone: 360 Coverage Pros has a team of experts ready to assist you with any insurance decisions you are facing, coverage also has a 24/7 incident reporting hotline which grants insureds access to an admiralty attorney at the onset of an incident.

Coverage is available in all 50 states, Canada, and U.S. territories, so you can be assured you’re protected from coast to coast.

Don’t go at it alone out on the water, apply for coverage developed by marine professionals just like you, who understand the unique challenges and risks you face every day. Coverage includes access to:

  • Low monthly payments starting at just $36.25.
  • Fast, easy and automated online application…no more waiting for coverage.
  • Instant proof of insurance.
  • First-class customer care professionals.
  • Marine claims experts and a 24 incident reporting hotline with legal advisement

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit