Tips and Techniques: Dealing with Subcontractors and Certificates of Insurance

Frechette, Jay -006 - CopyGet some sage advice from the experts at Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage about dealing with subcontrators and certificates of insurance. Read on for important tips from Account Executive Jay M. Frechette as launch season gets underway…


The Rhode Island 2016 boating season will be getting a much earlier start than it did in 2015.  This time last year, we were still adding to those large snow piles. But with temperatures in the 60s in Rhode Island, launching season is almost upon us. 

Marine facilities will have subcontractors in and out of their facilities getting boats ready for use, but this presents some tricky and potentially costly issues for these marinas and boatyards.  From the second these contractors step foot onto your facility, your exposures have altered—and in many times greatly increased.

These may be some of the questions you have thought about in the past: Do they have insurance?  Do they have the “right” insurance?  What are their limits?  Do they carry Worker’s Compensation?  Whose insurance will respond to what?

There are some steps and precautions you can take to eliminate some of these questions and concerns.  These include, but are not limited to:

Put signs on all entrances stating that all visitors/subcontractors must sign in with the office prior to doing any work. When they sign in, you should get the following:

-All contact information

-What boat(s) they will be working on

-Scope of work

-Certificate of Insurance naming you as an Additional Insured (Risk Transfer). Discuss with your Insurance Agent as to the proper Coverage, Limits, Wordings, etc.

All of your employees should be aware of your rules and regulations regarding subcontractors and anyone who comes into your facility to perform any kind of work.  This practice should also include Fuel-Oil Trucks, Snow Removal, Property Maintenance, and anyone else providing a service on your property.

Having an Insurance Agent who is familiar with Marine Exposures and Insurance is very important.  You should work with your agent to make sure you have a plan in place and you are doing everything reasonably possible to reduce your exposures.

By doing the “right things” you will reduce your risk of claims, which may ultimately reduce your insurance premiums but more importantly reduce your chance of having a catastrophic incident at your facility.

Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage’s waterfront experience coupled with their market knowledge enables the company to provide specialized coverage and personalized service. The company’s Claims Unit has the experience to navigate your claim for a timely resolution.

Starkweather & Shepley employs insurance professionals with marine experience in placing insurance for boatyards, boat builders, shipyards, and vessel operators. Working closely with industry groups and insurance carriers, the company has successfully developed national programs for: ABBRAGARD, a program designed exclusively for boat builders and repairers available only to members of the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association; the Community Boating & Sailing School Program, offered exclusively to organizations dedicated to sailing education; the C-PORT Insurance Program, available to operators of quick response towing and salvage vessels; and coverage for members of the National Marine Charter Association (NMCA).