How to grow your book with our Commercial Marine program

With the opening of boating season, now’s the time for commercial lines producers to consider adding a Commercial Marine program to your product offerings, helping you sail your way towards new business.

Think of the possibilities: Marinas. Dock builders. Boat dealers and yacht brokers. Excursion vessels. Boat manufacturers, artisans and contractors. Arrowhead’s Commercial Marine program covers a broad berth of commercial marine enterprises, providing our producers with the ability to offer coverage through a variety of A rated carriers in all 50 states.

Whether your client offers bareboat charters, operates a marina or sailing school, manages a yacht club or cleans/repairs vessels of all sizes, we can cover their liability risks. We also cover research vessels, workboats and other hard-to-place risks. 

“The most unusual business we’ve insured has been hull and P&I for a boat on a golf course, of all places. It’s used to retrieve wayward golf balls in the manmade lake,” said Leah Koontz, lead underwriter for Arrowhead's Commercial Marine Program. 

“Every risk is different,” explained Todd Drake, Arrowhead’s vice president of marketing for Commercial Marine. “There are always unusual risks that we will consider.”

Arrowhead specializes in marinas and boat dealers (all except high performance). “We can cover boat dealers who have small receipts in jet skis, but not jet ski dealers,” Koontz said. “We also cover hull and P&I for fishing boats, excursion boats such as whale watching or party boats and boat manufacturers.” 

Independent ship repairers

Another sweet spot for Arrowhead Commercial Marine is our program for independent ship repairers, with an all-encompassing liability policy for small marine-oriented artisans. “These are typically small mobile repairers who go onsite to clean the bottoms of boats, repair engines or handle canvas work,” she explained. “Our rates on these mobile ship repairers are really good.”

Coverage for these independent repairers includes Ship Repairers Legal Liability and Commercial Marine Liability, with multiple deductible options, liability limits up to $2 million (higher excess limits available), sudden and accidental pollution coverage included, and a blanket additional insured endorsement.

“One question that I’m asked daily is, What’s your minimum premium? There’s not really a hard-and-fast rule as to minimum premiums, I tell them. It depends on the specific risk, and also on the carrier,” Koontz explained. She reiterated that it’s important to include not only the Acord forms – but also a supplemental marine application. “Call me,” Koontz urged, “and I can get you the specific form(s) we’ll need.”

When asked what advice she’d give to producers to help them grow their Commercial Marine book of business, Koontz said, “Our most successful producers spend a lot of time at the marinas, getting to know marina owners and managers, and also the various repairers. In the past, marinas didn’t require these repairers who come onsite to have coverage, but in many instances it’s now required. When that marina manager knows you by name, you’re the agent he’s going to recommend.”

Commercial Marine Program basics

If you’re new to the commercial marine space, here are the basics you need to know: First, commercial marine coverage may encompass many lines, but essentially covers three main protection and indemnity (P&I) risks: physical hull or property; liability for employees, third parties and accidents; and cargo.

Second, commercial marine coverage can get a bit complex – that’s when your underwriting team becomes invaluable, to navigate you through the nuances of coverage, regulatory requirements and complicated forms. Arrowhead’s marine underwriting team has more than 60 years of experience in both personal and commercial risks.

“Some of the best brokers have taken advantage of their existing knowledge in construction to cross-sell to dock builders or boat manufacturers, or use their transportation and inland marine expertise to sell cargo coverage,” explained Drake. 

Related: Marina hurricane preparation tips for the next major storm

Here's what a few of our brokers have to say about Arrowhead’s Commercial Marine Program:

“We write many types of coverage but primarily boat/yacht and commercial marine. We’ve worked with Arrowhead (and Trafalgar before them) for years. Their underwriting team is knowledgeable and efficient, their quotes are very prompt, and their customer service is helpful – and friendly.  They make my job a lot easier, so that I can concentrate on bringing in new accounts.” – Ron Davis, Seaport, TX

“As an independent agency, we have the ability to go to probably 10 other markets for ship repair legal or personal lines boats – but I don’t. Why? Arrowhead’s lightning-fast turnaround. And when I ask for the bind, it’s almost immediate. Their team is also quick to work with me to answer questions and solve specific issues. Their efficiency and sense of urgency keep me from going elsewhere.” – Joanna Wright, Ives Insurance

“Worldwide Marine Underwriters specializes in the boating industry – period. We’re extremely busy, thanks to our online presence in various fishing and boating forums. That’s why I work with Arrowhead Marine: They’re very helpful, very professional, and awesome to work with. Quotes are fast, and they’re always quick to respond to any questions I may have. The entire process, start-to-finish, is smooth and easy.” – Bob Luellen, Worldwide Marine

Learn more about Arrowhead’s Commercial and Personal Marine programs 

Submit a free, no-obligation quote today. Send your risks to LKoontz@ArrowheadGrp.com including supplemental applications, ACORDs and loss runs.