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Protecting Your Operations with Marina Operators Legal Liability

By September 15, 2011August 22nd, 2018

Presented by The Flanders Group – ESMTA Endorsed Insurance Provider

Marina Operators Legal Liability (MOLL) provides property coverage for loss or damage to the property of your customers that is in your care, custody, and control. Both parties have a financial interest in the boats that are left with the marina for repairs, storage, mooring, hauling, launching, and service. The marina is expected to exercise “reasonable care” to prevent loss or damage to the boats.

In order for this insurance coverage to respond, you must be found legally liable for the loss.

The most important issue is to make sure all your customers retain their own hull insurance on their boat. Written storage agreements should state that your marina will not be held responsible for losses (unless caused by you in some way- i.e. an unlocked door or a broken security light). In addition, it is helpful to reinforce this with your customers by posting a sign near the entrance of the marina or storage building.

Here are some other ways to protect yourself:

Inspection – All boats should be inspected prior to acceptance for storage, repairs, or other services. The purpose of the inspections is to verify the condition of the boat. Any damage should be noted to the owner. Boats should also be inspected when delivered to the owner. The inspection should confirm that the boat has not been damaged while in your care.

Storage Areas – Storage areas should be regularly inspected for fire hazards and smoking should be prohibited. In the winter, the area should be inspected for accumulations of snow and ice.

Dry storage areas should be graded to promote proper drainage, free of debris that could become airborne in high winds, fenced to prevent unauthorized access, and afforded adequate lighting and security.

Buildings should be inspected on a regular basis for structural integrity and weather-tightness. Floors should be capable of supporting expected loading. Ramps and changes of level should be suitable for the materials handling equipment in use.

Storage racks should be designed to support expected loads and properly sized for the type and size of the boats. Supports, such as cradles, bolsters, and jack stands, should provide proper support to prevent hull damage.

Hauling and Launching Areas – Hauling and launching areas should be large enough to accommodate the materials handling equipment used and the type of boat being hauled, and be deep enough to prevent damage to boat hulls. Launching ramps should be properly sloped and provide good traction for vehicles.

Material handling equipment should be appropriate and capacity-rated for the type of boats being hauled, lifted, or moved. Equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained. Employees must be trained in the proper use of the equipment.

Emergency Planning – There should be a storm management plan in place including a system for monitoring the weather and providing this information to customers and workers. The plan should outline the appropriate actions to be taken depending on anticipated weather conditions.

For more information on MOLL or other ways to protect your business, call The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435 or email [email protected].