Running a commercial fishing operation involves substantial risks, and operating without proper commercial fishing insurance can expose you and your business to financial ruin. Here are some major risks you face when sailing without commercial fishing insurance in New Jersey.
Financial Risks of No Insurance
The ocean can be cruel, and accidents happen. Not carrying adequate insurance on your vessel and equipment means you are exposed to potentially business-ending financial loss.
Loss of Vessel and Equipment
In the harsh marine environment, the loss of a vessel and equipment is always a possibility. Storms coming up the Atlantic coast, accidents in busy ports like Cape May, fires, collisions, and even theft or vandalism at docks can all lead to the complete loss of your New Jersey fishing boat and gear.
The purchase price of commercial fishing vessels runs from tens of thousands to millions of dollars depending on size, equipment, and capabilities. Having to totally replace your boat and equipment due to a lack of insurance could bankrupt your New Jersey fishing business.
Loss of Income
The ocean provides no quarter when your ship goes down. Not only are you out of a vessel, but you also lose all ability to generate income from fishing during the time it will take you to get a replacement boat.
The loss of income from just a few weeks of repairs or accident recovery can seriously impact the bottom line. Business interruption insurance provides coverage for lost income when you cannot fish due to a covered loss. Likewise, injuries that lead to large medical expenses or lost fishing time also cut into your profits if you lack adequate health or disability insurance.
If Lady Luck spares the total loss of your New Jersey fishing boat, you are not completely out of the woods. Even normal wear and tear takes its toll, with items like engines often needing major repair or replacement. Then there are the many things that can go wrong, such as accidents, storms, or negligence that result in anything from electronic failures to structural damage.
Even repairs considered relatively minor, such as re-gelcoating a hull or fixing broken tackle, can run tens of thousands of dollars or more. Hull damage affecting seaworthiness is extremely expensive to fix properly. Insurance helps cover the costs of making repairs so you can get your New Jersey vessel back out fishing and earn income again.
Property Risks and Losses
Beyond financial risks, there are serious property risks and losses that have real impacts on your ability to run your New Jersey fishing business.
Vessel and Equipment Damage
Plying the ocean for hours or days engaged in continuous heavy-duty work subjects vessels and equipment to incredible stress and strain. Failures of mechanical and electrical systems can happen anytime. Inclement weather and rough seas off the New Jersey coast can affect anything from electronics to antennas to entire engines.
Accidents and groundings can crumple propellers, damage hulls, and destroy underside components in the blink of an eye. While routine maintenance helps, the harsh conditions inevitably take their toll. Insurance covers the costs of making needed repairs due to wear, failures, theft, accidents, and storms.
Lost or Stolen Gear
Losing fishing gear overboard is an expensive occupational hazard for fishermen. Storms, tangled lines, and gear breakage can cause traps, pots, nets, and more to end up on the seafloor, never to be seen again.
Theft of spare gear, electronics, and equipment stored at New Jersey docks or on vessels occurs all too often. Having to constantly replace these expensive items cuts deeply into profits. Good commercial fishing coverage will provide the funds to replace gear lost due to accidents, theft, or other covered losses.
Reeling in a big haul of seafood after days of work is the dream, but equipment problems can turn that into a nightmare. The loss of power and refrigeration due to mechanical breakdowns or damage can cause your perishable catch to be a total loss. Insurance provides coverage against loss when it is caused by a covered incident.
Beyond the risks of property losses, there are substantial liability hazards inherent to commercial fishing off the coast of New Jersey. Being found legally liable for injuries or damages can bankrupt your business faster than any storm or sinking.
Crew Member Injuries
Commercial fishing consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous occupations. Serious injury is a real possibility that must be planned for. Lacking proper coverage, paying for injured crew health care, or lost wages could fall on your shoulders along with any legal actions resulting from the incident.
If a crew member is killed, the financial repercussions are obviously massive. Carrying adequate maritime employers’ liability and protections and indemnity coverage guards your assets.
Damages to Other Vessels and Property
Collisions with leisure boats or shipping traffic are a constant concern when navigating the congested approaches to major New Jersey ports. Tidal surge dock damage and crushing gear left underwater happen often when boats are tied up along the shore.
Other vessels, equipment, and property get damaged, leading to expensive repairs, legal liability, and lawsuits seeking damages. Even relatively minor collisions and dock accidents can lead to five or even six-figure claims. Proper liability insurance is the only thing standing between you and financial ruin when found legally responsible for property damage or injuries to others off the coast of New Jersey.
Many New Jersey commercial fishing vessels carry substantial fuel, oil, and lubricants. Any sort of accident can lead to leaks or spills. This includes collisions, groundings, sunk vessels, onboard fires, and other scenarios.
Even relatively minor spills can potentially cause major problems if the contaminants reach sensitive ecological areas like wetlands, protected waters, and wildlife habitats. The long-term cleanup costs and legal consequences can be staggering without coverage.
Get Your Commercial Fishing Insurance from JMG Insurance
Going without adequate insurance poses very clear threats to your New Jersey fishing business. Only proper commercial fishing coverage provides the protection needed against the many financial, property, and liability risks inherent to this industry.
JMG Insurance Agency understands your risks and challenges because we have helped countless New Jersey commercial fishermen in the same position as you. Contact us today at at 1-844-304-7332 or online, and let our expert agents review your risks and provide a comprehensive, affordable solution for your unique operation.