Explaining Ordinance or Law Coverage

Damages caused by the average hurricane amount to $21.6 billion, source USAtoday.com. Our marine business insurance specialists will attest to the threat that hurricanes can pose to marinas, boatyards, and manufacturers. When Mother Nature is in a fury, stormy weather and high winds can cause significant damage to buildings and structures. When you repair or rebuild you must adhere to current building regulations. Unfortunately, standard coverage often does not cover the cost of upgrades that new legislation demands and marine business owners are often left with a hefty bill.

That’s where ordinance and law coverage comes in. The term ordinance usually refers to legislation enacted by a municipality, like smoking six feet away from building exits. In the insurance business, ordinance and law insurance provides coverage for the cost to upgrade a building to meet current building standards after it has been damaged or destroyed. Regular insurance typically covers “like kind and quality” — in other words, rebuilding it to the way it was before sustaining a loss.

If your marine business operates out of a heritage building, it is especially important to ensure you have ordinance and law coverage, because it’s likely that the original structure would not meet current building code requirements. However, municipalities can introduce new legislation at any time, and more modern buildings may still require upgrades if they are damaged. Standard insurance often doesn’t cover all the additional costs of necessary updates during a rebuild. Additional construction fees can be a strain on your business.

The most common upgrades include:



Heating and cooling systems

Fire safety features like sprinklers

Check with our marine business insurance specialists about ordinance or law coverage. The little bit of extra coverage can save you a lot of money if you have to rebuild after a hurricane, fire, or another disaster. Call 800.748.0224 to speak with a marine business insurance specialist or request a quote online. 

Cleaning Up Marinas

Water at the marina is notoriously dirty. Gasoline, garbage, and scum often gather in unappealing and even smelly clumps. It’s unattractive and harmful to the ecosystem. Now marinas and private property owners can use a Seabin to clean up the water surrounding docks.

The Seabin is a fully automated trash can that cleans 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s the brainchild of two Australian surfers who became fed up with encountering trash and debris in the ocean while surfing. Rather than complain, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski invented a solution.

The duo crowdfunded their Seabin invention through Indiegogo and launched the Seabin project. We were impressed to see that the American Sailing Association, Sail-World.com, the Newport Shipyard, and many others contributed to their ambitious venture.

Their idea is brilliant because the Aussie surfers realized that Mother Nature sends debris and pollution via the wind and currents to marinas, ports, and yacht clubs around the globe. The Seabin works very effectively in these kinds of controlled environments.

A Seabin is a cylindrical bin that gets mounted to the side of a dock, sitting such that the container is below the waterline. A pump at the bottom of the Seabin sucks up to 4 kg (nearly nine pounds) of debris and pollutants like gas, oil, and microplastics into a container.

In July of 2019, the first Canadian Seabin customer reported satisfaction with the efficiency and effectiveness of the three Seabins they installed as a pilot project. According to a story on the CBC News website, Toronto’s Outer Harbor Marina staff were pleased that the water in the marina was so clean that all the staff had to do was empty the Seabin once a day.

If you do the math, one Seabin that pulls in 4 kg (9 pounds) of trash a day will clean nearly 1.5 tonnes (1.65 US tons) in a year. There might be a lot more to do to clean up our oceans, but this is certainly an exciting step in the right direction.

large marina

Boaters can help to minimize pollutants too, by taking care to avoid fuel and oil spillage. However, accidents do happen; make sure you have ample liability coverage. A collision, or sunken vessel, can cause significant fuel and oil spillage, and you could be held liable for pollution. The yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance can review your current yacht insurance policy and share information about any gaps in your coverage. In the meantime, look for a Seabin the next time you are at the marina and if you don’t see one ask. Cleaner water benefits everyone.

Family Boating Activities

Many of our boat insurance clients are families with a wide spread of ages. Boating is an excellent opportunity for fun activities they can all enjoy together. Here are some of our best ideas for boating families:

Appreciate nature: Bring along binoculars and a bird book and watch for birds while you cruise the coast or lakeshore. Watch for other wildlife, whether whales, seals, otters, beavers or a moose. If you enjoy organized games, you can create a wildlife bingo and offer a prize for the first to fill their card.

Go fishing: Even the tiniest tots can get involved in fishing off the boat, and it’s up to you whether you fish for the next meal or catch and release. You can hold a fishing derby, where the one to catch the biggest or most exotic fish wins!

Try new water sports: Learning new sports is a great way to make memories together. Rent gear so you can explore multiple options without a commitment. Possibilities include water skiing, tubing, snorkeling, wakeboarding or surfing if you are boating where you can catch some big waves.

Encourage a spirit of adventure: Explore, pick new lakes for boating (check your boat insurance coverage to make sure you’re covered for trailering your boat before you go). You could also chart a new course on ocean waters and stop to camp at the local campgrounds. Research local tourist spots, museums, activities, and places of interest that you can investigate during your boating excursions.

Enjoy the downtime: One of the best things about boating is enjoying time for rest. Drop anchor and enjoy a picnic or dining together at a lakeside restaurant. Swim in the water off your boat, float in an inner tube or visit the beach. Bring along your favorite books (maybe books for boat lovers) and some board games (don’t forget some yummy snacks) and enjoy your time together.