Marine license insurance: do you need it?


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Every year, many professional sailors are involved in accidents that trigger a USCG investigation.

Imagine working on a ship and suddenly you are involved in a marine accident that triggers a Coast Guard investigation. In the blink of an eye, your career and your USCG license are in serious jeopardy. Every year, this scenario is a reality for professional sailors across the United States. Fortunately, MOPS marine license insurance can change that.

What is marine license insurance?
Marine License Insurance is a prepaid legal defense insurance policy that provides policyholders with legal representation by a local marine attorney in the event of a covered marine accident or incident. This coverage is designed specifically to protect the licenses and livelihoods of professional mariners, such as U.S. Coast Guard-licensed deck and engineering officers, certified tankers, as well as state and federal pilots, operating on board vessels of all sizes in all sectors of industry. .

What types of events are covered by license insurance?
Generally, the types of occurrences covered by license insurance are boating accidents and incidents triggering a Coast Guard investigation. These investigations may result in charges of negligence against the officers involved who may face the suspension or revocation of their licence(s). These accidents include, but are not limited to: accidental groundings, sinkings, fires/explosions, collisions, collisions, oil spills, groundings, weather damage and damage caused by the wake.

Why Consider Licensing Insurance?
Most marine license insurance claims involve, at a minimum: an accident scene investigation, including an “informal” interview with the Coast Guard; the requirement to complete and submit a marine accident report 2692 by the seafarer concerned; a subsequent formal Coast Guard interview at the local Marine Safety Office; and, if charged, potentially lengthy administrative court proceedings.

Without license insurance coverage, an affected sailor could pay up to $300 an hour for an attorney for the duration of the case. This can be tens of thousands of dollars.

However, if the seafarer has his own license insurance or employer-provided license insurance, the total annual premium for coverage is generally less than two or three hours of legal fees, and the policy provides a fully paid defense from the start of the incident. at the conclusion of the deal.

Is it in an employer’s best interest to provide coverage for its executives?
In general, it is in an employer’s interest to provide coverage for its officers. Each company has its own philosophy when it comes to offering fully or partially paid benefits to its employees. However, providing affordable license insurance to its officers often becomes a win-win situation. First, a successful defense of an officer’s license keeps them on the active roster and second, the resulting appreciation and loyalty not only helps retain good employees, but also attracts qualified new ones.

A concrete case
A good example of why professional seafarers need license insurance is illustrated in It could have been so much worse, which describes how a tugboat pushing two loaded barges down a fast-flowing river allied itself with the pilings of a marina before sending the unmanned lead barge downstream to cause even more damage. For more case studies on how MOPS Marine License Insurance can protect your hard-earned USCG license, visit our website.

To learn more and get a free, no-obligation quote today, call
MOPS marine license insurance at 800-782-8902 ext. 3608
or by visiting


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