Operating Your Charter Business as a Corporation

Posted on by Dan Longman

Charter Boat InsuranceMany captains operate their business as a corporation but fail to inform us they are incorporated. It can be confusing if you own your boat personally and run your business as a corporation. Who should you insure? The answer is both you and your corporation should be listed as named insureds on your policy.

Operating your charter boat business as a corporation is done primarily to transfer the liability of that business to the corporation and shield you from personal liability. To make this transfer complete, the corporation should be listed as a named insured on your charter insurance policy.

If you own your boat personally and lease it to your corporation the same rule applies.
In that case the corporation would be the named insured and you would be listed as an additional insured and loss payee on the policy. If you captain your own vessel we typically name you along with the corporation as named insureds on the policy.

If a passenger is injured serious enough to sue you, the attorneys will name you and your corporation in the suit. However, insurance can only defend the person(s) or entities listed on the policy as a named insured. If the corporation is not listed, it may not be protected.

The same reasoning is true for Assumed Names or DBAs. Many captains use an assumed name for marketing purposes. An example would be Captain John Doe doing business as JD’s Fishing Adventures. JD’s Fishing Adventures is an assumed name. Assumed names are typically registered with your state of residence so no one else can use that name. An assumed name can be used by sole proprietors, partnerships or corporations. If you use an assumed name in your business, that name should be listed on your policy so you are protected properly.

There is no additional premium charge for naming your corporation or DBA as a named insured on your policy.

Please let us know if you operate your business as a corporation or if you operate with an assumed name or both, so we can protect you properly.