How to Select the Right Marine Contractor for Your Project

Your Marine Contractor has the specialized knowledge and industry expertise to build various projects. But how do you select the right contractor for your project?

Marine Contractor

Working on or near water comes with its unique risks. Choosing the wrong marine company could result in costly mistakes, injuries, and damage to your property.

A marine contractor is a person who specializes in the construction, repair and maintenance of structures in coastal areas. They can construct docks, piers, bulkheads, seawalls and other essential structures. They must obtain a license to work in the industry. Getting this license involves meeting the administrative requirements such as establishing an entity, paying the fee and passing an exam.

Coastal marine contractors must have insurance to protect their business and the public. They must have general liability insurance as well as professional and product liability. This insurance will cover any damage to property or injury to persons that occurs on the job. They should also have workers’ compensation insurance.

If you are looking for a marine contractor, it is important to know what to look for. Some of the most common issues include fire hazards, heavy equipment accidents and shoddy workmanship. Choosing a marine contractor with the right insurance is an important first step to ensuring your project will go smoothly.

In addition to insurance, marine contractors should have the proper equipment to perform their jobs. This includes cranes, boats and specialized machinery. It is important that they have a trained crew to operate this equipment safely. This will prevent injuries and costly repairs.

In order to stay competitive, a marine contractor should be able to provide quality service at a reasonable price. They should also be able to meet the specific needs of their clients. This is particularly important for large projects such as the construction of a commercial marina or a harbor.

Another key factor in selecting a marine contractor is their ability to understand the environmental and meteorological conditions. Marine contractors should be able to predict weather windows and adjust their operations accordingly. In addition, they should be able to track ocean water levels, air quality and underwater noise to avoid harming coral environments, birds or other animals. They can use Metocean data to evaluate the likelihood of extreme climate events and adapt their operational planning accordingly. This can help them achieve sustainable outcomes and become more environmentally responsible.


Marine contractor bonds are an invaluable tool mitigating the many risks inherent to the marine construction industry. They function as a safeguard for project owners by ensuring that marine contractors fulfill their contractual obligations, uphold industry standards and follow all applicable laws in their work. The process of attaining a bond is highly regulated, with each state requiring its own specific documentation and qualifications. These requirements are designed to ensure that applicants have the financial strength and capacity to meet their bonding obligations. Additionally, the bonding agency may require references from engineering consultants or other industry professionals who can vouch for the applicant’s experience and abilities to undertake marine construction projects.

When choosing a marine contractor, look for one with a strong track record and a stable team. Companies with a long history of providing services to clients and a history of successfully completed projects are more likely to maintain high-quality standards, uphold deadlines, and deliver on their promises.

Moreover, look for a marine contractor with a commitment to continuously improve their practices and processes. How invested are they in developing employee training and implementing new technologies that will benefit their clients? Does the company regularly participate in industry forums and working groups to advance safety and higher standards?

Marine contractors must be especially mindful of workplace hazards when performing work on waterways. They operate heavy equipment in an environment that is prone to shifting tides, sudden current changes and swell from passing boat traffic. These conditions can cause workers to be swept off their feet or lose balance and fall.

Considering the serious nature of these exposures, it’s essential that you choose a marine contractor with an appropriate insurance program. They should have general liability coverage that includes product and operational liability as well as commercial umbrella coverage to provide additional protection in the event of a claim.


Marine contractors must meet numerous insurance requirements for their businesses to operate. They must provide proof of workers’ compensation, commercial general liability, property, and inland marine policies, among other coverages. This ensures that they have enough financial protection should a loss occur. It also helps them demonstrate that they are a legitimate and reliable business.

The types of insurance required by a marine contractor depend on the type of work they perform. For example, a marine builder may need workers’ compensation and general liability insurance to cover losses incurred by employees on the job site. Marine general liability policies are generally more comprehensive than commercial general liability policies, and they can include coverage for care, custody, and control of someone else’s vessel.

An inland marine policy protects equipment and other movable property that is used in the course of a project. This includes property that is stored at temporary jobsites, such as containers or piers. It can also include equipment transported in commercial vehicles. It is important to note that a BOP or commercial auto policy will not cover these types of losses.

Another type of marine insurance is ocean cargo insurance, which protects shipments from damage while they are in transit. This coverage is often a requirement for shipping companies, but it can also be purchased by marine contractors. For example, if an employee is injured while loading or unloading a container, ocean cargo insurance can help pay for medical bills and lost wages.

As a specialist agency, we understand the unique risks associated with marine construction projects. We work closely with clients to customize insurance programs that address their specific exposures and goals. These programs can include hull coverage, towers liability, a Bumbershoot (umbrella) policy, and vessel pollution coverage, among others.

Marine construction projects involve complex operations. They share waterways with a high volume of vessels, which creates additional risk for collisions and other losses. A comprehensive marine contractors insurance program can provide peace of mind, while meeting regulatory and contractual requirements. It can also reduce the cost of a loss and prevent costly downtime due to an unexpected incident.

References and Testimonials

Whether you are building a seawall or just looking to upgrade your dock, the marine contractor you hire will have a significant impact on your project. That’s why it’s important to look at their references and testimonials before hiring them.

Contact previous clients and ask about their experiences working with the company. Find out how long the work took, if there were any issues that arose, and if the client would use the marine contractor again in the future.

It’s also a good idea to see if the marine contractor has a presence on social media and other online review sites. This can give you an idea of the company’s customer service and overall reputation.

Finally, it’s a good idea to ask the marine contractor about their insurance coverage. This will ensure that if an accident does occur on the job site, the company has the funds to cover any expenses. Otherwise, you could end up paying out of pocket for damages and injuries that occurred on the job site. Insurance will help prevent this from happening and save you a lot of money in the long run.