Types of Licenses and Insurance to Ask About When Hiring a Marine Construction Firm
When getting quotes from marine construction companies in Florida, there’s more to consider than just price. Naturally, a company’s experience with custom marine construction should factor into your decision, but you also need to ensure that companies have the necessary insurance and hold a license issued by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This post explains what licensing and insurance a marine construction company should have and how you can double-check the credentials of any contractor.
Who Needs a Marine Contractor License in Florida?
Florida law requires companies to have a marine contractor’s license if they work on any of the following:
- Boatlifts and boat ramps
- Concrete and masonry work on marine structures
- Docks, including fixed docks and floating docks
- Dune crossovers
- Framing on marine and accessory structures
- Mooring devices and mooring fields
- Wave attenuators
In addition, the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board issues marine contractor licenses for the following activities:
- Dredge and fill
- Pile driving
- Roofing on marine and accessory structures
Requirements for a Florida State-Certified Marine Contractor’s License
To qualify for a Florida state-certified marine contractor’s license, a person must meet many qualifications. Let’s review each below.
Age and Character
A marine contractor must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for a license in the state of Florida. Applicants must undergo a criminal background check that involves fingerprinting. People with previous convictions for crimes may not be able to obtain a license, depending on the nature of their offenses.
The marine contractor application review process includes a credit check. People with low credit scores must complete a financial responsibility course before they can receive a license. If someone previously had a bankruptcy or a lien or judgment filed against them due to the date, they must resolve the issue and show proof that the bankruptcy was discharged, or that the lien or judgment was satisfied.
Prospective licensed marine contractors must show proof of their knowledge of marine construction. To do this, they must pass two exams: one related to contracting and one related to business and finance. People who hold a bachelor’s degree in construction or a similar field may be able to opt out of the contracting exam if they had a GPA of at least 3.0.
Experience and Education
Marine contractors must establish that they have education or previous work experience in the field prior to gaining a license. Candidates can combine college-level coursework, work experience as a foreman or construction worker and military service to fulfill this requirement. Specifically, candidates must prove that they have experience with floating marine structures, fixed marine structures, foundations, shore stabilization, anchoring systems, dredging, and filling to obtain licensing.
Insurance helps to protect clients and members of the public if a marine contractor makes an error or an accident occurs on a construction site. Florida requires all marine contractors to have public liability and property damage insurance before they apply for a license and to maintain coverage for as long as they work in the field. In addition, contractors must have worker’s compensation insurance to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages due to on-the-job accidents to protect clients from liability.
Why You Should Only Hire Licensed and Insured Contractors
Hiring someone who lacks a Florida marine contractors’ license for your project could lead to all sorts of trouble. Without being licensed, you can’t be certain that they have any training or experience in the field. Plus, there’s always a risk that they may get caught operating without a license and be forced to stop construction in the middle of a project. A lack of insurance could mean you have to pay out of pocket if the contractor damages your property or someone is injured during construction.
How to Ensure Your Contractor Is Licensed and Insured in the State of Florida
As you interview prospective marine construction companies, ask about their license status and what insurance they carry. You can also use the contractor license lookup tool that Florida provides to ensure that a contractor’s license is active.
At HMP Marine Construction, LLC, we hold all the necessary licenses and insurance to provide marine contracting services to our customers. We are licensed and insured in compliance with the Jones Act and the US Long-Shore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act and Certified Marine Contractor, licensed to operate in the state of Florida (Our certified state license # is: SCC131152518). Our commitment to quality construction and first-rate customer service makes us a marine contracting company that you can trust.