Insurance & Risk Management

Over the Side Insurance -FAQs

How do I obtain insurance for equipment used on an expedition?

To arrange insurance for science equipment used in the field, on the deck of a research vessel or placed in the water as part of the research expedition, it is necessary to obtain an endorsement from the Risk Management Coordinator. Information pertaining to the value of the equipment, a description and itemized schedule of the equipment with values, the duration of the expedition, location, launch and retrieval method, and any safe gurds or redundant systems is required to obtain the insurance. You can provide this information by completing the Over-the-Side insurance request form.

What does Over the Side insurance cost?

The daily rate is $8.00 per $100 per annum prorated to the number of days at sea. You can obtain an instant quote for your insurance on the OTS request page. For a formal quote, please fill out an OTS Insurance request completely. You will receive a quote via e-mail. Your insurance will not be bound until you specifically give your approval to do so. The cost of over-the-side insurance will be assigned to the project or account number you indicate in the request. The minimum premium is $1,000 and the deductible is 20% of declared values per occurrence with a $50,000 minimum and $500,000 maximum if your equipment is tethered. Untethered/unattached equipment has the same premium minimum of $1,000 but the deductible is 20% of declared value per occurrence with a $100,000 minimum and $500,000 maximum.

NOTE: Insurance costs must be already budgeted to a project in order to be allowable.

Is there a deductible on OTS insurance?

Yes, there is a deductible of 20% of declared values per occurrence with a $50,000 minimum and $500,000 maximum for tethered equipment; for untethered/ unattached equipment the deductible is 20% of declared values per occurrence with a $100,000 minimum and $500,000 maximum.

Is the deductible applied to each piece of equipment on the equipment list?

The deductible applies for each occurrence. If there is more than one instance of loss, the deductible will be applied to each one.

Can my colleague obtain insurance for their equipment from WHOI?

WHOI’s insurance is specifically for WHOI-sponsored projects. We cannot insure equipment on behalf of other institutions or individuals. If you are borrowing equipment from a colleague to use on a WHOI project, it may be insured under your project number provided the cost is allowable and there is an approved equipment loan agreement in effect. You are responsible for any communications with your colleague concerning claims, losses, or other matters pertaining to the insurance.

If you are loaning equipment to a colleague they are responsible for any insurance. WHOI's insurance cannot be used for equipment that is not in the care, custody and control of WHOI employees. An approved equipment loan agreement should also be in effect.

For questions regarding equipment loan agreements contact the Risk Management Coordinator.

Can I add or change equipment on my project during the cruise and have it covered?

Yes. This requires an amended endorsement and additional premium in most cases. Contact the Risk Management Coordinator (x3517) for assistance.

How do I make a claim to my OTS insurance?

You should notify the Risk Management Coordinator (x3517) immediately if you will have a claim to your insurance. You will need to provide the date of the loss, a narrative describing the circumstances surrounding the loss, any photos of damaged equipment and proof of the declared values. If your equipment has been recovered damaged, the Risk Management Coordinator will make arrangements for a marine surveyor to visit for the purposes of evaluating the loss.

Scheduled Equipment

When you add your equipment to the equipment floater it becomes scheduled equipment for the remainder of the year. The rate for this is $3.85 per $100 of value per annum prorated if added after the first of the year. The deductible is 20% of declared values per occurrence with a $50,000 minimum and $500,000 maximum for tethered equipment. For untethered/unattached equipment the deductible is 20% of declared value per occurrence with a $100,000 minimum and $500,000 maximum.


Cargo coverage for shipping of scheduled equipment is now automatic. You will not need to enter a value when making your shipping request for these items.

Contact the Risk Management Coordinator to add your equipment to the schedule for insurance.

Last updated: December 30, 2014