Runaway Restaurant

Adrift on the Ohio River

In mid-March, one of greater Cincinnati’s beloved floating restaurants—the Waterfront—partially broke from its moorings and floated downriver 85 yards. It was stopped from floating farther and hitting a bridge by a mooring cable. More than 80 diners, including “Sunday Night Football” Commentator Cris Collinsworth, were trapped onboard.

If the owners carried hull insurance, then flood would not be excluded. Hull insurance typically covers perils of the sea—causes of loss that are particular to bodies of water, which would include high water levels.

While no one was injured and it appears the runaway restaurant-barge did not cause any damage to other boats or structures, this event prompts some other possible claim scenarios and coverage questions that could arise.

Likewise, if the mooring cable had not caught the barge in time and it had struck a bridge, the restaurant owner’s P&I insurance (provided it contained customary provisions) would respond.

But what if the restaurant had collided with a barge or a boat on the river? This type of loss may be excluded from P&I coverage if it is the subject of hull coverage. It could be covered on the P&I form if excluded from the hull policy.

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