Chapter 4.5. For-hire Vessels of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 2. >> Chapter 4.5.

As used in this chapter, "for-hire vessel operator" means any person owning, controlling, operating, or managing a for-hire vessel for the transportation of persons for compensation in this state, except a common carrier by vessel as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 211. Nothing in this section shall exempt those common carriers by vessel excepted from this section from any insurance requirements required by the commission for common carriers as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 211.
As used in this chapter, "for-hire vessel" includes any vessel, by whatsoever power operated, carrying passengers for hire, except a seaplane on the water and vessels exempt from taxation under Section 3 of Article XIII of the California Constitution.
As used in this chapter, "person" means any individual, firm, partnership, private, municipal or public corporation, limited liability company, company, association, joint stock association, trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative.
The Public Utilities Commission shall require every for-hire vessel operator to procure, and continue in effect so long as the for-hire vessel operator continues to offer his services for compensation, adequate protection against liability imposed by law upon a for-hire vessel operator for the payment of damages for personal bodily injuries, including death resulting therefrom, and property damage as a result of an accident.
The commission shall, after a public hearing, set the amount of liability insurance, required by Section 4663, which is reasonably necessary to provide adequate compensation for damage incurred through an accident involving a for-hire vessel operator.
The protection required under Section 4663 shall be evidenced either by the deposit with the commission, covering each vessel used or to be used in for-hire vessel operations for compensation, of:
  (a) A policy of insurance, issued by a company licensed to write such insurance in the state, or by nonadmitted insurers subject to Section 1763 of the Insurance Code, if such policies meet the rules promulgated therefor by the commission; or
  (b) A bond of a surety company licensed to write surety bonds in the state; or
  (c) Such evidence of the qualification of the for-hire vessel operator as a self-insurer as may be authorized by the commission.
With the consent of the commission a copy of an insurance policy, certified by the company issuing it to be a true copy of the original policy, or a photostatic copy thereof, or an abstract of the provisions of the policy, or a certificate of insurance issued by the company issuing the policy, may be filed with the commission in lieu of the original or a duplicate or counterpart of the policy.
The protection against liability shall be continued in effect so long as the for-hire vessel operator continues to offer his services for compensation. The policy of insurance or surety bond shall not be cancelable on less than thirty (30) days' written notice to the commission, except in the event of cessation of operations as a for-hire vessel operator.
The commission may establish such rules as are necessary to enforce this article.
Any for-hire vessel operator who knowingly refuses or fails to procure protection against liability, as required by Section 4663, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Following an administrative hearing, the commission may impose a penalty of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon any for-hire vessel owner or operator who violates any provision of this article or who fails to obey, observe, or comply with any rule established by the commission pursuant to Section 4668. For purposes of this section, Section 4671, and Section 4672, "owner" means the corporation or person who is registered as the owner of the vessel or who has a legal right to operate the vessel pursuant to a lease or rental agreement. For purposes of this section, Section 4671, and Section 4672, "operator" means the "for-hire vessel operator" as defined in Section 4660.
(a) Upon filing of the evidence of liability protection pursuant to Section 4663, the commission shall provide a certificate of filing to the for-hire vessel owner or operator. The certificate shall be no larger than 8 1/2 by 11 inches in size. The for-hire vessel owner or operator shall post the certificate of filing on the vessel in a prominent location which is visible to the passengers.
  (b) No certificate that has been canceled, suspended, or revoked, or that is not valid shall be posted on a vessel.
Upon receiving notification of impending cancellation of liability protection pertaining to a for-hire vessel owner or operator, the commission shall, effective upon the date of the cancellation, revoke the certificate provided to the owner or operator pursuant to Section 4671 and shall notify the owner or operator of this revocation. The owner or operator shall return the revoked certificate to the commission.