Marine Insurance

Marine Insurance Overview:

Ever since the ancient times, international trade has relied heavily on sea routes for transportation. Well before airplanes or trains were invented, ships have been the primary mode of trade related transport. However, sea routes in the old days were plagued by plenty of risks like bad weather, attacks by sea pirates, collision, etc. All these perils have given rise to the need for marine insurance which is believed to the very first form of developed insurance.

Marine insurance, like many other types of insurance, helps protect not only the ship but also the cargo contained and being transported by the ship. There are 3 types of marine insurance – cargo insurance, freight insurance and hull insurance – which have been designed for ships, boats, and for cargo being transported on either of these two carriers.

Marine insurance is a compulsory requirement for all ship / yacht owners, who are using their vessel for commercial or transportation purposes.

Benefits of Marine Insurance Plan:

Marine insurance is helpful for a variety of reasons.

  1. It provides all-round coverage against a wide variety of risks faced while at sea.
  2. Most marine insurance providers offer claim survey assistance worldwide, along with claim settlement assistance.
  3. Different marine insurance providers offer a variety of options and plans under marine insurance policies to suit different budgets and requirements.
  4. Marine insurance covers can often be customized and adjusted to meet specific needs and budgets of the customers.
  5. Often, marine insurance policies do provide extensions to provide protection against damages caused due to riots, strikes and other such perils.

Marine Insurance Covers:

The primary objective of a marine insurance policy is to protect your finances and assets while they are being transported via sea. However, different insurance companies offer multiple types of marine insurance policies. Due to this reason, there is no standard list of risks against which every marine insurance will provide protection. Though most marine insurance policies do provide cover against damages or losses to expensive cargo, some policies may while some may not provide extended cover against cross border civil disturbances or against pirates. Following is a list of some of the common instances or losses which marine insurance provides cover against:

  1. Import or export shipments.
  2. Goods which are being transported via sea, rail, air, road or post.
  3. Goods being transported by coastal vessels which ply between different ports inside the country.
  4. Goods which are transported via vessels plying along rivers.

Marine Insurance Policy Exclusions:

Some of the common exclusions of most marine insurance policies are listed as below:

  • Routine wear and tear or ordinary leakage.
  • Incorrect and inadequate packaging of goods being transported.
  • Damage caused due to delay.
  • Damage caused wilfully or intentionally.
  • Damage caused due to civil commotion, strikes, war, riot, etc.
  • Any damage or loss occurring due to bankruptcy or financial default of the owner of the transport vessel.

Companies Providing Marine Insurance Plan:

In India, there are various major banks and financial institutions which provide marine insurance. Some of the top providers are Bharti AXA, ICICI Lombard, New India Assurance Co. Ltd., United India Assurance Co. Ltd., Tata AIG, HDFC ERGO, Royal Sundaram, Chola Insurance, etc.

Marine Insurance Claim Process:

The claim process for marine insurance is similar to that done for any other type of insurance. Following are some of the basic steps to make a claim in case of marine insurance.

  • You must either contact the claim representative or the nearest branch of your insurance provider and intimate them about the claim.
  • In the event that the damage has occurred to the goods while they are on the ship or port, you must arrange for a port or a joint ship survey.
  • You must submit the policy document / certificate which had previously been issued to you at the time of taking the policy. You also need to provide the original invoice and any other documents which may be required to authenticate your claim.

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