Marine Insurance Services

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Marine Insurance Services:


Marine Insurance is a type of insurance in which coverage is provided against the losses or damages of cargo or goods during transportation between the points of origin to the final destination.
Assurance can be provided that the goods dispatched from the country of origin to the land of destination are insured by Marine Insurance.

Some facts about Marine Insurance:

  • The loss/damage of ships, cargo, terminals, are covered by Marine insurance and any other means of transport are included by which goods are transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and the final destination.
  • Although the name implies that mode of transportation of goods are through sea, Marine insurance applies to all modes of transportation of goods.
  • Coverage for all means of transportation such as road, railway, air, sea, couriers and postal service are provided by Marine insurance policy.
  • The insurance is known as the contract of marine cargo insurance when goods are shipped by air.
  • Primarily loss during transit caused due to fire, explosion, hijacks, accidents, collisions, and overturning are  covered by Marine Cargo insurance policy.
  • However, specially curated plans for covering the risk of theft, malicious damage, shortage, and non-delivery of goods, damages during loading and unloading, and mishandling of goods/cargo are also offered by some Marine Insurance Services.
  • The coverage can be chosen based on specific business requirements by the insured.
  • This policy is essential for businesses and individuals alike.
  • Any damage to business shipments can directly impact business as these are usually high in value.
  • Relocation is regarded as one of the most stressful life events, be it for job change or marriage when it comes to an individual.
  • Marine insurance policy protects your goods against material damages whatever may be your reason for transporting your goods.

Importance of Marine Insurance:

  • Marine insurance is crucial in many import-export trade proceedings.
  • Both parties are liable for the payment of goods under insurance by admitting the terms.
  • Goods in transit need to be insured by either the Forwarding Agent, exporter or importer.
  • The policy can also be taken by anyone involved in the transit of goods.
  • The Marine Insurance policy can be taken by buyers, sellers, contractors, import or export merchants, banks or anyone engaged in the import and export of goods or transportation of it within the country. 
  • Marine insurance is provided by many banks and financial institutions and the process to purchase marine insurance in India is easy.

Marine Insurance Act 1963:

The Marine Insurance Act came in India into existence in 1963.
The insurer will be at risk to bear the charges, any time the term ‘marine insurance’ is used, expressed or even extended for the insuring of goods against loss or damage, as per section three of the act.
All the certainty of goods in case of misfortune sustained during marine ventures will be considered by the insurer.

Principles of Marine Insurance:

  • Principle of Good faith: Absolute trust is demanded by parties on both the insurer and the guaranteed. 
  • Principle of Proximate Cause: The proximate cause is  the definitive and adequate cause of loss and is not adjacent in time.
  • Principle of Insurable Interest: Any object presented as a marine risk as well as the assured covering the insurance of goods should have legal relevance.
  • A series, called 'Incoterms'  is also devoted to respectfully assign the insurance of goods to each party.
  • Principle of Indemnity: The parties can't buy insurance to gain profits as the insurance extended to the parties will only be applicable up to the loss. The parties won't get more than the actual loss even they extend it.
  • Principle of Contribution: The amount has to be fairly distributed amongst the insurers when the risk coverage for goods has more than one insurer.

How Marine Insurance works?

  • Marine insurance works by transferring the liability of the goods from the parties and intermediaries involved to the insurance company.
  • The legal liability of the intermediaries handling the goods is limited.
  • The exporter, who bear the sole responsibility of the goods, can buy an insurance policy and get maritime insurance coverage for the exported goods against any possible loss or damage.
  • The cost of damages and losses to the goods while on board will be bear by the carrier of the goods, be it the airline or the shipping company.
  • Mostly, the compensation agreed is on a ‘per package’ or ‘per consignment’ basis.
  • Usually, exporters prefer to ship their products after getting it insured the same with an insurance company as the coverage provided may not be sufficient to cover the cost of the goods shipped.
  • The contractual obligations of exports can be met by the Scope of Marine insurance.
  • The exporter needs to take marine insurance to protect the buyer’s or their bank’s interest and honor the contractual obligation to align with agreements such as cost insurance and freight (CIF) or carriage and insurance paid (CIP).
  • The seller may not be obligated to insure the goods, in the case of Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) terms.
  • Packing of goods should be good enough to withstand natural hazards to the best extent possible and should be done keeping in mind their safety during loading and unloading as well as the possibility of clumsy handling or theft when packing goods to get marine insurance and avoid insurance claims.

Types of Marine Insurance:

 

  • Freight Insurance, Liability Insurance, Hull Insurance and Marine Cargo Insurance are different types of Marine Insurance.
  • Freight Insurance: The insurance will be provided on compensation for loss of freight in freight insurance if the goods are damaged in transit, and the operator lose freight receivables.
  • Liability Insurance: Any liability occurring on account of a ship crashing or colliding is provided in Marine Liability insurance.
  • Hull Insurance: The hull & torso of the transportation vehicle is covered in Hull Insurance. The transportation against damages and accidents are covered.
  • Marine Cargo Insurance: The insurance is provided for goods dispatched from the country of origin to the country of destination.

Types of Marine Insurance Policies:

Floating Policy, Voyage Policy, Time Policy, Mixed Policy, Named Policy, Port Risk Policy, Fleet Policy, Single Vessel Policy, Blanket Policy are different types of Marine Insurance Policies.

Floating Policy:

Ann open policy, also known as a blanket policy, may be chosen by large exporters instead of taking insurance separately for each shipment.
An open policy is a one time insurance in which insurance coverage is provided against all shipments made during the agreed period, that is often for one year.
The detail of all shipments made during the period, destinations, type of goods, modes of transport, etc. need to be declared periodically by exporter.
Shipments are insured automatically with open policies.

Voyage policy:

Voyage policy is a specific type of policy that can be taken for a single lot or consignment only.
Insurance cover need to be purchased by the exporter every time a shipment is sent overseas.
Extra effort and time is involved each time an exporter sends a consignment in Voyage policy.

Time policy:

Time policy in marine insurance is normally for a fixed period of time and is generally issued for one year.
However, the policy can be issued for more than a year or  may be extended to complete a specific voyage.
Time policy can be issued only once a year under marine insurance in India.

Mixed policy:

Mixed policy is a mixture of Voyage policy and Time policy.

Named policy:

Named policy is one of the most popular policies in marine insurance policy in which the name of the ship is mentioned in the insurance document.
The policy will be issued in the name of the ship.

Port Risk policy:

Port Risk policy is a policy that is taken to ensure the safety of the ship when it is stationed in a port.

Fleet policy:

Fleet policy is a time based policy in which several ships belonging to the company owner are covered under one policy.
Even the old ships are covered under fleet policy which is the main advantage of this policy.

Single Vessel policy:

Only one vessel is covered under marine insurance policy in Single Vessel policy.

Blanket policy:

Blanket policy is a type o policy in which the owner has to pay the maximum protection amount at the time of buying the policy.

Clauses covered in Marine Insurance:

  • There are three types of marine insurance clauses including Institute Cargo Clauses A, B, and C in terms & conditions of marine insurance coverage.
  • Basic risk coverage is provided by Clause C where as maximum coverage is provided by Clause A.
  • Basic coverage including a restricted list of risk of coverage are provided in Clause C. The shipment against events such as fire, explosion, discharge of cargo in case of distress, accidents like sinking, capsizing, derailment, collision, etc. are covered under this clause. 
  • An additional layer of protection is provided in the Clause B in which not only it include all the risk covers provided in Clause C, but also it covers the shipment against events such as earthquake, volcanic eruption, and damage due to rainwater, river water, seawater etc., and loss to package overboard or during loading and unloading.
  • Maximum coverage is provided in the next clause as it covers all risk of loss or damage to the goods. Losses due to breakage,  denting, bruising, chipping, theft, non-delivery, all water damage, etc. is provided in this clause along with all the risks covered under Clauses B and C.
  • Risks such as wars, strikes, riots, and civil commotions are not covered in Marine Insurance policy. However, this cover may be provided by the insurer on payment of additional marine insurance premium.

What is not covered under Marine Insurance?

  • Marine Insurance does not cover for the loss or damage due to willful act of negligence and misconduct.
  • Any loss or damage due to delay as well as due to strike, wire, riot and civil commotion will not be covered.
  • Losses due to hook losses or leakage in case of goods packed in bags may be excluded by the insurance contract itself.
  • Ordinary and unavoidable trade losses such as shrinkage and evaporation in the bulk shipment or infestation in case of copra are excluded, unless specifically provided.
  • Losses connected with shipment of opium and other dangerous drugs will not be not paid unless specified conditions are met as stipulated in Marine insurance policy.
  • The insurer is not responsible for any loss caused by ordinary wear and tear as well as ordinary leakage and breakage, inherent vice or nature of the subject matter insured, or for any loss caused by vermin or rats, or any injury to machinery not caused by maritime perils.
  • Contamination due to radioactive rays as well as attack or damage form biological, biochemical, chemical or electromagnetic weapon.

Tips to claim Marine Insurance:

 

  • The first step to be taken by the insured under claim of Marine Insurance is intimating insurance company about the loss or damage of goods.
  • Insured or his agent has to give immediate notice to the insurance company in the event of loss or damage to the goods.
  • All measures and actions as may be reasonable and necessary to minimize the loss or damage should be taken.
  • It must also be ensured that all the rights against carriers, baileys or third parties are protected.
  • Reasonable care is one of the measures that need to be taken in to consideration while claiming Marine Insurance against loss or damage of export import goods of international trade.
  • Survey and claim is the next step to be followed while claiming Marine Insurance under export and import goods.
  • Insured or his agents must call for a detailed survey by the ship surveyors if any package shows signs of outward damage at the time of taking delivery and lodge the monetary claim with the shipping company for the loss or damage to the packages.
  • A certified marine surveyor can be appointed for this at the location where damaged cargo is available.
  • The insured and or agent should immediately inform the insurance company and call for the ship surveyor for detailed survey if they find damages to goods by opening the packages after reaching warehouse.
  • The packing materials or the contents in packages should not be disturbed which is important in claiming Marine Insurance under export and import trade.
  • The insured must lodge the monetary claim with the insurance company and its baileys (shipping company) in case any package is found missing and obtain a proper acknowledgement from them.
  • Insurance can be claimed under import export of international trade by this formalities.
  • The time limit for filing claim against the shipping companies is one year from the date of discharge of goods in a Marine Insurance.
  • However, the the time limit may change as per the rules and regulations of insurer. 

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