For all operational vessels (ships), marine hull insurance is like a security blanket. Waterways can be quite challenging at times and can result in any untoward incident. For such events, a marine hull insurance policy acts as a saviour for the ship.
What is Marine Hull Insurance?
Marine hull insurance is an insurance policy specifically designed to provide coverage to water vehicles like a boat, ship, yacht, fishing boat, steamer, etc. A hull means the body of the vessel and that is exactly what is covered by this insurance policy. The insurance provides financial protection in case of any damage to the vessel’s body (hull) and or the machinery due to risks covered by the policy.
What all Hull Insurance Covers?
Marine Hull Insurance provides coverage for the following risks:
- Damage to the hull of the ship or vessel, including its machinery and equipment
- Damage or loss to the ship due to fire, burglary and/or theft
- Accidental damage to the ship due to earthquake, lightning, etc.
- Damage done to other boats by the insured vessel (third party liability)
- Damage to the vessel during maintenance activity
- World-wide coverage for ocean-going vessels
Note: This is not an exhaustive list, thus, there might be certain omissions and additions.
People eligible for marine hull insurance are:
- Port authorities
- Owners of ships
- Private and public port operators
Claim Process for Marine Hull Insurance
In case of any untoward incident, you need to file claims for marine hull insurance. Let us look at the process to file claims for the insurance.
- Inform the insurance company about the event as soon as possible
- Get the claim registered and keep the registration number with you
- Also, provide loss and policy details
- A surveyor by the company ascertains the damage and verifies the condition of the vessel
- Post survey, the appointed official will provide you with a list of documents to be submitted
- Submit the documents
- On receipt of documents, if approved, claim amount will be released
Documents Required for Claim Process
Following documents may be asked by the insurance company when applying for a claim:
- Claim Intimation Form (dully filled & signed)
- Policy Document
- Deck & Engine Room Log Book
- Receipt of Repairs (if any)
- Survey Report and photographs
- Receipt of drydocking
- Any other details asked by the insurance company as per the case
Exclusions under Marine Hull Insurance
Marine hull insurance is a comprehensive policy, but certain cases fall out of the scope of the insurance. These cases are:
- Normal wear and tear of the hull and machinery
- Damage done due to nuclear activity
- Radioactive contamination
- Damage done by the crew members under the influence of alcohol
- Intentional damage to vessel
- Damage done to the vessel due to terrorist activities
- Involvement in dangerous activities which may lead to hull damage
- Sailing the vessel in a sea storm after issuance of warming
- Overloading of goods
Note: This list may have further additions/omissions.
Companies offering Marine Hull Insurance in India
Marine hull insurance is available in India. Some of the companies offering the policy in India are:
- HDFC Ergo
- ICICI Lombard
- United India Insurance
There are certain important points to be considered when buying a marine hull insurance. They are:
- Age of the vessel plays a major role in determining the premium for the insurance, thus, it is advised to get the insurance as soon as it is owned
- Make sure to get additional covers if you feel the basic cover is not enough
- Opt for a higher deductible amount if you wish to reduce the premium amount
- File the claims as soon as possible, when needed, so as to avoid any kind of delay or hurdles in the payment process
- The premium will depend majorly on the type of vessel, trading limits, age of the vessel, valuation of vessel and size of deductibles
Advantages of Marine Hull Insurance
Let’s look at some advantages of getting a comprehensive marine hull insurance policy for your vessel:
- Acts as an emergence safety belt, making your finances leak proof in times of untoward incidents
- One can take add-on covers to get enhanced insurance against events like terrorism, war situations, etc. on payment of extra premium
- Helps overcome losses in business
Q1. What is loss of hire?
This term is coined for business owners who give their vessels on hire. If the ship gets damaged because of some covered reasons and is not fit to be hired, the insurance company pays for this loss of income till the damage is repaired fully.
Q2. Do sellers or traders of marine vessels also need marine hull insurance?
Yes. Ships can be damaged anytime and ownership doesn’t really affect much. Cases have been where the vessel got damaged docked at the port and was not even sold. At such instances, the owner surely suffers great financial loss if working without the insurance.
Q3. Is my vessel covered if it’s on the port and suffers damage?
Yes insurance will works if it is properly docked and still suffers damage due to unavoidable reasons like collision with another vessel.