How Does Marine Insurance Work?

by Catherine Chase; Updated September 26, 2017

Coverage

Marine insurance is a lot like any other kind of insurance: It guards against damage to or loss of something of value. It can cover ships, cargo, terminals or ports. It can even cover pipelines and oil platforms.

Protection and Indemnity

This kind of insurance covers any damage to cargo the ship is carrying; it protects the ship’s owners from liability resulting from the injury or death of anyone on board the ship; and it covers infrastructure, like piers and bridges, damaged by the ship.

Vessels

The ships themselves are insured with hull insurance. The common clauses in policies cover damage related to fire, collision, sinking and stranding. In collision clauses, the insurance extends to both ships involved.

Cargo

Companies shipping goods internationally have a few options. They can select an open cargo policy, which covers the goods from their departure to their destination, even during land transportation. They can also choose to cover only specific risks (fire, etc.), or all risks. The company may also choose to have the insurance cover only a specific transaction.

About the Author

Catherine Chase is a professional writer specializing in history and health topics. Chase also covers finance, home improvement and gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Skidmore College.