Marine Insurance Consultants and Experts

A Marine Insurance Expert for a Complex World

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Marine Insurance Expert Witness & Consultant

Our knowledge and expertise extends to all sectors of marine and transportation Insurance: Cargo, hull, protection and indemnity, ship building, marine liabilities.

What is Marine Insurance?

Marine insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, pleasure craft and cargo and any transport by which the property is held, transferred or acquired between the points of origin and final destination. It covers the liability of shipowners (known as P and I Policies), marine service providers such as ports, terminals, ship repairers and marinas. It addresses the liability of transport intermediaries such as freight forwarders and customs brokers. It also covers the building of ships. Lastly, it covers General Average and Salvage.

Types of Marine Insurance

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance provides coverage against (often all risks of) physical loss or damage to freight during the shipment from an external cause during shipping, whether by sea, land or air. A marine cargo policy will also cover General Average contributions.

There are two types of cargo policy:

  • An open or 12 month cargo policy which covers all shipments of goods and voyages contemplated by the policy. This is by far the most popular type of policy and serves regular shippers and importers.
  • A second type of cargo policy is a single shipment policy. By definition, it covers a specific shipment of cargo on a one off basis.

Quite often, transport intermediaries such as freight forwarders and customs brokers secure their own open policy to offer cargo insurance to the customers they provide transportation services for.

In the UK and former Commonwealth countries, most cargo policies incorporate the London based Institute Cargo Clauses.

In the United States, cargo policies often incorporate the AIMU cargo clauses which offer a similar but not identical cover as the London clauses.

Within the marine cargo insurance field, policies may be extended to include contingency cover (seller’s or buyer’s interest), stock thru put or DSU (Delay in Start Up).

Like any other marine and transport service provider, freight forwarders, warehouse keepers and customs brokers require liability protection in relation to the services they offer and over the course of the last 3O years in particular, specialist policies were developed to cover the liability of freight service providers in relation to cargo loss or damage and errors and omissions.

(As well as being an accredited course instructor for the Chartered Insurance Institute, Alan has offered many cargo courses to insurance brokers and other insurance practitioners around the world. He has written 12 ebooks and has been retained by counsel in close to 25 cases in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States to offer expert opinions on different aspects of cargo insurance.)

Commercial Hull

Marine hull insurance covers accidental loss or damage to vessels and their machinery, used for commercial purposes; It includes salvage costs, and may include third party liability cover.

Commercial hull insurance covers a wide range of vessel: ocean going, lake or river. Examples of such vessels are: fishing vessels, ocean going cargo ships, bulk and liquid tankers, ferries, ro/ro, containers ships, drill ships, tugs, barges, work boats.

The rules and regulations relating to the sea are highly complex and are commonly expressed by way of an international convention. Organisations which create international conventions by sea are: IMO, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL and CMI. An example of such a convention is Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS).

There are international bodies that regulate standards for the safety and good management of ships at sea: These include the IMO and Classification Societies.

The field of commercial hull insurance also embraces vessel construction and ship building sector.

Protection and Indemnity (P and I Clubs)

Whilst a hull policy may provide some cover for liability such as collision liability (Institute Time Clause Hulls 1.10.83), most ships enjoy liability cover as a result of being entered as a member of a P and I Club. These are mutual associations that offer unlimited liability protection for their members and offer a range of cover and loss prevention services. Hence, a club may offer protection against specific risks such as pollution liability, nuclear risks and war risks. Clubs work on the basis of agreeing to accept a shipowner as a member and levying an initial ‘call’. (premium). If the loss experience is unfavourable, one or more supplementary ‘calls’ may be made. Clubs are managed by professional associations.

(Alan is an active hull and P and I underwriter and is an accredited instructor for the Chartered Insurance Institute, London. Alan offers regulars courses on hull and P and I insurance. Alan offers expert opinions in this field and has been retained by counsel in the UK, USA and Singapore).

Within the field of marine insurance there are a number of specialist insurance policies that offer liability protection for its service providers. These include: ports and terminals, wharfingers, stevedores, ship repairers, marina operators.

Marine Liabilities

Within the field of marine insurance there are a number of specialist insurance policies that offer liability protection for its service providers. These include: ports and terminals, wharfingers, stevedores, ship repairers, marina operators.

Please feel free to contact us today to discuss how we can assist you with any of the following services: Marine insurance expert witness, claims overview, peer review and audit, insurance archaeology or, if you would like to book a course.


Alan Jervis
*Jervis ICI Ltd.
Edwinstowe House
NG21 9PR

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