In General terms, Marine Insurance covers the loss or damage to cargo, or to the vessel (or aircraft) carrying it, between the points of origin and final destination.
The concept of Marine Insurance can be traced back over 2000 years to ancient Roman times, and like today, the intention was to spread risk, for the owners of cargo and vessels.
The basis of “Modern” Marine Insurance Law dates from 1601 with the establishment of a Court separate from existing Law Courts, specifically intended to cover “Merchant “ law, with Lloyds of London becoming established from 1688.
The growth of the British Empire gave English law a prominence in this area which it largely maintains and forms the basis of almost all modern practice.
So, over many hundreds of years, law and policy has evolved to cover virtually every situation, and the obligations of all parties are usually quite clear.
In very simple terms, an “Open Marine Policy” is a document that covers shipments for an agreed period, (usually 1 year), up to a pre-determined total value, based on fairly standard conditions.
Based on the agreed risk, type of product involved and cover provided, the premium due is often less than 1% of the value.
The importance of Marine Insurance may only become apparent when a situation involving loss or damage arises. For example, the liability of ship owners is specified in the terms and conditions included in a Bill of Lading, and may be far less than the value of goods being shipped.
Unless separate cover is in place, the owner of damaged goods may find they have no basis to claim.
For those with Cover, any claims are usually handled by experts called “Loss Adjusters”, who work within convention and Maritime Law to establish the most appropriate outcome.
We can arrange to insure individual shipments for you, or can refer you to an Insurance Broker specialising in annual policies.
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