A marine insurance plays an imperative role by covering you against loss or damage of cargo, ships and through any other transport, including inland transit. The insurance policy comes loaded with the following special characteristics=

  1. It is available both at ‘agreed value’ and ‘market value’= At the time of buying marine hull insurance, the insurer would cover vessel, its equipment, engines and various other parts against various losses or damages. At the time of buying the marine hull insurance on market value, the value of the vessel would be different which would gradually start depreciating with time. To combat this issue, you can buy purchase marine insurance policies on the ‘agreed value’ as well.

With agreed value, the marine insurance company agrees to cover the value of the vessel upfront. It means, if something unfortunate happens to you, the insurer will pay upfront as per the agreed value. Here, depreciation doesn’t play major role.

  1. It can be assigned= It is feasible to assign a marine insurance policy either before or after the loss unless it has terms & conditions which specifically prohibit this. An assignment of the policy by the insured in the subject-matter doesn’t transfer his rights in the marine insurance policy to the assignee unless the same has been explicitly mentioned.

In short, marine insurance policies are freely transferrable, however, the policyholder would be allowed to assign only his/her insurable interest in the cargo and not the entire interest which is there in the policy, in case of a joint marine insurance policy, for instance, like that between the policyholder and the financier.

  1. It is available as an unvalued marine insurance policy= An unvalued marine insurance policy is that kind of insurance plan which doesn’t mention the value of the insured subject-matter. Subject to the sum insured, the policy leaves the value of the loss to be subsequently calculated as per the manner which was explicitly mentioned at the time of buying the policy. Here, the value of the loss has been decided between the policyholder and the marine insurance company in case of unvalued policy.
  1. It comes with warranty= In a marine insurance policy, a warranty is like a significant undertaking between the policyholder and the insurance company. Here, a warranty means that the matter (voyage) is being conducted properly. It also says that no object, condition or content attached to the marine insurance policy is illegal.
  1. It comes with the principle of subrogation= In marine insurance, subrogation means that if the insurance company settles the claim, the insurer gets all to rights to sue the third-party if the loss happens due to its fault. In this situation, the insurer can be compensated for the claim amount paid to the other party. Here, it is necessary for the policyholder to assist the marine insurance company in seeking the compensation from the third-party

Case: 1

As the consignment is urgent, K.S Shipping doesn’t cancel the cargo even when weather conditions are not favourable. In this situation, if any loss or damage would happen to the cargo ship during transit, K.S Shipping wouldn’t be able to get coverage from its marine insurance policy. Knowing the fact that weather conditions are not good, K.S Shipping still carried on with consignment. This is the clear case of breach of warranty.

Suppose the consignment safely reaches the destination port. Though at the time of receiving goods, everything was looking fine, however, when the goods reach the warehouse, and the package is opened, the consignee notices that some packets are damaged. The buyer sues K.S Shipping, who may not get coverage from a marine insurance policy. It is likely that goods might have been damaged during the sea transit. And, as K.S Shipping continued with the consignment even when it knew about unfavourable weather conditions.

Read more: Why do You Need Marine Insurance?

Case: 2

K.S Shipping Co. incurred a heavy loss of Rs 5 crore when one of its ships stuck in sand in deep water. As the cost of recovering the vessel was more than the actual cost of the new ship of the same make, K.S Shipping Co.; decided to abandon the ship and approach its marine insurance company for the claim settlement. Here, the insurer found the claim to be valid and settled the shipping company accordingly. After a few weeks, the ship was found floating in a nearby sea. The crew members of the shipping company spotted it and informed the marine insurance company who captured and later sold it to a scrapyard and got Rs 10 lakh from it. Here, the principle of subrogation was applied as the shipping company abandoned all its rights over the ship once the claim was settled by the insurer concerning to it.