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What is marine insurance?

December 21, 2017

As the name suggests, marine insurance applies to ships and boats – and perhaps most importantly the cargo that is carried within them. Also known as ocean insurance, it is one of the oldest types of insurance cover in the world, said to date back to the Babylonian traders of around 2000 BC.

Today, it is a must have for many of Dubai’s logistics businesses. If your business owns ships or sea vessels or ships cargo by sea anywhere in the world, it is vital that you take out adequate marine insurance. Without it, you could be liable for the cost of any cargo that is lost or damaged in transit – costs which could run into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, depending on the shipment.

Marine insurance is of particular importance as sea travel brings with it risks that are less apparent when shipping goods via other methods of transportation such as road, rail or air. These risks include theft, sinking, war, diplomatic incidents, hijacking, weather damage, loss of loose cargo – and in extreme cases, loss of the vessel itself.

If your business owns ships or sea vessels or ships cargo by sea anywhere in the world, it is vital that you take out adequate marine insurance.

What does marine insurance cover?

The exact level of cover provided by marine insurance will depend on the type of policy you take out. However, a standard policy will usually protect against the following:

  • Damage to the vessel: Here marine insurance acts in a similar way to car insurance, protecting against any damage to the vessel or ship. Such policies also cover damage to other vessels as a result of a collision. Again, much like car insurance, an excess or deductible is usually payable in the event of a claim.
  • Cargo and freight cover: This aspect of marine insurance cover protects both the vessel owner and the shipper of the goods against any loss or damage to cargo in transit. Cargo insurance can apply to all shipments carried by a business across the year or be taken out on an individual shipment basis.
  • Indemnity cover: This covers you against any claims made as a result of damage to property, and injury to persons, sustained while in transit.
  • Machinery cover: Protection against any breakdown or damage to essential machinery on the vessel.
  • Liability cover: This protects you against a range of potential third party claims that can arise during a vessel’s operation. These include injury; illness or death; medical expenses; wreck clean-up and vessel removal; salvage; and quarantine expenses.

Some policies also offer protection against extreme situations such as piracy, or seizure in another country’s waters. Others may protect what is termed “onshore and offshore exposed property”. Such property includes container terminals, ports, oil platforms, pipelines, and many other permanent structures exposed to the ocean.

A cargo ship

Do I need marine insurance in Dubai, UAE? 

If you ship consignments by sea from Dubai – or anywhere else in the UAE for that matter – then the answer is almost certainly yes. Think about it: Could you cover the cost of a lost shipment? Or damage to another vessel? For most businesses the answer to questions like these is a resounding no.

It is strongly recommended that whether you take out an open policy or cover your cargo on a standalone, shipment-by-shipment basis, you should have comprehensive marine insurance cover on every shipment that takes to the ocean.

Ultimately, marine insurance offers shipping companies, vessel owners, and logistics businesses total peace of mind. It helps to reduce, and in some cases remove, the financial burden that can arise as a result of loss or damage of cargo or vessels – offering much needed security for both you and your clients.

It is strongly recommended that whether you take out an open policy or cover your cargo on a standalone, shipment-by-shipment basis, you should have comprehensive marine insurance cover on every shipment that takes to the ocean.

Why choose Lifecare – Dubai’s independent insurance agents?

At Lifecare, we work for you. Our expert team, based in Dubai, UAE, are on hand to find you the right cover.

As well as finding you the best price from hundreds of the best insurers, we also offer a unique and personalised service to bring you cover that counts, at a premium you’re prepared to pay. We’re on hand in the difficult times too, managing the entire claim process for every one of our clients.

Our team of over 100 insurance professionals look after individuals, families and companies, and make us the leading independent insurance agents in the region. In the 20 years since our launch, we’re proud to have helped over 25,000 people and more than 1,000 businesses.

So, why choose Lifecare for your marine insurance? Quite simply, because we’re not like the rest. We understand that life is full of risks – and unexpected events can dramatically impact our lives and our businesses.

We’ll help you choose the types of risks you wish to cover, by choosing the right kind of policy, and with the benefits you most need. That’s why, while our insurance products won’t protect you from unexpected events, they will protect you from financial loss.