Marine insurance, while thought by many to cover the risk of damage to cargo in transit, does in fact cover much more than this.
Marine insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, cargo, terminals, and any transport or cargo by which property is transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and final destination. The title of Marine insurance is somewhat misleading as it does also cover transportation by land and air, but due to the origins of Insurance with the Greek and Roman trade through the establishment of overseas trading routes in Asia and the Americas and the establishment of Lloyds of London, the term Marine Insurance has remained as various other forms of transport have evolved.
Marine cargo insurance is a sub-branch of marine insurance, though Marine also includes Onshore and Offshore exposed property (container terminals, ports, oil platforms, pipelines); Hull; Marine Casualty; and Marine Liability.
As with all other types of insurance, there are many variants of a basic cover and specialised cover that can be used to cover the widest range of eventualities.
Marine cargo insurance is underwritten on the Institute Cargo Clauses, with coverage on an A, B, or C basis, “A” having the widest cover and “C” the most restricted. Valuable cargo is known as specie. Institute Clauses also exist for the insurance of specific types of cargo and are usually agreed with trade bodies or federations and apply to a wide range of commodities.
Marine Cargo Insurance can be arranged on an open cover basis that allows consumers to insure all of their cargo shipments during a specified period to be covered as long as they conform to open cover declarations and they are transported according to the requirements of the policy. Declarations for each shipment must be made as and when shipments are effected to ensure all conditions are met.
Individual shipment cover may also be arranged where a client is not a regular shipper. These shipments must be declared prior to shipment and are usually shipped at a higher risk premium due to the individual nature of the shipments being made.
Cargo shipments are usually conducted under INCO TERMS as issued by the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC). Risk Ownership is clearly defined in ICC documentation and is used for the establishment and duration of the insurance cover. Inland transportation is also covered if required and can be advised by any RAK Insurance Office.
In addition to offering Marine Hull, Liability, and cargo cover, RAK Insurance has the ability to provide oil platform and drilling insurance both for land and marine based areas.