The world of commercial marine insurance can seem as vast at times, intimidating and varied as the ocean itself, but once you’ve learned to navigate your way through it, choosing the right policy for you shouldn’t be such a problem.
It can be broken down into a few sections, depending on the type of vessel you are intending to insure. If, for example, you own a yacht, you should seek out an insurer who offers a specialist yacht insurance service. Even though most insurers will offer you a policy, a specialist policy is well worth seeking out, due to the unique circumstances of yacht ownership. A little more shopping around and perhaps a slight increase in price will be more than justified in the long run. Likewise for commercial vessels – the nature and size of your business can bring more considerations to the table than a general policy is really suitable for.
The four main types of marine insurance are cargo, hull, liability and freight. Cargo insurance, as the name would suggest, deals with all cargo including the belongings of any passengers. Hull insurance covers the actual vessel itself, but also includes any furniture installed on board. Liability insurance is against the possibility of your vessel causing harm to damage to someone else’s, and freight insurance protects merchant vessels’ corporations from taking a financial hit if the cargo is lost for any reason.
The actual coverage of the policy also comes in a few different forms. For example, a voyage policy covers you for a specific voyage, whereas a time policy covers you for a pre-arranged length of time, with the most common period being a year. An unvalued policy is one in which loss to cargo has to be inspected before a reimbursement can happen, allowing for greater flexibility, while a valued policy includes the value of the vessel’s cargo in the policy itself, meaning the value of any reimbursements is known before setting out.
Insurance is an important part of any leisure or commercial boat use, so it pays to do your homework first so you can set sail safe in the knowledge that all eventualities have been accounted for.
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