Operations

Marine insurance is by no means the monopoly of Lloyds, many of the bigger insurance companies include this type of cover among their activities.  Such companies may cover the entire risk although it is by no means unusual for marine insurance brokers to arrange a policy which is partly covered by Lloyd’s Underwriters and partly by company(ies). Should there be a casualty, which could range from a small scrape against a rock to total loss of the ship, a claim will be made against the underwriters who, once again, have to be approached via the insurance broker through whom the cover was arranged. The other sort of insurance can best be summed up under the heading of third party insurance.  This includes such things as claims against the ship by a port authority for damage done by the ship hitting the jetty; claims by crew members for personal injury when negligence is alleged against the shipowner; claims by cargo owners when their cargo is not delivered in the same “apparent good order and condition” as it was when it was loaded. In other words any claim made against the ship by another person or company. For reasons which go right back into history, the underwriters were reluctant to offer this sort of cover and so the shipowners joined together into groups and formed associations which to this day are still referred to as ‘P & I Clubs’; their more formal title is Protection and Indemnity Associations.  ‘Protection’ involves the legal help that the clubs give to fight against unfair claims whilst ‘indemnity’ covers the repayment to the owners for any third party claims that have been legitimately made and settled. Both these types of insurance need constant attention, most shipowners inevitably have several third-party claims outstanding or ‘in the pipeline’ so that there is always work for the ship manager’s Insurance department to do.