Everything you need to know about Marine Insurance

International Freight Forwarder

assurance transport maritime

What should you do if your goods are damaged or lost at sea? This question worries many businesses.

This article reduces the confusion about marine insurance by explaining its different types, costs, covered risks, and benefits to help you make an informed choice.

Maritime transport insurance plays an indispensable role in securing international shipments. It protects against the many risks inherent during the transport.

Mastering this subject is essential to protect your interests in international trade.

  • Importance of marine transport insurance
  • Discover the benefits and coverage of each type of insurance

The different types of marine insurance

Discover the various types of marine insurance to protect your goods, whether high-value items or vehicles, against potential risks during transit.

Ad valorem marine insurance

Ad valorem insurance covers the declared value of your goods. Calculated as a percentage of this value, it offers proportional compensation in case of damage or loss. 

For example, if you ship artworks, jewelry, or expensive electronic equipment, this insurance is ideal for ensuring adequate protection. 

According to industry experts, about 60% of shippers prefer this option for high-value goods. Insurance broker statistics show that claims related to this insurance are among the most frequent but also the most crucial for the financial stability of businesses.

Marine insurance cover for car shipping

L’assurance pour le transport maritime de voitures est spécifique à ce type de marchandise, couvrant les risques tels que les dommages pendant le chargement, le déchargement et le transit. Elle prend en compte des critères comme la valeur du véhicule, sa destination et les conditions de transport.

Reports from specialized insurance companies, such as Allianz and AXA, show that claims related to car transport increased by 10% last year. 

A recent anecdote involves a luxury car collector who secured a transatlantic transport without incident thanks to comprehensive coverage, avoiding potential losses of several million euros.

Cargo marine insurance for goods

L’assurance marchandise transport maritime couvre un large éventail de risques, protégeant les expéditeurs contre les dommages physiques, la perte et même le vol des marchandises. Ce type d’assurance est essentiel pour toute entreprise qui expédie régulièrement des produits par voie maritime. 

It often includes protections against natural disasters, sea accidents, and acts of piracy. For example, a textile company shipping clothes across the Atlantic can be compensated if a storm damages their cargo. 

Case studies show that companies with this insurance avoid significant financial losses and maintain their operations without major interruptions. 

Experts like those from Marsh & McLennan Companies emphasize the importance of this coverage for business continuity.

Professional liability insurance

Professional liability insurance is crucial for maritime carriers as it covers claims related to damages caused to third parties during transport operations. 

This includes property damage, bodily injuries, and financial losses suffered by clients due to professional faults. For illustration, imagine a maritime carrier whose handling error causes damage to a cargo of electronic products. 

Professional liability insurance covers repair costs and compensations due to affected clients. 

Testimonials from professionals, such as those from AIG, highlight cases where this insurance avoided costly lawsuits and protected the company's reputation.

All-risk transport insurance

L’assurance tous risques transport offre une couverture complète contre une variété de dommages, incluant ceux causés par des accidents, des catastrophes naturelles, des actes de vandalisme et même des erreurs humaines. C’est une solution idéale pour les entreprises souhaitant une protection maximale pour leurs marchandises.

For example, an exporting company of industrial machinery can protect itself against mechanical damages or losses due to transport accidents. 

Case studies show that clients who opted for this insurance recover more quickly from their losses and minimize operational disruptions. 

Delay compensation insurance

Delay compensation insurance is specially designed to cover financial losses incurred by shippers and carriers in case of delayed delivery of goods. 

It covers additional costs and contractual penalties resulting from these delays.

For example, an automotive part importing company can be compensated if a delivery delay causes a production interruption. 

Testimonials from marine professionals, such as those from CMA CGM, illustrate cases where this insurance compensated financial losses and maintained customer confidence.

Cost and calculation of marine insurance

Understanding the cost and calculation methods of marine insurance is essential to choosing appropriate coverage and effectively protecting your goods in transit.

Cost of marine insurance

The cost of marine insurance depends on several factors. The nature of the goods, their insured value, and specific transport-related risks directly influence the coverage price. 

For example, shipping sensitive electronic products or rare artworks will be more expensive to insure than less valuable or less fragile goods. Insurance brokers, such as Willis Towers Watson, offer quotes that show these cost variations. 

For illustration, a quote to insure a shipment of medium-value clothing could amount to 0.5% of the total value of the goods, while for high-tech medical equipment, this rate could rise to 1.5% or more due to increased risks.

A concrete example: a company shipping luxury furniture from Europe to Asia received a quote of 1% of the goods' value, or 10,000 euros for a shipment worth 1 million euros. 

This high premium was due to the combination of high value and risk of damage during long transit.

How to calculate marine insurance?

Calculating the cost of marine insurance involves several steps and the use of specific formulas. 

The basic calculation is generally done by applying a premium rate to the total value of the goods. 

Here is a common method:

  1. Determine the insured value: calculating the cost of freight, the cost of the goods, and a margin for additional costs.
  2. Apply the premium rate: This rate is often provided by the insurer and depends on the nature of the goods and associated risks.

Formula: Insurance cost = Insured value x Premium rate

For example, if you ship electronic products worth 100,000 euros with a premium rate of 1%, the insurance cost will be 1,000 euros.

To make this calculation more tangible, let's take the example of a company shipping artworks worth 500,000 euros. With a premium rate of 2%, the insurance cost would be: 500,000 euros x 2% = 10,000 euros

Calculation guides, like those offered by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, can provide detailed rates and formulas for different categories of goods and transport conditions.

As an industry professional, I've often advised clients on these calculations. Once, a client was hesitant between insuring their goods at the sale value or the replacement value. We determined that the replacement value, although slightly more expensive, offered better financial protection in case of a claim.

Coverages and guarantees in marine insurance

Explore the different coverages and guarantees of marine insurance to ensure complete protection of your goods against various risks during transit.

What does maritime freight insurance cover?

Maritime freight insurance offers protection against a multitude of risks that may occur during the transit of goods. Here are the main coverages offered:

  1. Physical damage: Insurance covers damage caused to goods during transport, whether due to accidents, mishandling, or extreme weather conditions.
  2. Losses: It compensates in case of total or partial loss of goods, whether by sinking, theft, or other incidents.
  3. Delays: Some policies include delay coverage, compensating shippers for financial losses due to the non-delivery of goods on time.

A recent e-commerce company benefited from compensation after its goods were damaged during a sea storm. 

According to Allianz experts, about 20% of maritime insurance claims are related to physical damage.

Personally, I assisted a client in handling a maritime freight insurance claim after a fire damaged their cargo. Thanks to comprehensive coverage, the company was able to recover the full value of the damaged goods, thus minimizing financial losses.

What risks are covered by maritime insurance?

Maritime insurance covers a variety of risks inherent in the transport of goods by sea. Here are the main risks included in the coverage:

  1. Natural disasters: Storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events can cause significant damage to cargoes.
  2. Accidents: Collisions between ships, groundings, and other maritime accidents are also covered.
  3. Acts of piracy: With the increase in piracy incidents in certain parts of the world, maritime insurance offers protection against these threats.
  4. War risks: Some policies include coverage for risks related to armed conflicts and acts of terrorism.

According to the International Union of Marine Insurance, about 80% of sea losses are due to natural disasters and accidents. 

A notable case is that of a carrier who lost an entire cargo due to a hurricane. Thanks to his maritime insurance, he was able to obtain full compensation for the lost goods.

These protections not only secure the goods but also maintain the trust of customers and business partners.

Who insures marine and what is the contract called?

Discover who insures marine and the importance of contracts in securing goods shipped by sea.

Who insures marine?

The marine insurance market comprises several key players, each playing a crucial role in protecting goods. 

The main actors are:

  1. Insurance companies: These are the primary entities that underwrite insurance policies. Giants like Allianz, AXA, and Zurich dominate the market.
  2. Insurance brokers: They act as intermediaries between shippers and insurance companies, helping to find the best policies tailored to the specific needs of clients.
  3. Insurance agents: Usually working for a single company, they sell and manage insurance policies on behalf of that company.

Market data indicates that insurance brokers manage about 70% of maritime insurance policies, thus facilitating access to tailor-made coverages for their clients. 

For example, in collaboration with a broker, a company was able to obtain extended coverage including specific clauses for perishable products, ensuring optimal security for its shipments.

What is the marine contract called?

The marine contract, often called a bill of lading, is an essential document in maritime trade.

This contract includes several main clauses:

  1. Description of goods: Details the nature, quantity, and quality of the goods shipped.
  2. Transport conditions: Specifies the obligations of the carrier and the shipper, including delivery times and liabilities in case of damage or loss.
  3. Transport fees: Indicates the costs associated with the transport of the goods.
  4. Insurance: States whether the goods are covered by insurance and the conditions of this coverage.

The bill of lading plays a crucial role in securing goods. 

A company shipping electronic goods was able to negotiate specific terms in its contract to include additional coverage against temperature-related damages, thus reducing risks during transport.

Legal guides, such as those published by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), provide contract templates and detailed explanations of clauses to include to effectively protect the interests of shippers and carriers.

Ship your goods safely with our insured services

Choosing our services for marine insurance means opting for complete peace of mind. 

We work with the largest insurance companies and world-renowned brokers to offer tailor-made coverages, adapted to your specific needs. 

Our maritime insurance experts are at your disposal to advise and help you select the best options, ensuring that your goods are protected against all potential risks. 

Trust our sea freight service and our commitment to the security of your shipments to ensure worry-free transport of your precious goods.

To learn more about ocean freight, check out our FAQ about maritime transport and find answers to all your questions.

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