Hull insurance (also known as hull & machinery insurance) is an essential form of insurance for ship owners and operators, as it protects against the significant financial losses that can result from accidents at sea. In this article, we will explore the basics of hull insurance, including what it covers, how it works, and why it is important for those involved in the shipping industry. Whether you are a ship owner, a marine insurer, or simply curious about this important aspect of the maritime world, this article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of hull insurance and its role in the shipping industry.

Hull insurance: what it means

Actually, "marine" is a general term that encompasses concepts such as "hull", "cargo", "marine liability" and "offshore". When a ship or other insurable part of it gets damaged during a voyage, while carrying cargo, dispatch, or repair, marine hull insurance provides the compensation. As a result of the perils of the sea, this policy covers all physical losses, liabilities, and expenses incurred by even third parties.

A hull insurance policy acts as a security blanket for all operational vessels (ships). It is a type of marine insurance that provides coverage for damage to a ship's hull and machinery. The hull is the body of the vessel, which is what this insurance policy covers. In the event the vessel's body (hull) or machinery is damaged because of risks covered by the insurance policy, the insurance provides financial protection. It covers water vehicles such as boats, ships, yachts, fishing boats, steamers, etc.

Who are eligible for Hull Insurance?

  • Shipowners
  • Port authorities
  • Private and public port operators

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What are the benefits of Marine Hull Insurance?

Marine hull insurance provides several benefits to ship owners and operators, including:

  • Protection against financial loss: Marine hull insurance provides coverage for damage to the ship's hull and machinery, which can be a significant financial loss for ship owners. With hull insurance, ship owners can protect themselves against unexpected and costly repairs or replacement of their vessels.
  • Compliance with regulations: Many countries require ship owners to have hull insurance as a condition of operating in their waters. By obtaining hull insurance, ship owners can ensure that they are compliant with these regulations and avoid potential legal and financial consequences.
  • Peace of mind: Operating a ship can be a risky endeavour, with a variety of potential hazards such as storms, collisions, and mechanical failures. With hull insurance, ship owners can have peace of mind knowing that they are protected against the financial consequences of these risks.

What does Hull Insurance cover?

There are several risks covered by Marine Hull Insurance, including:

  • Sea, river, lake, or other navigable water hazards
  • Ship or vessel damage, including machinery and equipment damage.
  • A fire, burglary, or theft damages or destroys the ship.
  • Damage caused by fire, volcanic eruption, earthquakes, lightning, etc.
  • The insured vessel causes damage to other boats (third-party liability)
  • During maintenance activities, the vessel is damaged.
  • Ocean-going vessels are covered worldwide.
  • Outsiders stealing from the vessel.
  • Jettison
  • Piracy
  • Objects falling from aircraft, land conveyances, dock, and harbor equipment or installations, or contact with such objects.

What all are not covered under marine hull insurance?

Certain cases are not covered by marine hull insurance.

  • Gradual wear & tear of the hull and machinery of a ship.
  • Damage caused by nuclear perils.
  • Radioactive contamination
  • Alcohol-related damage done by crew members.
  • Vessel damage caused by an intentional act.
  • Terrorist activities damaging the vessel.
  • Sailing the vessel in a sea storm after getting a warming order
  • Goods overloading
Claim Settlement Process for Marine Hull Insurance

What is the process of a claim for marine hull insurance?

If you have an untoward incident, you will need to file a claim. Let's examine the process for filing a claim for hull insurance.

  • Let the insurance company know about the event as soon as possible.
  • Make sure the claim is registered and keep the registration number for ready reference.
  • Please include details about the policy and loss as well.
  • The company sends a surveyor to assess the damage and check the condition of the vessel.
  • A list of documents will be provided to you after the survey by the appointed official.
  • Submit the documents.
  • Upon receipt of documents, the claim amount will be released, if approved.

What documents are required for the claim settlement process?

An insurance company may ask for the following documents when a claim is filed:

  • Fully filled and signed claim-intimation form
  • The policy document.
  • Engine & deck room logbook
  • Repairs receipt
  • Report of surveys and photographs
  • Drydocking receipt
  • Any other documents asked by the insurance company.

Important Points to Keep in Mind

If you are purchasing marine hull insurance, you should consider these factors:

  • Getting the insurance as soon as the vessel is owned is recommended since the age of the vessel determines the insurance premium.
  • Additional covers may be needed if the basic coverage does not suffice.
  • Lower your premiums by increasing your deductible.
  • It is important to file claims as soon as possible, when necessary, to prevent any payment delays or hurdles.
  • A vessel's premium will be influenced by its type, trading limits, age, valuation, and deductibles.


We hope from the discussion above, you have got a fair idea of hull insurance, what it includes and other related topics. Here, you can also get the best recommendation for any insurance product in just 5 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is hull and marine insurance compulsory?

Even though hull and machinery insurance is optional, it is still important to get it. Major bodies of water, such as oceans, rivers, and lakes, can be unpredictable. Even if your boat is not damaged by natural forces, a collision with another boat can cause significant damage. A hull and machinery insurance policy can protect your vessel and/or its machinery from physical damage. This in turn makes it easier for you to maintain your boat.

2. How does the loss of hire occur?

If a boat is damaged and unable to be hired due to some covered reason, the insurance company pays for this loss of income until the damage is repaired.

3. What are the factors that determine the cost of hull insurance?

You may need to consider several factors when calculating your premium, including:

  • The vessel’s construction quality
  • The depth of the port
  • Anchorages and tide protection at your port

An anchorage is a place at sea where ships can lower their anchors.

4. What is the other name for hull insurance?

Hull insurance is also referred to as hull and machinery insurance. Insurance for marine hulls covers the costs of repairing or replacing a vessel if it is lost or damaged.

5. What are the 5 principles of marine insurance?

Under Marine Insurance, the marine contract is governed by the following principles: Indemnity, Insurable Interest, Utmost Good Faith, Proximity Cause, Subrogation, and Contribution.

6. What is the difference between cargo and hull insurance?

When products are transported overseas or stored prior to or following shipment overseas, cargo insurance covers them. A vessel's hull, machinery, and equipment can be damaged in collisions and other ocean perils by hull and machinery (H&M) insurance.