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Detailed Description of Making a Marine Insurance Claim Outlined by Commercial Policyholder Attorney Bill Voss

Making that Marine Insurance Claim

Marine insurance policies cover shipments by sea against all risks. Most people don’t really bother knowing about this type of insurance. However, when you need to make a claim, you will most likely be at a loss on how to go about it. Here are some essential things you need to know about marine insurance that will come in handy when you need to make a claim.

Insurance Provided by Carrier

While the ship line carrying the shipment may be held liable in case your shipment is damaged, its liability is limited and it will only be held liable if it caused the damage. Thus, it is still advisable to obtain additional coverage on top of what the carrier provides.

Types of Policies

Specific policy only covers a single consignment.
Marine Open Policy is valid for one year and it covers frequent dispatches within the country.
Marine Open Cover is also valid for one year and it covers frequent dispatches outside the country, both imports and exports.
Marine Sales Turnover Policy.

Who Pays for It

The buyer pays the premium for Free on Board and Cost and Freight arrangements.
The seller pays the premium in a Cost, Insurance and Freight arrangement.

Amount of Premium and Sum Insured

The sum insured depends on the type of contract. On top of the contract value, an amount is also allotted for incidental costs.

The premium can be paid on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. Its amount will depend on the following factors:

Scope of the coverage
Mode of conveyance
Past claims experience
Nature of cargo
Packing
Distance.

Exclusions

The following risks are usually not covered by marine insurance:

Ordinary leakage
Delay
Inherent vice
Strike
Civil commotion
Willful misconduct
Insufficient or unsuitable packing
Insolvency of owners
War
Riot.

Marine Insurance Claim

Here are some common steps you need to undergo when you make a marine insurance claim:

Take immediate steps to minimize damage or loss.
Report the occurrence to the nearest office of the insurance company or claim settling agent specified in the insurance policy.
If the damage occurs while the shipment is on ship or at a port, arrange for a joint ship or port survey.
File your insurance claim within the time specified in your policy.
A surveyor picked by both the insured and the insurer will determine the nature, cause and extent of the loss or damage. He will relay the approximate value of the loss or damage to the insurer.
Be ready with the following to support your claim:
Insurance policy
Original invoice
Declaration of Consignment
Packing list
Notice served on carrier with corresponding receipt or acknowledgment
Survey fee for the surveyor appointed by the insurer. You may need to advance this amount but it will be reimbursed by the insurer if your claim is approved.
Bill of Lading
Correspondence with carriers
Shortage or Damage Certificate issued by carriers.  
The insurer will need around one to three weeks to process the claim.

Bill Voss
Aggressive policyholder attorney that fights hard for his clients and won't stop until he wins.
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