- Coverage limits: Make sure that the coverage limits of the insurance policy are sufficient to protect your cargo in case of loss or damage.
- Exclusions: Carefully review the exclusions in the policy to ensure that you are not purchasing coverage for risks that are not covered.
- Premium: Compare the premium rates of different insurance companies to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
- Claims process: Understand the claims process for the insurance policy and make sure that it is straightforward and efficient.
- The reputation of the insurer: Do some research on the insurance company to ensure that it has a good reputation and financial stability.
There are several known special exceptions that can nullify maritime insurance coverage. Some examples include:
- Inherent vice: This refers to the natural characteristics of the cargo that make it prone to loss or damage, such as perishable goods or goods with a short shelf life.
- Acts of war: Some insurance policies exclude losses or damages caused by acts of war or hostilities, including civil war and revolution.
- Seizure or confiscation: Losses or damages caused by the seizure or confiscation of the cargo by a government or other authority may not be covered.
Several types of goods are commonly excluded from maritime insurance coverage. Some examples include:
- Perishable goods: These are goods that have a short shelf life and are prone to spoilage, such as fresh produce, flowers, and dairy products.
- Valuable goods: Some insurance policies exclude valuable goods, such as jewelry, precious stones, and fine art, due to the high risk of loss or damage.
- Hazardous goods: These are goods that are dangerous or potentially harmful, such as explosives, flammable liquids, and toxic chemicals.
- Live animals: Shipping live animals can be risky, and some insurance policies exclude coverage for losses or damages to animals during transportation.
- Used goods: Insurance policies may exclude coverage for used goods, as they may be more prone to loss or damage due to their age and condition.
- Highly customized goods: Goods that are specially designed or customized for a specific purpose may be excluded from coverage, as they may be difficult to replace in the event of loss or damage.
Acts of war: Some insurance policies exclude losses or damages caused by acts of war or even plane Seizure or confiscation by any legal body.
It is not clear if the war in Ukraine would qualify as an exception that nullifies maritime insurance coverage. This would depend on the specific terms and exclusions of the insurance policy in question. It is important to carefully review the policy to determine whether or not it covers losses or damages caused by the war in Ukraine.
It is not uncommon for insurance policies to include a war clause that excludes losses or damages caused by acts of war or hostilities. These clauses are typically included to protect the insurer from the increased risk of losses or damages caused by war or other military actions.
If a war clause is included in an insurance policy, it may be invoked in the event of a war or other military conflict that poses an increased risk to the cargo being insured.
As an example, consider a shipping company that insures a shipment of goods bound for a country experiencing civil unrest and political instability. If the insurance policy includes a war clause, the insurer may invoke the clause and refuse to cover any losses or damages to the cargo if the goods are seized or confiscated by a government or other authority, or if they are lost or damaged as a result of the civil unrest or political instability. In this case, the war clause would allow the insurer to cancel the maritime insurance coverage and not be responsible for any claims made by the policyholder.
Piracy is a somewhat different issue
Piracy is a common risk faced by shipping companies, and insurance policies may include coverage for losses or damages caused by pirate attacks. However, coverage for losses or damages caused by piracy is typically subject to certain exclusions and limitations. For example, insurance policies may exclude coverage for losses or damages caused by attacks that occur in certain high-risk areas, such as the Gulf of Aden or the waters off the coast of Somalia. Additionally, insurance policies may include exclusions for losses or damages caused by the failure of the insured to take adequate precautions to prevent pirate attacks, such as using armed guards or following recommended best practices for avoiding pirate attacks.
It is important to carefully review the terms and exclusions of an insurance policy to understand the coverage provided for losses or damages caused by pirate attacks (aka pirate ship insurance). If you are concerned about the risk of pirate attacks on your shipments, you should discuss your options with a maritime insurance broker to determine the best policy for your needs.