I remember my very first experience of the Indian Ocean as if it was a minute ago. It was a breathtaking to the eyes, serene to my fickle mind, and fascinating to feel the saltiness on my tongue tickle my palate mysteriously. All of this captivating collage of feelings soon disappeared when, broke to my name, I worked at the local harbor off-loading crates of fish onto the dock and into containers for export. Despite being left with every muscle in my body crying 'enough', the person responsible for the cargo kept reminding me that I shouldn't drop a single crate if I cared enough to be paid at the end of the day. Then, it didn't make sense why his last concern was of whether I was fit enough for the task at hand. Goods in transit have to be insured for the unexpected losses that may occur, and when an unreasonable mistake or lack of foresight causes damage to goods, compensation may be very difficult to recover.
The Extent Of Cover Know What You're Paying For
marine insurance --just like any other kind of insurance- is designed to reimburse the insured when risks insured against occur out at sea. So many things can happen that can cause damage or loss of goods. Pirates can attack and steal your cargo, storms can sink a ship, vessels can collide, water can seep into the ship, and vandalism can occur in harbors, the list is endless. Because these possibilities are real and inescapable, it only makes sense to insure against them so as to protect your investment. Without insurance you will have to either spend money on fighting lengthy legal battles, or bear the loss with a straight face move on. So in a nutshell, your marine insurance policy will cover you for either man-made disasters and risks, or for damaging acts of nature that are beyond man's control. But before we delve deeper into further intricacies, this kind of insurance is not only for ships and container carrying vessels. It equally applies to private boats, shipping boats, speed boats, more or less anything that is seaborne.
Some Do's and Dont's
A lot of people fall victim to the common mistake of concealing certain information from insurance companies. Whilst your premiums might be lower by a few hundred dollars, in the long run it doesn't do you much good when the facts you hid from your insurer pop up and bite you in the back. If you have previously been targeted by pirates and bandits in certain waters, state the fact, don't hesitate to mention it. According to the law of estoppel, no one may benefit from a misrepresentation that results in prejudice to another. Believe me, insurance companies are not the kind to walk away from a legal battle if there is the prospect of them escaping liability to pay you.
Last but not least, be sure to do your homework. Don't be in a rush to conclude the insurance agreement before reading the fine print in the contract. For what it's worth, consulting with a maritime lawinsurance law expert will help you better understand the jargon.