Difference Between Marine and Cargo Insurance

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 05, 2022


Difference Between Marine and Cargo Insurance Difference Between Marine and Cargo Insurance

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Marine insurance, as the name implies, protects against losses incurred while traveling by sea. It is divided into subcategories and covers any losses experienced during the route till the products arrive at their destination.

Any economy relies heavily on trade. Therefore, a trading business needs insurance to protect itself from the different hazards linked with the transportation of goods or their shipping from one location to another. It's commonly referred to as marine insurance. Marine insurance is a broad term that you can break down into different subcategories depending on the buyer's needs. To mitigate risks, many maritime and cargo insurance policies are required for purchases for various parties participating in the transaction.

Marine vs. Cargo Insurance

The fundamental difference between marine and cargo insurance is that marine insurance covers a wide range of benefits and allows the insured party to select from various subtypes. On the other hand, Cargo insurance is a sort of maritime insurance that exclusively covers damages caused by a ship's timing delay or an accident.

Cargo insurance is a form of Marine insurance. It also covers damage to products during land and air transit. In addition, it safeguards freight during product damage while in transit.

Marine and cargo insurance are necessary for the safety of products during international trade, but marine coverages also cover a wide range of additional issues.

Types of losses covered

Marine insurance protects against the loss or damage of ships, cargo, or shipments. Damage to terminals and any transportation that acquires, transfers, or holds items between the origin and final destination are also covered. On the other hand, Cargo insurance is a sub-discipline of marine insurance. It protects cargo from loss or damaged while being transported by rail, road, river, air, registered mail, or courier. Various types of insurance are available.

Export-import, inland transportation, hull insurance, machinery insurance, and liability insurance are some of the marine insurance offered. Other types of marine insurance include freight insurance, cargo insurance, voyage insurance, port risk insurance, and wager policies, among others. Consumers can purchase any coverage that meets their needs. One of the sorts of marine insurance is cargo insurance. Cargo insurance can be purchased by import and export businesses, buyers and sellers, contractors, buying agencies, and banks. It can be purchased by anyone involved in transporting products or cargo.

Nature of coverage

The hull, machinery, third-party responsibility, shipment/goods carried in the vessel, and so on are all covered by marine insurance. In cargo insurance, the insurable interest is in the cargo or commodities transported from the origin point to the final destination. As a result, cargo insurance is more particular, covering shipments against various dangers.

As a result, the idea of marine insurance is broad. You can purchase cargo insurance for named risks only or for more comprehensive coverage that includes unknown perils. Design the insurance cover based on the type of commerce, domestic or foreign, and the coverage requirements.

The difference in customization

Marine insurance is, in essence, adaptable depending on who purchases it. A ship owner, for example, can get hull insurance coverage to manage the risk of vessel-related disasters. On the other hand, to maintain business financial stability, parties involved in cargo movement might purchase marine insurance for the shipment. Marine insurance is a complex sector, yet enterprises must increase trade and achieve significant growth.

Difference Between Marine and Cargo Insurance in Tabular Form

Table: Marine vs. Cargo Insurance
Parameter of Comparison
Marine Insurance
Cargo Insurance
The scope of marine insurance is limited.
Cargo insurance is more comprehensive
Hull insurance, cargo insurance and marine liability insurance are some of the subtypes.
Land cargo and marine cargo insurance are two of their sorts. These are then separated into categories based on how long they last.
Risk covered
It protects against damages caused by sea hazards based on the plans specified.
It protects against damage caused by lightning, fire, explosions, storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
Type of Transportation
Only sea transits are covered by marine insurance.
It compensates for losses incurred while traveling by land, sea, or air.
The earliest marine insurance company was Lloyd's Coffee House.
Edward Lloyd established the first sort of insurance, marine cargo insurance.
It is pretty adaptable.
It does not provide the same amount of customization as marine insurance does.

What is Marine Insurance?

In the 1680s, Edward Lloyd introduced marine insurance. The overseas trade from London necessitated the purchase of marine insurance. In addition, Lloyd had a coffee shop frequented by business people and ship owners. As a result, he founded Lloyd's Coffee House, the first marine insurance company.

It is a customizable type of insurance that protects the insured from losses incurred due to damages sustained during the oversea transit. Hull, cargo, freight, and marine liability insurance are examples of marine insurance.

Hull insurance covers losses incurred as a result of liquid damage. In cargo loss or accident, freight insurance protects the insured against freight losses. Damages caused by collisions or crashes are covered by marine liability insurance.

Importance of Marine Insurance

Both parties are responsible for paying goods under insurance if they accept the terms. However, the topic of marine insurance extends beyond contractual responsibilities, and there are various compelling reasons to purchase it before shipping the export cargo.

How does Marine Insurance work?

The best way to transfer the products' liability from the parties and intermediaries involved to the insurance provider is through marine insurance. To begin with, the legal liability of the intermediaries handling the commodities is limited. Instead of bearing sole responsibility for the products, the exporter can get an insurance policy that provides maritime insurance coverage for the exported items against any loss or damage.

Damages and losses to the products while on board may be covered by the carrier of the goods, whether an airline or a shipping business. On the other hand, the payment agreed upon is generally based on a 'per package' or 'per consignment basis. Therefore, it's possible that the coverage given won't be enough to cover the cost of the products transported.

Which clauses cover Marine Insurance?

  1. The risks managed by insurance plans laden with numerous marine insurance clauses will help you understand the Maritime insurance coverage given by marine insurance:
  2. Cargo Institute Clause C provides basic coverage and only covers a limited number of risks. For example, it protects the shipment from things like fire, cargo release in the event of distress, explosion, and mishaps like sinking, capsizing, derailment, collision, and so on.
  3. Institute Cargo Clause B adds an extra layer of security. It not only includes all of the risk covers provided under Clause C, but it also protects the shipment from events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and damage caused by rainwater, seas, river water, and other liquids, as well as package loss overboard or during loading and unloading.
  4. Cargo Clause A of the Institute provides the most comprehensive coverage, as it covers all risks of loss or damage to the products. It also covers losses due to breakage, bruising, theft, non-delivery, all water damage, and so on, in addition to the risks covered under Clauses B and C.
  5. The institute cargo clauses do not cover risks such as wars, strikes, riots, or civil unrest. The insurer may give this coverage in exchange for an additional marine insurance premium.
  6. The terms and circumstances of marine insurance coverage are defined by these three categories Institute Cargo Clauses A, B, and C. Clause A gives the most comprehensive coverage, whereas Clause C only covers the most fundamental risks.

What is Cargo Insurance?

The commodities being transported are referred to as cargo. Products might be damaged during shipment for various reasons, which is where cargo insurance comes in. Cargo insurance takes care of any damage to the products. This comprises mishaps while traveling by air, sea, or land. This ensures the insured's safety until the items arrive at their destination.

Land cargo insurance covers damages caused by collisions, theft, and other mishaps within the country's borders. Damages while loading/unloading, weather conditions, and other factors are covered by marine insurance. Other cargo insurance options include open cover cargo, particular cargo, contingency cargo insurance, etc. Cargo insurance is divided into three categories: all risk, no specific average, and shipment by shipment insurance.

Damages caused by insufficient packaging, abandonment, infestation, rejection, invasion, fire, rioting, and other sorts of cargo insurance are also covered. Collision, weather conditions, sinking, theft, earthquake, and other damages are covered by the free particular average insurance type. The shipment by shipment insurance type compensates for losses incurred due to damage to the ship. Acts of God and acts of war are not covered.

When do you need cargo insurance?

Even if it isn't required by law, purchasing cargo insurance for your shipment is usually a good idea.

As your freight passes through different hands, vehicles, and ports, it is subject to great risk. Other aspects are also to consider, such as the weather and traffic. As a result, the longer it is exposed to risk, the greater the chances it is lost, stolen, or destroyed.

Remember that, even if the carrier is legally accountable, their liability limit is frequently lower than the value of commonly transported products.

Meanwhile, air freight carriers are only accountable for 19 SDRs (US$24) per kilogram. Therefore, without cargo or freight insurance, you could still lose a large amount of money based on these figures.

There are, however, times when it is not necessary. It's crucial to review your contract's incoterms because some of them relieve you of responsibility at specific moments during the shipping procedure. You can save money by determining the full scope of the contract and only paying for insurance when required.

What does cargo insurance not cover?

Cargo insurance does not cover risks and issues over which the shipper has a significant amount of control. It's crucial to remember this to reduce the chances of your cargo being damaged or lost. In general, policies prohibit:

  • Inadequate packaging caused damage. The policy will not cover if any damage to your goods is traceable back to poor freight packaging.
  • Damage caused by faulty items. The policy will not reimburse you if the carrier can prove the damage caused by faulty items inside your cargo.
  • Freight of particular types. All insurance companies do not cover hazardous materials, certain electronic products, and other very valuable or fragile items.
  • Some modes of transportation are available. For example, some insurance may only cover your cargo is transported by ship, plane, or vehicle.

Main Differences Between Marine and Cargo Insurance in Points

  • Marine insurance is only for products transported by ship or another vessel over water. Cargo insurance protects goods while they are being transported by land, sea, or air.
  • In addition, there are two types of cargo insurance: land cargo and marine cargo.
  • Marine insurance allows for much customization, whereas cargo insurance does not.
  • Marine insurance is limited in scope because it only covers sea travel, whereas cargo insurance covers land, sea, and air travel, giving it a greater reach.
  • Edward Lloyd was the first to establish marine insurance, while Cargo insurance arose from its subtype, marine cargo, which was also a part of marine insurance.


With the growing demand for commodity mobility, protection of those products has become necessary. As a result, both maritime and cargo insurance play an essential role in the transportation of commodities.

While marine insurance only protects the insured when products are transported by sea, cargo insurance also covers the insured when commodities are transported by land and air. Although this broadens the scope of cargo insurance, it remains a subtype of maritime insurance. As a result, marine insurance is limited compared to cargo insurance in terms of risk coverage and mode of transportation.

Marine Insurance helps cover losses incurred by damage to commodities caused by perils of the sea, such as collisions, storms, and other natural disasters. Cargo insurance covers all product-related damages, including infection, employee negligence/dishonesty, earthquakes, etc.

Marine and cargo insurance are two very different types of insurance, and it is up to the insured to decide which kind of insurance they need based on the requirements of their orders.


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"Difference Between Marine and Cargo Insurance." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-marine-and-cargo-insurance-453>.

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