Abandon / Abandonment: To relinquish or tender all rights of ownership of hull or cargo to insurers as the preliminary step to recovering an insurance claim for an actual or constructive total loss.
Act of God: A natural event such as flood, storm, lightning, or earthquake not caused by, nor
preventable by any human agency, and for which no transporter can be held accountable.
Agreed Value Policy: An Agreed Value Policy stipulates the amount of payment to the insured in the event of a total loss to the vessel. You, the insured and the insurance company agree to this amount of insurance at the outset of the policy. The “agreed value” is usually the purchase price of the hull and equipment. In the event of a total loss, the agreed amount is paid without regard to depreciation. For partial losses, reasonable repair or replacement is made without subtracting for depreciation except for certain items such as bottom paint, sails, canvas, fabric, batteries, tires, outdrives, and machinery.
Actual Cash Value: Actual Cash Value policies will apply depreciation at the time of loss or damage. In a total loss situation, usually the settlement is the lesser of the coverage amount or the actual cash value of the property at the time of the loss.
AD&D: Accidental Death and Dismemberment, or Personal Accident Insurance, which pays an agreed amount for accidental death and/or dismemberment, such as loss of eye sight, limbs etc.
Allision: The striking of a moving vessel with a stationary vessel or other stationary object.
All Risk: All risk coverage provides coverage for any loss unless it is specifically excluded from the policy.
The broadest form of insurance coverage available, providing protection against all perils of physical loss
or damage from an external cause. Loss must be fortuitous, i.e. accidental, to be covered. All risks does
not cover inevitable loss, wear and tear, delay, inherent vice, pre‐shipment condition, inadequate
packaging, or loss of market.
Berth: Mooring place for a vessel. A location for a vessel at a pier or dock.
Classification Societies: Organizations which survey and classify ships according to their condition for
insurance and other purposes; e.g. Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (England), American Bureau of Shipping
(ABS ‐ United States), Bureau Veritas (Norway).
COFR: Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
Collision Clause: A clause in a hull insurance policy insuring the shipowners legal liability for collision
damage to another vessel, its freight, or cargo; a.k.a. the “Running Down Clause”.
Comparative Fault / Negligence: A legal principle where damages are measured and apportioned in
terms of percentage of fault to the responsible parties. The principle is most often seen in collision
Constructive Total Loss ‐ See “Total Loss.”
Deadweight Tonnage (DWT) ‐ See “Tonnage.”
Deductibles: Deductible is what the assured is responsible for paying before the policy starts to pay
claims. Deductibles can be a cost savings measure. When you take a higher deductible, your insurance
premium is less. Depending on the policy terms, a separate deductible may apply when there is a total
or partial loss due to a named windstorm.
Entry Documents: Customs papers required to clear an import shipment for admission into the general
commerce of a country.
Excess Insurance: Some risks (commonly liability and some types of property) are written on a layered
basis, in which one or more layers of excess policies are placed on top of the primary policy to provide
higher limits of coverage. Losses are paid by the primary layer first, and then, one by one, by as many
excess layers as are necessary to pay the entire loss or until all of the excess layers are exhausted.
Express Warranties: Specific requirements that need to be met before the policy takes in effect, such as
Captains CV and a satisfactory quote form.
Exclusions: What the policy doesn’t cover.
Hull: The structural framework of a vessel, together with all decks, deckhouses, and hull plating, but
exclusive of engines, masts, spars, rigging, and equipment.
Increased Value Insurance: Insurance that covers an excess amount over the insured value of the
property; hull or cargo. Such insurance is for a separate agreed amount in excess of the agreed value of
the property and is written on a separate policy form which is essentially Total Loss Only insurance. Hull
policies limit the amount of I.V. insurance that an owner may place in excess of the hull agreed value.
Inherent Vice: A loss caused by the nature of the thing insured and not the result of a fortuitous
external cause; e.g. spontaneous combustion of bulk grain.
International Safety Management (ISM) Code: The International Management Code for the Safe
Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention requiring every company and bareboat charterer
operating a vessel to design and implement a Safety Management System; effective 7/1/98 on some
vessels and 7/1/02 on other types of vessels.
Jettison: The deliberate throwing overboard of cargo, or of part of the vessel’s superstructure,
equipment or stores, in the event of an emergency. Cargo or equipment might be jettisoned to lighten a
vessel to relieve it from a strand, to stabilize it during a storm, or to get rid of flammables or explosives
during a fire. (Washing overboard is the accidental loss of equipment or cargo overboard due to the
action of the elements.)
Jones Act: A 1920 U.S. Statute which provides that a seaman injured by the negligence of the vessel
owner, master, or fellow crew member can recover damages for his or her injuries from the vessel
Laid‐Up: A vessel removed from active operation or navigation.
Legal Liability: Responsibility imposed by law.
Marine Insurance Act: 1906 English law which codified marine insurance case law into a comprehensive
code for consistent application. U.S. lacks a counterpart code and depends on case law precedent for its
MLC 2006: Labor convention taking in effect on August 20th 2013. Vessels involved in “commercial
activities” have to comply according to Flag State. Owner has to show “financial responsibility” towards
Negligence: Doing something that a reasonable and prudent person would not do, or not doing
something that a reasonable and prudent person would do in a particular situation. The failure to
exercise normal care or act reasonably under the circumstances.
Named Peril: A Named Peril Policy provides coverage for only specific losses listed on the policy.
Omnibus Clause: Clause in a yacht policy that affords other people the same protection as the Assured
when they are operating the Assured’s yacht with the Assured’s prior permission.
Partial Loss: Any loss to cargo or a vessel that is less than a total loss. If the partial loss is directly caused
by a peril insured against, it is a particular average loss.
Period of Insurance: Another word for “Policy Period”, or the time the insurance is active.
Pilot: A navigator who is expert at navigating the waters of a particular port. Many ports require that
vessels over a specified tonnage have a licensed Pilot take the vessel into and out of port.
Port Risk: Insurance on a vessel which is laid‑up and out of commission, not navigating, and confined to
the port area.
Primary Insurance: The first layer of insurance on a risk. Excess policies can provide higher limits of
coverage when stacked above the primary layer.
Prompt Notice: Notification by an Assured to the insurance company or the company’s representative
within a reasonable period of time after the occurrence of a loss.
Proportionate Fault: A method of apportioning liability for damages when two vessels collide, where
each vessel’s liability for the total damages (percentage) is based on that vessel’s degree of fault or
negligence for the collision. It replaced the doctrine of Divided Damages in the United States in 1975
(U.S. v. Reliable Transfer Co.) to agree with the custom and practice of the other maritime nations of the
Protection & Indemnity (P&I): Insurance against the shipowner’s third party legal liability for damage to
property (such as cargo, harbors, docks, buoys, etc.), collision liability (insofar as such liability is not
already covered under the Collision Clause in the hull policy), personal injury, and loss of life. Also
known as “PandI.
Proximate Cause: Doctrine of “causa proxima non remota spectator,” or that it is to be the direct,
primary, and immediate cause of loss that is to be considered, and not the remote or incidental cause.
Punitive Damages: Damages in excess of the amount of the actual loss, that are awarded by the court as
punishment of a defendant or to set an example for others. Also known as “exemplary damages” or
“extra contractual damages”.
Recovery: Amount received from a third party responsible for a loss on which a claim has been paid.
Repatriation: Transporting a seaman from a foreign port back to the port where he or she signed on as
part of the vessels crew.
Seaworthy: The sound condition of a vessels hull and equipment, machinery, crew, and stowage of
cargo, so it is reasonably fit to successfully meet all the varying conditions of sea, wind, and weather
normally to be expected on the intended voyage.
SR&CC Warranty (Strikes, Riots & Civil Commotions): A clause in marine insurance policies that
excludes liability for losses caused by the acts of strikers, locked‑out workers, or persons taking part in
labor disturbances or riots or civil commotions or for losses which are directly caused by persons acting
maliciously. This coverage may be restored to the policy by means of the SR&CC Endorsement, for an
Stranding: The grounding of the vessel, causing it to remain fast for an appreciable length of time. Mere
contact of the vessel with the bottom without losing momentum and proceeding on course is commonly
termed as “touch‑and‑go” and is not considered a stranding.
Subrogation: The transfer of the Assureds right of recovery to the insurance company after payment of
a claim. The insurance company steps into the shoes of their Assured (usually the cargo owner) and
pursues recovery from any third parties responsible for the loss.
Sue and Labor: Action of the Assured or its representative to prevent or minimize loss or damage to
insured property for which an insurance company would be liable. The Assured is required by the
insurance policy to take this action so as not to jeopardize the insurance claim.
Superstructure: The structure above the main deck of a vessel.
Survey: An inspection report issued by a marine surveyor to show the condition of cargo, vessel, or
other maritime property, either before or after a loss.
A marine specialist who inspects cargo, vessels, and other maritime property to determine:
1. The condition and/or value of property. Condition can include adequacy of packing, stowage
aboard the vessel, and/or towage arrangements. The surveyor is not an insurance company loss
adjuster, but an independent expert who acts without prejudice to the parties involved.
2. The cause, nature, and extent of damage and recommended methods of repair and/or
replacement. The surveyor is not an adjuster, and all actions are without prejudice to the insurance
policy terms and conditions.
Term of insurance: Is the time period during which the term of the certificate or the rates charged
cannot be changed by the Underwriters.
Third Party: A person or company outside the two parties to a contract; e.g. someone other than the
Assured or the insurance company.
Deadweight Tonnage ‐ Actual weight in tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew
that can be carried by a vessel when fully loaded to summer load line mark. See “Load Line.”
Displacement Tonnage ‐ Weight of water in tons (2240 lbs.) that a vessel displaces either empty or
Gross Tonnage ‐ The total capacity in cubic feet of all the spaces within the hull and the enclosed
spaces above the deck available for cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew. One gross ton equals 100
cubic feet of capacity.
Net Tonnage ‐ Cargo carrying capacity of a vessel; i.e. gross tonnage of a vessel less spaces used for
stores, fuel, passengers, crew, navigation and propulsion machinery. One net ton equals 100 cubic feet
of cargo capacity.
Total Loss (TL):
1. Actual Total Loss ‐ Total loss of an entire vessel or an entire cargo shipment when the property is
completely lost or destroyed due to one of the following:
Physical Destruction ‐ e.g. plywood being totally consumed by fire.
Irretrievable Deprivement ‐ the owner of the property is deprived of the use of the property even
though it is still intact and undamaged; e.g. a shipment of silver ingots is lost overboard; even though
they still exist and are undamaged at the bottom of the ocean, they are irretrievably lost.
Loss of Specie ‐ changes in the character of the property so that it ceases to be the thing shipped; e.g.
bags of cement wetted by sea water and hardened into concrete.
Vessel Lost ‐ a vessel (and its cargo) is posted “missing” at Lloyds and is considered an actual total
loss, even though there is no evidence of it sinking.
2. Constructive Total Loss (CTL) ‐ A vessel or cargo is so damaged that an actual total loss is
inevitable, or the part or remnant remaining can only be recovered and repaired at a cost exceeding the
insured value of the property.
3. Compromised (or Arranged) Total Loss ‐ A negotiated total loss settlement between the property
owner and the insurance company under unusual circumstances, e.g. a vessel owner accepts a
settlement of less than the face value of the hull policy and retains title to the vessel.
Trading: Another word for “Navigational Area” where the yacht travels.
Under insurance: Insurance effected for less than the value of the property at risk.
Utmost Good Faith (Uberrimae Fidei):
A basic principle of insurance is that the Assured and his or her broker must disclose and truly represent
every material circumstance to the insurance company before a risk is accepted for coverage. Marine
insurance contracts demand the utmost good faith in disclosing all information that may possibly
influence the judgment of the insurance company because the vessel or cargo may be in some far off
place in the world, not subject to inspection or verification. It goes beyond the ordinary requirement
that there be no actual fraud, which is implied in all contracts. A breach of good faith entitles the
insurance company to void the contract.
Valued Policy: A policy in which the insured value of the property insured has been agreed between
Assured and insurance company when the policy attaches rather than after a loss has occurred; as
opposed to an Actual Cash Value policy.
Warranty: An undertaking in which the Assured promises to comply with certain conditions. Noncompliance
constitutes a breach of warranty and the insurance company is discharged from liability
from the date of the breach.
Expressed Warranty ‐ An agreement written in the policy that the Assured must strictly and literally
comply with. A violation thereof voids the insurance; e.g. trading warranties.
Implied Warranty ‐ Fundamental conditions implied in a contract of marine insurance:
1.) Seaworthiness of the vessel; 2.) Legality of the adventure.
War Risks: Those risks related to two (or more) belligerents engaging in hostilities, whether or not
there has been a formal declaration of war. Such risks are excluded by the F.C. & S. (Free of Capture and
Seizure) Warranty, but may be covered by a separate War Risk Policy, at an additional premium