<< back


The cover involves transit by sea, air, rail or road. The cover is usually issued in three categories: Institute Cargo Clauses “A”, “B” and “C”. There are several types of Marine Policies that can be underwritten:

  1. Time Policy: which insures subject matter with a period of time.
  2. Voyage Policy: which insures the subject from one place to another irrespective of time taken.
  3. Mixed Policy: which covers both a voyage and a period of time, i.e., voyage and period in port after arrival.
  4. Open Cover: which covers, in general terms, a number of shipments to be declared.

Unlike other classes of insurance, marine insurance (Assurance) is not governed by jurisdiction laws but rather by mercantile laws. This implies there can be, that more than one insurable interest on one particular property at risk in different persons at the same time.

Because of the various conditions for different types of cargo, the marine underwriting should be approached in a different manner from the other classes of insurance. For example, it should be noted that unlike other types of insurance, there is no standard proposal form. However, when accepting this class of insurance, it is important to note the following factors which should influence the acceptability of the risk:

  • Name of the vessel, its flag or convenience and age
  • Nature of consignment and mode of packing
  • Voyage including trans-shipment, if any
  • Dates of sail and estimated dates of arrival
  • The name of identity of proposer/assured and their occupation.

Should the above factors create some doubts in the underwriter, about the viability of the assurance venture, then be/she should refer to the higher office for advice.


When rating, the following factors should be taken into consideration before we arrive at an appropriate rate:-

  1. Types of goods involved, e.g., their particular susceptibility to certain kinds of loss and value of the goods.
  2. Mode of packing: whether conventional or containerized and whether professionally packed, whether carried in bulk, whether carried under or on deck.
  3. Voyage contemplated: method of transport, e.g., road, rail, sea, air or multi-modal hazards of the transit and particular problems at port or other stages of transit.
  4. Vessel to be used, i.e., age, tonnage, quality of equipment, classification type and suitability to carry the cargo and whether it is a tramp or liner.
  5. The assured i.e., their controls, financial probity, any moral hazards and their previous claims experience.
  6. Insurance: i.e., extent of cover requested for, presence of a deductible, franchise or excess in the request.


The Marine Cargo Policy in itself is quite adequately covered by the Standard Institute Clauses, hence there is little or no room for extensive clauses or endorsements.


The attached rating annexure will show the exceptions on every type of cargo to be insured and the relevant loadings should the assured wish to have them covered.


It should be noted that although marine underwriting is quite profitable type if insurance (i.e., by the magnitude of the claims lodged), it is potentially a catastrophic class of insurance s acceptance should therefore be approached cautiously. The following should not be accepted without the knowledge of the Senior Manager or above:

  1. Bulk oil cargoes (petroleum and others).
  2. Fertilizer in bulk or in bags.
  3. Any cargo in a ship flying the Greek, Liberian, Panamanian, Turkey or Iraqi flags of convenience.
  4. Solid gold, diamonds or any precious minerals and metals, however shipped.
  5. All radioactive metals and materials.
  6. Coal in bulk.
  7. All drugs prohibited by the Institute Dangerous Drugs Clauses.
  8. All types of arms.
  9. Cargoes to or from the areas blacklisted under the war risks trading warranties, if the war cover has been requested for.

For assistance, contact our Customer Care teams on 0711-030140 and/or 0711-030105, email customercare@directline.co.ke or visit us at our various branches.

<< back