Difference Between Marine Insurance and Hull insurance

The terms marine and hull insurance are both related to property insurance and include vessels that either travel oversea.

Marine Insurance vs Hull insurance

The main difference between Marine and Hull insurance is that marine insurance covers the ships and boats as a whole, as well as the cargo they carry. Hull insurance only covers the main body or ‘hull’ of the ship

Marine Insurance VS Hull Insurance

Marine insurance, is a type of insurance that covers sea vessels (ships, boats), and the cargo shipment items present on these vehicles. It is a super set of many different types of insurances that are maritime related.

Hull insurance, is a type of marine insurance, that very specifically covers a major part of the ship or boat, which is the hull.


Comparison Table Between Marine Insurance and Hull insurance (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonMarine insuranceHull insurance
Level of insuranceNow, marine insurance is a superset of many major maritime-related insurances.Hull insurance is a branch of marine insurance and covers only a few aspects, policy-wise as compared to marine insurance.
Area covered by insuranceIt covers insurance and liability for all sea vehicles such as ships, boats, ferries, and the cargo carried by these vessels as well.It covers a very important aspect of sea vessels which is the main body or ‘Hull’ and any other functionalities attached to it.
Insurance policiesThe insurance policies covered here are Voyage policy, time policy, mixed policy, open or un – valued policy, Valued policy, wage policy.Policies included here are Destruction of the hull, damage to machinery, disbursement losses, ship – breaking losses.
Measures to be followedMeasures need to be taken by the ship captain to follow the proper route provided by the insurance company to avoid damages to the whole vessel.Here, since it is only dealing with the body of the vessel, instructions are given on how to carry out maintenance of the vessel.
Eligibility criteriaThe entities that can apply are banks, import/export merchants,Many entities are eligible for this, such as public and private port authorities and operators, ship owners.
buying agents, manufacturers especially.


What is Marine Insurance?

It is one of the major property insurances that can be applied for all vessels that travel via water. Many organizations that have a hand in operations such as sea trading (for cargo shipment) and ocean travel (such as cruise ships) apply for this type of insurance.

It is quite important to have this insurance coverage because it covers all the damages that can be caused to major components of the vessels, such as –

  1. Damages due to natural disasters or calamities such as tsunamis, earthquakes, etc
  2. Damages caused to cargo, or any form of harm caused to precious items on board such as theft, or catching fire, etc.
  3. Damages caused by the third party in case of collisions while traveling.
  4. Complete loss of shipping vessel due to various malicious reasons. 

The above are but a few instances due to which damages to the vessel can occur, and the marine insurance as a whole cover them all.

Captains of ships also have to follow certain guided routes while on the sea, which are provided by the insurance company to avoid any form of harm on the way, such as high tides, pirates, etc.

 To give a brief overview of the various types of insurances that come under marine insurance, the list goes as follows –

  1. Cargo insurance
  2. Freight insurance
  3. Marine liability insurance
  4. Hull insurance

These help cover each aspect of the ship and come with various policies to ensure complete guarantee that the ship can travel without any worry.

There are few major policies also involved with marine insurance –

  1. Voyage policy
  2. Open or unvalued policy
  3. Time policy
  4. Mixed policy
  5. Wage policy
  6. Valued policy

And lastly, few of the documents that are needed to apply for the claims in marine insurance are as follows –

  1. Copy of billing lading
  2. Copies of correspondence exchanged
  3. Original insurance certificate
  4. Claim form

What is Hull insurance?

Hull insurance provides specific coverage with regards to maritime vessels. This type of insurance only covers the main supporting body, which excludes the mast.

This body can also contain the various functionalities that are added to it.

It was mainly made for all types of vessels that travel by sea or ocean ways, such as fishing boats, yachts, streamers, cruise ships, etc.

Although it’s coverage is not that vast, it does have various types under it –

  1. Dry bulk carrier’s insurance
  2. General cargo vessel insurance
  3. Passenger vessels insurance
  4. Liquid bulk insurance

The various damages covered by this insurance are as follows –

  1. Damages caused by various natural hazards such as tsunamis, storms, etc.
  2. Damage done to any other vessel when traveling, such as collision with any other ships or boats.
  3. Damages caused by the crew while doing maintenance, or trying to fix something.

Few of the policies covered by this insurance are –

  1. Destruction of hull
  2. Damage to machinery
  3. Disbursement losses
  4. Shipbreaking losses.

Main Differences Between Marine Insurance and Hull insurance

  1. Marine insurance is vast when it comes to coverage and type of insurance under it. Hull insurance is a smaller component of maritime insurances.
  2. Marine insurance covers all possible damages that can be done to the vessels as a whole, while hull insurance is only concerned about the main body of the ship.
  3. Marine insurance provides far more number of policies as compared to hull insurance because every aspect and component of the vessel has to be taken into consideration.
  4. Marine insurance is normally taken up by major organizations as they need it more than normal fishermen. Hull insurance is more affordable so most boat owners apply for it.
  5. Marine insurance has a strict restriction in terms of routes followed to avoid damages, which the captain has to follow strictly. Hull insurance does not have any such restrictions.
Difference Between Marine Insurance and Hull insurance



Marine and hull insurance both provide a form of coverage for marine vessels that is essential for every traveler on the sea. Marine insurance while being expensive, provides for full care of every aspect of the vessel, while hull insurance, which is significantly more affordable, is for the smaller business owners, and fishermen.


  1. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a510020.pdf
  2. https://www.helsinki.fi/sites/default/files/atoms/files/marine_and_cargo_insurances.pdf
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