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About Marine Cargo Insurance
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A contract of marine insurance expresses terms or by usage of trade be extended so as to protect the insured against losses on inland waters or any land risk which may be incidental to any sea voyage. The importance of marine cargo insurance in this day and age cannot be overemphasized as the risks in the sea and roads have become common globally.

The first known Marine Insurance agreement was executed in Genoa on 13th October 1347 and marine Insurance was legally regulated from the year 1369.

Cargo insurance provides insurance cover in respect of loss of or damage to goods during transit by rail, road, sea or air.

Cargo insurance concerns the following:

    1. Export and import shipments by ocean-going vessels of all types.
    2. Coastal shipments by steamers, sailing vessels, mechanized boats, etc.
    3. Shipments by inland vessels or country craft.
    4. Consignments by rail, road, or air and articles sent by post.

Factors that affect how premiums are calculated:

1. Geographical Area Covered:

    1. The safety and danger of every port in every part of the world;
    2. Seasons for undertaking different voyages;
    3. Changes in the foreign powers by which the interest may be affected.

2. Mode of Conveyance:
Cargo may be sent by Ship, Road , Air and railway. Each mode of transport presents a varying degree of hazard.

3. The Nature of Goods:
The susceptibility of goods to damage by various perils is a vital consideration. This is important to consider since marine policies cover extraneous perils in addition to maritime risks.

4. Age of the Vessel:
The age of the vessel and her condition are essential factors. It is usual to charge extra premium if the vessel is more than fifteen (15) years old. Vessels constructed during the period of war such as liberty ships suffer from the fact that speedy construction has been a more important consideration in building them than skilled craftsmanship.

5. The Voyage:
The route to be followed requires careful consideration since the subject matter is insured for a voyage. The rate will reflect any risk, which attaches to the said route.

6. Political Factors:
Prevalence of war conditions or political disturbances or labour unrest may affect navigation routes e.g. ports and airports.

7. Physical:
The presence of fog; ice; atmospheric disturbance and safety of port of discharge. Some ports are in the open and any offloading in such ports are more risky than sheltered ports. Use of old and outdated port equipment may also expose cargo to damage

8 Packing:
The method of packing is a material consideration. Approved packing ensures transport of cargo without un-due risk or damage. The materials used in packing may increase the hazard during the voyage or at offloading, e.g. Gunny sacks, or bags may introduce the risk of spontaneous combustion where the contents themselves are free of this hazard.

9 Transhipment:
For one reason or another, the carrying vessel may not reach her originally planned destination. The ship captain may decide to transfer the cargo to another vessel to complete the journey. During the transfer of cargo, there is a lot of risk of pilferage, theft, hook damage, denting etc. This additional exposure calls for additional premium from the insured.

10. Concealed Loss:
Sometimes the insured may require cover for which losses occur during transit but manifest themselves later after the delivery. Insurers provide this cover but for definite period of time eg 90 days. Underwriters will charge additional premium for this exposure.

11. Conditions and Clauses:
Cargo policies are subject to the Institute clauses and conditions and other operative clauses for various interests. The inclusion of Policy excesses and Deductibles are only control measures. The higher the risk the higher the premium rate, the higher the excess or the deductible. These measures only enable the insured to act as though they were not insured and take precaution to minimize losses.

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