Hull Insurance

Insurance of vessel and its equipments are included under hull insurance. There are a number of classification of vessels such as ocean steamers, sailing vessels, builders, risks fleet policies and so on.

It is concerned with the insurance of hull and machinery of ocean-going and other vessels like barges, tankers, fishing and sailing vessels.

Insurance of construction risks or builder’s risks deal with the hull insurance for vessels when they are under construction. A recent development in hull insurance has been the growth of insurance of offshore oil/gas exploration and production units as well as connected construction risks.

It is covered with specialized class of business particularly for Fishing Vessels, Trawler’s Dredgers, Inland and Sailing Vessels are available.

The subject matter of hull insurance is the vessel or ship. There are many types of design of ships. Most of them are constructed of steel and welded and are capable of sailing on the sea in ballast or with cargo.

The ship is to be measured with GRT (Gross Register Tonnage) and NRT (Net Register Tonnage). GRT is calculated by dividing the volume in cubic feet of the ship’s hull below the tonnage dock, plus all spaces above the deck with permanent means of closing.

NRT is the gross tonnage less certain spaces for machinery, crew accommodation ballast spaces and is intended to encompass only those spaces used for carriage of cargo. DWT (Dead Weight Tonnage) means the capacity in tons of the cargo required to load to load a ship to her loadline level.

Subdivision of Hull Insurance

The Hull Insurance is further subdivided into:

(a) General Cargo Vessels
(b) Dry Bulk Carriers
(c) Liquid Bulk Carriers
(d) Passenger Vessels
(e) Other Vessels

These can be further divided into ocean going and coastal tonnage. Ocean going general cargo vessels is usually in the 5000 to 15000 GRT range, coasters are smaller in size and one engaged in the carriage of bulk cargoes.

Coastal tonnage does not withstand the same strains as ocean going vessels.

General Cargo Vessels

The general cargo vessels may be container ships, large carriers (LASH – Lighter Abroad Ship) , Ro-Ro (Roll on Roll off) vessels, Refers (Refrigerated Vessels General Cargo) Many general cargo vessels are built for specific purpose Vessels may be subdivided into Liner and Tramps.

Liners loads at an advertised berth and runs to an advertised schedule calling can route at a varying number of ports according to the particular service. It tries to maintain Time schedule although there are heavy risk of seas.

It requires huge capital investment. Liners are always fit and well maintained at all times. Liners have high standard of officers and crew.

Tramp carries cargo whenever and wherever it is available. Mostly bulk cargo very often are seasonal in character for which she is usually chartered.

Vessels are built to comply with the particular needs of the owner’s trade.

Dry Bulk Carriers

Dry Bulk Carriers are specially constructed vessels in the size range of thousands GRT for coasters and 70,000 GRT for ocean going tonnage.

The main bulk cargoes carried are iron ore, coal, grain, bauxite and phosphate.

The main features of these vessels are the single weather deck and large holds with wide hatches to facilitate loading and discharge by mechanical means. Most bulk carriers have sloping upper wing tanks to assist in trimming the cargo and thus produce a safer slow.

Nature of cargo, routs conversation into bulk cargoes and stability are the main considerations for underwriting.

Liquid Bulk Carriers

Tankers are strongly constructed to carry bulk liquid. The tankers have using tanks which do not extend across the breadth of the tanker.

Due to the live nature of the liquids cargo, tankers sustain heavier damage than other cargo ships. Tanker has shorter life due to corrosive effect. There is considerable damage than other cargo ships.

Tanker has shorter life due to corrosive effect. There is considerable danger of fire and explosion. Before a tanker is allowed to enter a dry dock for repairs, a gas free certificate is required.

The risk of pollution following a casualty makes salvage operation more difficult and expensive.

The tankers may be VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) and ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) .

LASH and Sea Bee vessels are mother ships which carry floating containers in the form of barges up to 1000 tonnes displacement.

A Ro-Ro (Roll on Roll off) vessel is one having facility for shipping lorries, trailers, etc. without need for cranes.

Passenger Vessels

There are cruise vessels or passenger liners which sail on voyages to distant areas of scenically beautiful but rocky or shallow coasts or near the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.

They possess modern navigational systems.

Other Vessels

There are other types of vessels such as fishing vessels, offshore oil vessels and others.

Fishing Vessels

Fishing vessels bulk of steel and fiberglass (GRP) are much more prevalent.

Geographical/physical features of the area of operations vary from comparatively sheltered waters of inshore fishing to the full rigurs of the open seas with exposure to gales, heavy seas fog ice and snow.

The vessels may be classed or unclassed.

Classed vessels are recognized by Classification Society, and may possess class granted by it. Unclassed vessels are surveyed out of water and all machineries are thoroughly examined.

There are special tariff for fishing vessel in India.

The nature, type, age, geographical limits, etc. are examined for insurance cover and rating.

Offshore Oil Vessels

The offshore oil vessels are used for explanation or for commercial production of oil from the ocean beds. The comprehensive cover given covers not only the operations at site but also the transporter of plant and equipment to the drilling sales which may be hundreds of kilometers away in mid sea.

These vessels are veritable artificial islands where the risks are present in one form or another.

The jack up units are self-elevating platform which can float freely with legs retracted by a jacking system for movements in tow.

Casualties may occur during tows or whilst jacking up or down. The sem-submersible or column established drilling platform can be bottom supported and or free floating.

They can operate in deeper water and usually have multi anchoring system employing up to 10 separate lines.

Another ship shape unit is basically a modified conventional ships, with a slot for drilling through, located in the centre. It is capable of much deeper water drilling.

Again another fixed structure is usually a platform construction on four or more piled legs. The platforms are stationary.

Hull Machinery and Insurance

The policy covers the hull, machinery and equipment and stores, etc. on board but does not cover cargo.

The insurance cover, the requirements of the individual ship owner and protects him against partial loss, total loss, ship’s proportion of general average and salvage charges, sue and labour expenses and ship owner’s liability towards other vessels arising from collisions.

Hull Underwriting

Hull underwriting requires the following information to assure the risk.

Type, construction, builders, age, tonnage, dimension, equipment, propulsion machines, engine, fire extinguisher, classification society, merchant shipping act, warranties, navigation physical and moral hazard.