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Marine Insurance for Older Boats

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 08/05/2024
  • 2 min read

Owning a boat can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. If you have the opportunity to become the captain of an older boat, then you will also want to secure your beloved possession with adequate insurance. For this, boat owners can invest in marine insurance for older boats in India. Let’s dive into the various facets of marine insurance for older boats.

What is Marine Insurance?

In general terms, marine insurance (also known as marine transit insurance) compensates for loss or damage during the transfer of property from one destination to another. This protection on the transfer of property encompasses several modes of transport apart from sea including rail, road, and flight.

Marine cargo insurance falls under the umbrella of marine insurance and includes coverage for both offshore and onshore exposed property (such as ports, container terminals, oil platforms, etc.,) hull, marine casualty, and any marine liability.

Now that we have established a general definition of inland marine insurance (that secures equipment, tools, and other property used at a workplace, stored at a warehouse, or moved over land) let’s explore how marine insurance for older boats works.

Coverage Scope of Marine Insurance for Older Boats in India

Where marine transit insurance secures the cargo travelling from one destination to another, marine insurance for older boats will secure your mature vessel against unforeseeable events such as sinking, collision, fire, theft and more.

Typically, liability coverage is also included to secure stakeholders from shouldering the exorbitant financial burden if the boat were to damage another vessel or third-party property.

Here’s how different stakeholders are secured under a marine insurance policy for boats:

Boat Owner: The owner of the vessel would receive compensation to undertake repairs or in dire circumstances even replacement costs of the boat (after deducting the depreciation). However, the latter is only provided under the condition that the damage is eligible for the marine insurance policy’s inclusions.

Third-Party Liability: Offers compensation for healthcare expenses as well as property damage to third-party persons for damages caused by your boat when in operation. This ensures that the boat owner is secured from lawsuits and other financial obligations.

Lenders: If your vessel is loaned, the lender may expect you to maintain a marine insurance policy to ensure that the investment can be recovered in the case of total damage or loss

Businesses that require employees to work at sea can invest in a workmen's compensation policy from providers like Tata AIG to ensure that their employees are adequately secured against unforeseeable mishaps.

Eligibility for Marine Insurance for Older Boats in India

Various insurance providers can have different eligibility criteria to provide marine insurance for older boats. In some instances, a boat that is aged over 10 years is considered old whereas in some others, the bar could be extended by another five years or higher.

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) there is no specific age limit for boats to be eligible for a marine insurance policy.

However, a critical factor that plays a key role is the condition of the vessel. This evaluation is mandatory for older boats and provides a detailed report on the condition of the boat that not only helps the insurer but also gives a general idea to the owner about maintenance that may be required in the future. The report provides an analysis of:

  • The structural integrity of the boat after analysing components such as the deck or the hull to look for any signs of weakness or damage

  • Mechanical components including the engine, electrical wiring, etc. to make sure that the vessel is in proper working condition

  • Functionality and safety equipment in adherence with the outlined regulations

What is Checked in a Boat Survey?

To analyse the risk, insurance companies typically undertake a survey or condition assessment by a qualified marine surveyor.

This professional surveyor undertakes a thorough inspection to analyse the moisture levels of the various boat components such as the hull, decks, bulkheads, stringers, transom, frame, and superstructure. In addition, the surveyor checks the quality of underwater components, osmosis and electrolysis activity.

Types of Marine Insurance Policies

Depending on the varying requirements, there are different kinds of marine cargo insurance policies provided by insurance companies. These insurance policies are curated to accommodate specific requirements. however, the specifications can differ from one insurance provider to another.

Policy Plans Under Marine Insurance Scope of Coverage
Single, Annual Open and Annual Sales Turnover Policy (STOP) All risks: All risks are included as part of policy coverage except rainwater damage
Basic: Coverage is exclusively for accidental damage 
Hull Coverage is exclusively limited to the vessel (this includes truck, ship, train, or aeroplane) 

Marine Insurance Policy Coverage for Older Boats

Based on your specific requirements, you can buy marine insurance for your older boat. The basic coverage will generally include the following:

Hull Coverage: Under this, the “hull” or the body of the ship is secured against damages such as grounding, collisions, piracy, sea storms, etc. Hull coverage is a part of Tata AIG marine insurance and offers compensation if the ship or its machinery is damaged owing to these mishaps.

Third-Party Liabilities: It offers compensation for damages sustained by third-parties. This includes healthcare expenses as well as property damage.

Named Perils: Protects your vessel against certain risks or events explicitly mentioned within the policy such as lightning strikes, vandalism, etc. However, insurance seekers must carefully review and understand the specific perils that are a part of the policy coverage to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Marine Insurance Exclusions for Older Boats

Exclusions of an insurance policy help the insurance seeker understand the circumstances under which their policy will not cover them. Some common exclusions in marine insurance include:

  • Aged boats that are in poor condition may either have limited coverage or higher deductibles

  • Boats that are used for personal enjoyment generally have a broader coverage when compared to boats that are used for commercial purposes

  • If the boat is going to be operated in high-risk areas such as the open sea or waters that are prone to storms, then the policy might have greater exclusions or higher premiums. In these circumstances, it is advised to also invest in workmen’s compensation policy to offer appropriate financial protection for the crew on board.

How to Choose the Right Insurance Provider for Marine Insurance for Older Boats?

When purchasing insurance for expensive investments, it is always advised to verify the legitimacy and reliability of the insurance provider. The insurance company must have a proven track record with good customer service, seamless claim settlement, a high claim settlement ratio, etc.

Additionally, it is also important to check whether the insurance company is financially stable and is capable of meeting its obligations if a claim is raised. A great metric to analyse this is by checking the financial ratings from agencies such as ICRA or by checking annual reports released by the IRDAI.

Tata AIG happens to tick all of these boxes. So, whether you invest in Tata AIG marine insurance, inland marine insurance or marine cargo insurance from us, ensure that you understand all the terms and conditions of the policy and that nothing is left unclarified as ambiguity can lead to problems.

Wrapping Up

Marine insurance is an important element of safety in the shipping industry. Not only does it secure the matured vessel against potential losses but also ensures legal compliance. Tata AIG marine insurance comes with a host of advantages such as global presence, assistance with identifying potential hazards, customisation, E-marine facility, and more.

In addition to marine insurance, businesses operating at sea should also buy a workmen’s compensation policy to ensure insurance services for their employees in case anyone meets with an accident that leads to permanent partial disability or death.

Entrepreneurs can also consider investing in business insurance in India to secure their business against potential threats.


What is not covered under marine insurance?

Marine insurance generally does not cover:

War, strikes, and riots

International loss or damage

Poor quality of packaging

Financial failures

What are some of the key factors affecting the premiums for marine insurance for older boats?

The following factors influence the premium rates for marine insurance:

Age and type of boat

The operating area of your boat

The purpose for which the boat is going to be used

Insured value of your boat

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Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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