Marine insurance is of considerable importance to vessel operation. All vessels and cargoes should be insured to cover physical losses and damages as well as liabilities. Marine insurance is generally classified into two types, namely hull and machinery insurance and cargo insurance. These two types of insurance insure respectively loss or damage to the hull and machinery of vessels and cargoes on board.

The marine insurance industry is comprised of insurance brokers, insurance companies (including mutual insurance associations), reinsurance companies and adjusters.

Major Duties

Marine insurance brokers are independent insurance professionals who act on behalf of clients (the insured) to assess their insurance needs and identify the most suitable insurance policy for them.

Brokers have to be familiar with the nature and features of clients’ businesses, comprehend the latest situation and trend of the relevant trades, and have a clear picture about the insurance policies available in the market and the premiums required as well as changes to the surrounding market environment, so as to understand the risks encountered by clients and offer them the fullest protection.

Entry Requirements

In general, to become an insurance broker, one may serve as an administrator or a trainee first. Having obtained the professional knowledge, he or she will be promoted as a customer service officer to handle requests of clients and relevant proposals independently. After gaining more experience, a customer service officer with potential will be further promoted to a management position, with a view to enhancing his or her leadership, insurance knowledge, as well as understanding of the trend and development of the global insurance and reinsurance markets.

The inter-connection between the various professions in the maritime industry offers different development opportunities. Take marine insurance brokers as an example. As they possess knowledge of the maritime market and the different types of insurance, they can also join the insurance/reinsurance industry or become an adjuster.