What is helmet insurance

Hull insurance is the insurance of the ship that covers the damage to a ship, its machinery and its equipment. According to United Marine Underwriters, it is the closest marine insurance equivalent to comprehensive collision car insurance. Like other products in the insurance market, coverage and deductibles vary by company, so read and compare insurance contracts before buying. Hull insurance is a term sometimes used for airplanes.


Hull policies in most cases will cover all damages not expressly excluded by the policy. In rare cases, insurance companies sell policies that cover the damage caused by the incidents that are named. If a policy is “all risk”, the boat owner or agent should read the exclusion list to determine what is not covered. Common exclusions include damage caused by normal wear, insects, zebra mussels and marine life. Some policies may exclude damage to machinery, such as engines.

Brown Water vs. blue water

Hull policies are often distinguished in case they refer to brown or blue water incidents. Brown water policies refers to “hull and civil liability coverage for tugboats, barges and other types of commercial vessels and businesses that operate primarily on or near inland and coastal waterways,” according to Marine Insurance House. Those of blue water denote ships of the high seas and larger vessels that are used in transport or international trade. In addition to the brown water and blue water policies, some marine policies will have navigation clauses that stipulate where the owner of a ship can take the insured vessel.

Hull and cargo

Helmet insurance usually does not apply to cargo. Cargo coverage, where appropriate, is typically sold as an independent policy.


Deductibles vary between insurance policies and the value of the vessel that is insured. Some companies use flat deductibles, such as $ 1,000 per incident. Other base deductibles as a percentage of the value of a vessel. There may be separate deductibles to cover damage to a trailer or ship electronics. If a ship is damaged in a named storm, such as a hurricane, the deductible may rise to a higher percentage of the value of a ship, compared to the standard deductible.

Industry statistics

According to the Marsh reinsurance marine practice group, hull insurance has been highly profitable in recent years. According to a 2008 report: “The hull insurance market has been the exception to other maritime lines of companies by producing a consistent form of subscription loss for the previous ten year period, with an average subscriber of a relationship of expenses 30 percent, no subscription exercise has been profitable since 1996 “. The report notes that these losses have not stopped new market participants.