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What are some common defenses raised by marine insurance companies?
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Marine Insurance

Marine insurance companies provide financial protection to ship owners, cargo owners and other parties involved in maritime commerce against loss or damage caused by sea hazards and other covered risks. However, when a claim is made under a marine insurance policy, the insurance company may assert several defenses to deny or limit its liability.

What are some common defenses raised by marine insurance companies?

Common Defenses Presented by Marine Insurance Companies

  • Vessel unseaworthiness: The insurance company may argue that the vessel was not seaworthy at the time of the loss, meaning it was not reasonably fit for the intended voyage. This defense is often raised when the vessel is not properly maintained, equipped or crewed.
  • Trip diversion: The insurance company may argue that the vessel deviated from its intended voyage without reasonable cause, resulting in the loss. This defense is often raised when the vessel makes an unscheduled stop or takes a more dangerous route than specified in the policy.
  • Willful misconduct or negligence: The insurance company may argue that the loss was caused by the willful misconduct or negligence of the ship owner, captain, or crew. This defense is often raised when the loss is caused by a deliberate act or omission of the insured party.
  • Proximate cause: The insurance company may argue that the loss was not caused by a risk covered by the policy. This defense is often raised when the loss is caused by a risk that is not specifically listed in the policy or is excluded from coverage.
  • Concealment or misrepresentation: The insurance company may argue that the insured party concealed or misrepresented material facts about the vessel, cargo or voyage. This defense is often raised when the insured party fails to disclose information that could have affected the insurance company's decision to issue the policy or the terms of the policy.
  • Warranty breach: The insurance company may argue that the insured party breached a warranty in the policy, which resulted in the loss. This defense is often raised when the insured party fails to comply with a condition or obligation specified in the policy.
  • Subrogation rights: The insurance company may argue that it has subrogation rights against a third party who caused the loss. This defense is often raised when the loss is caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of a third party.
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These are just some of the common defenses that marine insurance companies may present when a claim is made under a marine insurance policy. The specific defenses that are raised will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.

How to Respond to Defenses Presented by Marine Insurance Companies

If a marine insurance company presents a defense to your claim, it is important to respond promptly and effectively. You must:

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  • Review the policy: Carefully review the policy to understand the terms and conditions that apply to your claim.
  • Gather evidence: Gather evidence to support your claim, such as shipping documents, cargo manifests, and survey reports.
  • Consult a lawyer: Consider consulting a maritime lawyer who can advise you about your rights and options.
  • Respond to the defense: Submit a written response to the insurance company's defense, addressing each point of defense.
  • Negotiate a deal: If possible, try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company to avoid the need for litigation.
Why insurance are owners

If you are unable to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you may need to take legal action to recover your losses. A maritime lawyer can help you with this process.

It is important to note that defenses presented by marine insurance companies are not always valid. If you believe that your claim has been wrongly denied, you should seek legal advice to protect your rights.

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What are some common defenses raised by marine insurance companies?

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