Marine Insurance

Marine insurance covers both commercial vessels and personal pleasure craft. Commercial marine insurance includes: cargo, fishing fleets and hull. Personal marine insurance covers pleasurecraft purchased for personal use, and can include: yachts/jet boats, water-skis/jet-skis.

Large Marine Losses Paid by New Zealand Insurers

The Insurance Council has collected from its members a list of all the large marine losses that cost more than $500,000 over a 7 year period.

Many of the losses were from New Zealand cargo damaged as a result of cargo ship casualties. The largest losses were to produce and manufactured dairy products destined for export caused by storage facility fires and the Canterbury Earthquakes. The Rena container ship sinking cost New Zealand insurers $24 million in lost cargo.

The New Zealand marine insurance market provides a vital service to our export sector. On average over the last 7 years the combined claims from cargo, commercial hull and pleasure craft amount to just over $23 million annually.

Minimum Liability Insurance For Foreign Vessels Entering New Zealand Waters

The Insurance Council is currently calling for legislation requiring all foreign vessels entering New Zealand waters to carry a minimum level of liability insurance.

A 1999 survey by the Insurance Council shows that many port authorities around the country support this view.

These vessels pose a threat to the environment because of the risk of pollution, and high clean-up and salvage costs. These costs are currently met by the New Zealand taxpayer.

Marine Cargo Open Policy

A marine cargo open policy is an agreement between a merchant and an insurance company to insure all goods in transit within the agreement for an indefinite period, until either party cancels the agreement.

The policy specifies:

  • The general description of the goods
  • The countries or places to or from which the goods will be insured
  • The maximum value payable under the policy
  • How the goods will be valued
  • The conditions of insurance.

The merchant agrees to declare details of all shipments that fall within the scope of the policy, and the insurance company agrees to insure such shipments according to the terms and conditions of the policy.

  • For information on marine cargo open policies please refer to the Insurance Council publication "Marine Cargo Open Policy Handbook".

Special Care Information for Boaties

Simple guidelines for boat operators to ensure their safety while out on the water.

The biggest risk for boaties in crowded waters is collision. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) have developed a number of simple guidelines for boat operators to ensure their safety while out on the water.


Free Safe Boating - An Essential Guide 2012 (PDF)

Safety Guidelines Paddle craft rental activities- lakes, flat-water rivers and sheltered coastal areas, August 2010 (PDF)