What are the Different Types of Marine Losses?

Transit of goods through waterways involves high risks. Marine insurance plays a significant role in safeguarding businesses from these risks. Even though marine insurance helps provide financial stability and reduce these risks, it is vital to understand the various types of marine losses that can occur when transporting goods from one destination to another. The article below discusses various types of marine losses in detail.

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Why Should You Know About Marine Loss?

Marine losses may come in different forms and are not easily quantifiable. With marine insurance, the financial losses can be taken care of, but it becomes even more important to understand the marine losses and how can one go ahead with claim settlement in case of an unfortunate event.

- Helps evaluate the risk exposure per transit, cargo, vessel or trade

- Helps understand the exclusions and the total recovery amount

- Helps analyse the cash and other requirements for each trade or transit

- Helps decide the riders in the policy

Types of Marine Losses

Marine losses are broadly classified into two namely, total loss and partial loss. Let us look into the details

  1. Total loss

    Total marine loss occurs when the insured goods have lost 100% or near 100%. of their value. The type of marine loss is further subdivided into Actual Total Loss and Constructive Total Loss.

    • Actual total loss

    Actual loss is when the cargo is destroyed to an extent where there is no likelihood of recovering goods. To be categorized under actual loss, below of one or more conditions need to be met:

    - When the insured cargo is damaged entirely or to an extent where it cannot be fixed

    - The insured cargo is in a state that wherein is not accessible altogether

    - The vessel which had the cargo goes missing, and there is no chance of its retrieval.

    Actual total loss is an absolute physical loss. When an actual total loss arises, the insurance company becomes liable to pay for the loss by clearing the claim.

    • Constructive total loss

    This type of marine loss refers to damage when the cargo is damaged to such an extent that not commercially viable to retrieve the vessel or cargo. It is when the cargo is badly damaged, and the cost of repairs and reconditioning is expected to be more than its total value. Similarly, if the cargo is safe but the cost to get back the cargo is more than the actual total cost, it is considered a constructive total loss. Constructive total loss is a commercial total loss.

  2. Partial Loss

    It is when the cargo is partially damaged. To quantify partial loss requires discretion at the hands of the surveyor.

    • Particular partial loss

    This is one of the most common types of marine losses. It is said to be a particular partial loss when the goods suffer partial damage due to the reasons covered under the marine insurance policy.

    • General average loss

    A general average loss is caused when the goods are damaged deliberately or voluntarily to avoid impending danger. For example, if there is chemical leakage in the vessel carrying a chemical shipment, and in order to avoid contamination, some of the containers are thrown away. The sole purpose is to preserve the common interest from impending danger.

Learn more about Marine Insurance


Marine insurance can be challenging but is highly essential. Thus, it is always recommended to not just opt for adequate marine insurance coverage, but also understand the types of marine losses involved when your goods are in transit.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 16 November 2023

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Policybazaar for Business - Marine Insurance - Customer Reviews
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Based on 114 reviews
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Based on 114 reviews
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3.8 April 20, 2023
Great Experience
I recently purchased Marine insurance from Policybazaar for my shipping business and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with their service and coverage. From start to finish, the experience has been smooth and hassle-free.Thankyou.
4.3 April 03, 2023
Provides Comprehensive Protection
When it comes to coverage, Marine insurance that i bought from PolicyBazaar has exceeded my expectations. It provides comprehensive protection for my cargo and vessels during transit, ensuring I can focus on my business operations with peace of mind. Thankyou.
4.3 March 17, 2023
Excellent Services
I highly recommend Marine insurance from PolicyBazaar website to anyone in the shipping or logistics industry. Their user-friendly website, comprehensive coverage, and excellent customer service make them stand out from the competition. With Policybazaar, I feel confident in navigating the high seas, knowing that my business is well-protected. Thank you, Policybazaar.
4.3 February 28, 2023
User Friendly Interface
The website's user-friendly interface made it easy to compare different plans and find the perfect fit for my business needs.Thanks
4.3 February 11, 2023
Prompt Services
I appreciate the transparency and honesty with which Policybazaar handled my claims. They were prompt in processing my claim and their claim settlement process was hassle-free.Thanks PolicyBazaar.
3.8 February 10, 2023
Exceeds Expectations
I recently had the pleasure of purchsing marine insurance from Policy bazaar website and I must say it has been an outstnding experience from start to finish. I am thrilled to share my positive customer review, as this truly exceeded my expectations. Thanks PB.
3.8 January 31, 2023
Easy Navigation
The ease of navigating the Policy bazaar website and finding the right marine insurance policy was impressive. The website's user-friendly interface and intuitive design made it incredibly simple to compare various options, understand the coverage details and make an informed decision. I appreciated the transparency provided throughout the process. Thanks.
3.8 January 21, 2023
Excellent Support
The customer service provided by Policy bazaar was decent. Their team was responsive, knowledgeable and went above and beyond to assist me at every step. Their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction were truly commendable.Thankyou.
4.3 January 11, 2023
Sanjeev Rathor
Efficient Process
When it came to claims processing, Policy bazaar demonstrated remarkable eficiency and effectivenes. I had an unfortunate incident during the coverage period and filing a claim was a breeze. The entire process was streamlined and their team guided me throuugh every necssary step, making it hassle-free. The promptness with which my claim was setled reflected their commitment to their customers' well-being and peace of mind. Thankyou.
3.8 January 01, 2023
Comprehensive Coverage
I must mention the comprehensive coverage provided by the marine insurance policy I purchasd through Policy bazaar. It offered me the necesary protection and peace of mind. Thankyou PolicyBazaar.