The cost of running your business is exceptional, and you need everything sailing smoothly to keep your margins. One of those costs is your insurance, and if they’re refusing to pay a claim, then your business could take a big hit.

Insurance is a crucial aspect of any business operating on the open water, with insurance claims in the shipping industry amounting to about $10 billion in the last five years. And that is money you need to keep your business operating after a loss. After a debilitating event like a ship sustaining serious damage or heavy mechanical failure on the open water, you want to make sure your insurer is ready to pay.

Ensured coverage

Many insurance contracts are notoriously fraught with limitations, and your maritime coverage is likely no different. You think your hull insurance should cover your claim, but specifics in your agreement may say otherwise. Maybe your ship briefly broke navigational limits or took damage from an peril that isn’t covered, which could be grounds for denial.

See jurisdiction

Understanding your policy is just as important as understanding the laws you are operating under. Knowledge of pertinent laws, maritime and otherwise, is a great way to start shaping your claim. And if you do have to go to court, knowing what statutes and jurisdictions apply to you could be crucial.

Navigating suits

Insurance companies use a team of attorneys, investigators and claims adjusters to look at every facet of your claim. They’ll be analyzing the details in your claim and your contract to make sure they have every component mapped out. Make sure you’re just as informed and know your specific avenue for appeal, or have a plan laid out for filing a lawsuit.

Whatever your plan of action, make sure you are supremely confident in your knowledge of the incident, applicable laws and your insurance policy. This could be the difference between having your damage covered and being responsible for costs on your own.