Introductory guide to P&I cover

Shipowners insure against loss of or damage to their ships with hull underwriters.  They look to their P&I club for insurance in respect of third party liabilities and expenses arising from owning ships or operating ships as principals.

The term “P&I” stands for Protection and Indemnity. It is not hull insurance, war risk insurance, loss of profit/freight insurance, detention insurance, strike insurance or uninsured legal expenses (Defence)cover.

The following risks typically covered by P&I Clubs are briefly described in this 'layman's guide' to the Rules of the Club:

  • Personal injury to or illness or loss of life of crew members
  • Personal injury to or loss of life of stevedores
  • Personal injury to or illness or loss of life of passengers and others
  • Loss of personal effects
  • Diversion expenses
  • Life salvage
  • Collision Liabilities
  • Loss or damage to property other than cargo
  • Pollution
  • Towage contract liabilities
  • Liabilities under contracts and indemnities
  • Wreck liabilities
  • Cargo liabilities
  • Cargo's proportion of general average or salvage
  • Certain expenses of salvors
  • Fines
  • "Omnibus" cover

Freight, demurrage and defence risks can be insured with the UK Defence Club. The UK Defence club provide insurance for the legal and other costs of pursuing and defending claims related to entered ships where the sum in dispute is not insured. A review of the UK Defence club cover can be found at the back of this brochure.

Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more

US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here

International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.

MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE

International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.