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.


  • UK P & I Club Introductory guide to P&I Cover (2 MB)


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