New India Assurance, a leading public-sector general insurance company, has introduced protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance covers to Indian-registered coastal and inland vehicles that ply on local routes.
The insurance cover, which has been approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), will be offered to Type 2 River Sea vessels that are run by SVS Marine. Thus, vessels run by SVS Marine will be the first to be covered by this insurance policy. The policy offered by New India Assurance will have an upper limit of $5 million, amounting to around Rs.33 crore, per ship. It is likely that the cover can be extended by another $10 million with reinsurance support.
In comparison, the P&I cover offered by London-based International Group of P&I Clubs comes with an upper limit of $1 billion for individuals claims.
New India Assurance will be providing this policy only to coastal ships during the initial few years, after which the cover may be extended to ocean-going vessels as well. Capt. J.C. Anand, who was in charge of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) was responsible for giving New India Assurance the idea to launch a P&I cover for Indian ships. The insurance cover has been backed by several reinsurers and reputable P&I clubs.
New India Assurance offers a range of general insurance covers including motor insurance, health insurance, travel insurance, and rural insurance covers, among other products, as part of its portfolio. By offering a P&I insurance cover to Indian ships, New India Assurance has become the first Indian company to break into this segment, which was until now dominated by international underwriters.