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Insurance

Mandatory coverage

What maritime risks must be covered under the law and what is the mandatory level of coverage?

Pursuant to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007, wreck removal coverage must be obtained for ships in excess of 300 gross tonnes. The Bunker Oil Pollution Convention 2001 and Article 8:645 of the Civil Code require ships in excess of 1,000 gross tonnes to have insurance or other financial security to cover the risk of bunker oil pollution. For ships carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of oil in bulk as cargo, the coverage requirement is based on the implemented Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution and Damage 1992.   

Insurance or other financial security for wreck removal and bunker oil pollution should cover the liability of the registered owner for damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the London Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. The Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution and Damage provides limits for the transport of oil. These requirements also apply to foreign-flagged ships calling at Dutch ports.

Further, based on EU Directive 2009/20/EC, the owner of a Dutch-flagged seagoing vessel or a visiting foreign-flagged vessel with a gross registered tonnage of 300 or above must have indemnity insurance covering maritime claims subject to limitation under the London Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. Claims for general average, salvage and oil pollution within the meaning of the Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution and Damage are excluded.

Pursuant to the EU Passenger Liability Regulation (392/2009), a ship that is licensed to carry more than 12 passengers should have coverage for its liability in respect of the death of or personal injury to passengers. The limit of compulsory insurance or other financial security is at least 250,000 special drawing rights per passenger.

Insurable risks and ships

What other risks are typically covered by marine insurance contracts concluded in your jurisdiction and what ships are insurable?

The general provisions for insurance agreements also apply to marine insurance agreements. Dutch law does not provide for a separate marine insurance regime. As some provisions are not mandatory, parties may agree the applicability of other rules in insurance contracts.

Other risks covered by marine insurance contracts include:

  • hull and machinery damage;
  • protection and indemnity;
  • general average;
  • salvage;
  • cargo interest;
  • collision; and
  • war risk.

Subrogation rights

What is the legal regime governing marine insurers’ subrogation rights?

If an insurance contract is subject to Dutch law, the insured’s claims for compensation against third parties on account of a loss suffered, other than a loss derived from an insurance agreement, will pass by means of subrogation to the insurer to the extent that the insurer has compensated that loss, regardless of whether a legal obligation exists (Article 7:962 of the Civil Code).

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