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Marine Cargo Insurance Statistics: Anchoring Insights

December 13, 2023
 By Jacob Lee
Marine Cargo Insurance Statistics: Anchoring Insights
Last Modified: December 28, 2023
The marine cargo insurance industry is booming and projected to grow in the years to come. If you want to protect your ocean freight, our numbers provide helpful insight.

Key takeaways:

  • In 2021, the volume of seaborne trade was 10.99 billion of cargo
  • The size of the global marine cargo industry is $19.5 billion in 2022
  • Fire and explosion made 18% of marine insurance claims losses 
  • European cargo made up 47.7% of global marine premiums
  • Global hull marine insurance policies up 23.4% of shares

These are just some numbers shippers should look at when wondering whether their cargo should be insured for ocean crossings. 

Marine cargo insurance statistics account for disasters like this cargo ship that flipped on its side

Marine Cargo Insurance Statistics Explained

Marine cargo insurance is used to protect ocean freight shipment investments. Businesses who are involved in international trade will have guaranteed financial protection when they use a marine cargo insurance policy. It can also help them with risk management in their shipping operations. 

Coverage option include:

  • All-Risk Insurance
  • Named Perils Insurance
  • General Average Insurance

All-risk cargo insurance protects against all threats of physical loss or damage from any external cause. Named perils covers only those risks that are explicitly stated in the policy, such as fire, explosion, or sinking.

General average covers the costs incurred when voluntary sacrifice is made to save the vessel and cargo (e.g., jettison of certain cargo to save the ship).

To learn about the benefits of marine cargo insurance, our article on this topic has some useful information you can use to your advantage. 

A ship that's docked at a container port

Volume of Maritime Trade Statistics

The most popular way to ship goods overseas is by vessel. To show how frequently marine cargo insurance is used, consider some statistics on the volume of global maritime trade. 

Volume of Seaborne Trade (2011-2021)

YearVolume of Seaborne Trade (in tons loaded)
20118.75 billion
20129.2 billion
20139.51 billion
20149.82 billion 
201510.02 billion
201610.3 billion
201710.72 billion 
201811.02 billion 
201911.07 billion 
202010.65 billion 
202110.99 billion

Provided by Statista

As the data shows, seaborne trade has been gradually rising in this 10 year time frame. The volume of shipments declined in 2020, as much shipping did during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trade began to come back in 2021. 

This is more thoroughly reflected in the following data from 2021:

  • Seaborne trade jumped by 3.2 percent
  • 64 percent of all goods discharged and 42 percent of all goods loaded were in Asian ports
  • Developing economies share of seaborne trade was 61 percent
  • The seaborne trade balance for developed economies was +658 million tons
  • The volume of loaded and discharged seaborne trade in millions of tons from developed economies was 10,985 and 10,975 respectively
  • The volume of loaded and discharged seaborne trade in millions of tons from developing economies was 4,936 and 4,278 respectively

As the data shows, maritime trade was much better in 2021 and this trend is likely to continue in the future.

Marine Cargo Insurance Claim Statistics

Despite being regarded as the safest way to transport freight internationally, there are many causes of ocean cargo damage. Allianz Global released a report that studied 240,000 marine insurance claims with a combined $9 billion in value between 2017 and 2021. 

We’ve created some data to reflect their findings that show what the most common loses were. 

Portion of Marine Insurance Losses (2017-2021)

Claim by Loss Portion of Claims
Fire and Explosion18%
Shipping Incident (Collision, Sinking, etc.)17%
Damaged Goods (Including Handling/Storage)12%
Machinery Breakdown (including engine failure)12%  
Natural Catastrophes (hurricanes, storms, floods, wildfires)9%

Provided by Allianz Global

These five categories make up over half of marine cargo insurance claims. Losses that fall into the category called other make 32 percent of the remaining claims in the report. The large amount of fire damaged that’s occurred due to the past five years is largely due to Li-ion batteries in electric vehicles. 

Power sources like these have to be stored and transported correctly. If not properly handled, Li-ion batteries can easily catch fire. There are other reasons why fires account for so many claims, such as mis-declared/non-declarations of dangerous cargo and engine room incidents.  

Statistics on Marine Cargo Premiums

There are numerous regions and businesses throughout the world that use marine cargo insurance to protect their freight. Data on these policies give insights to how widely used this level of protection is on a global level.  

Premiums by Line of Business

Marine cargo insurance premiums are separated into different categories called lines of business. There are a total of four primary classes these policies can fit under. 

These include:

  • Global hull
  • Transport/global
  • Marine liability
  • Offshore/energy

We’ve provided data on the share of marine cargo insurance policies for each line of business. 

Marine Insurance Premiums by Line of Business (2022)

Line of BusinessPercentage of Shares 
Global Hull23.4%
Marine Liability11.5%

Provided by the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI)

As the data shows, the transport/global sectors took up most of the marine cargo insurance shares. With so many risks involved in shipping ocean cargo, many industry professionals believe that policies for this line of business will continue to be in high demand.  

Premiums by Region

In 2022 total insurance premiums were valued at $35.8 billion. We’ve provided data on the regions with a share of marine premiums. 

  • Europe has the largest share of marine premiums, which was at 47.7 percent 
  • In second place is the Asia/Pacific region, coming in at 28.4 percent of shares
  • For third place, Latin America mad up 10.3 percent of marine premiums 
  • North America took up 8.5 percent of global marine premiums
  • The category other fills the final 5.1 percent

As these statistics show, marine cargo insurance is used in different regions across the world.

If you’re not sure how much it will cost to protect your freight, then check out our article on marine cargo insurance costs.   

A truck transporting a container on a chasis

How Big Is the Marine Insurance Market?

The marine cargo insurance industry is extremely large. Numerous carriers and shippers in the global supply chain use some level of coverage to protect their goods. 

According to Allied Market Research, this will continue to drive the industry forward. 

  • The market size of the marine insurance industry was valued at $19.6 billion in 2022
  • Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of the industry in 2022 was at 4.4%
  • Europe accounted for the highest share in the global marine cargo insurance market at 34.9%
  • The largest sub-segment in the global marine cargo insurance market is cargo owners, which comes in at 38.4%.

These stats show that marine cargo insurance is in high demand amongst those who participate in global trade.

Marine Insurance Market Forecast

The marine cargo insurance industry isn’t likely to go anywhere soon. It’s important to note that different sources have varying projections. That said, we’ll discuss the different predictions that have been made available by different organizations.

  • Based on 2022 projections from Allied Market Research, the global marine cargo insurance industry is projected to generate $29.9 billion by 2032
  • Blueweave Consulting predicts the global marine cargo insurance market will have a value of $37.88 billion by 2029
  • Transparency Market Research predicts the global marine cargo insurance market will be $87.2 billion by the end of 2031
  • Projections from Acumen Research and Consulting show that the global marine insurance market with valued at $50.5 billion in 2032

While these projections are different across sources, they all predict the global market for marine insurance will grow over the next few years. When the average value of containerized cargo is $54,000 per twenty-foot equivalent (TEU), it’s easy to see why having coverage for ocean cargo is essential in the event a loss occurs.  

Freight Insurance Coverage Treats Your Goods As A Priority

At Freight Insurance Coverage, we understand the intricacies of insurance like no other. When you fill out one of our quotes, we’ll automatically apply the cost of insurance. This lets you see the full cost to transport your goods with financial protection before a shipment is finalized. 

Don’t let your cargo venture into uncertain waters without the right protection. Take the first step towards securing freight insurance by filling out your quote. Our team is available at (866) 975-0749 for any assistance that you need. 


Allied Market Research, Marine Cargo Insurance Market Size, Share and Trend Analysis Report, 2023

Yahoo Finance, Marine Cargo Insurance Market To Reach $29.9 Billion, Globally, by 2032 at 4.4% CAGRO, 2023

Globe Newswire, Marine Cargo Insurance Market Size Set to Touch USD 38 Billion, with the CAGR of 4.42% by 2029, 2023

Transparency Market Research, Cargo Insurance Market — Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2023-2031, 2022

Acumen Research and Consulting, Marine Insurance Market Size — Global Industry, Share, Analysis, Trends and Forecast 2023–2032

Statista, Transport Volume of Seaborne Trade from 1990 to 2021, 2023

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Seaborne Trade, 2021

The Maritime Executive, Allianz: Fires, Cargo/Vessel Losses, Theft, Drive Up Insurance Claims, 2022

Allianz, Global Claims Trends To Watch In Marine Insurance, 2022

Allianz, Key Trends Driving Marine Insurance Claims Activity — from Fire To Inflation, 2022

Allianz, Top Causes of Loss by Value of Claims In Marine, 2021

International Union of Marine Insurance, Global Marine Insurance Trends, 2023

Port Economics, Management and Policy, Value of Containerized Trade, 2020, 2020

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