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Survey Report

Insurance Marketplace Realities 2024 Spring Update – Marine hull and liability

May 8, 2024

The marine market has slightly softened but generally requires low single-digit increases due to claim inflation.
Rate predictions: Marine hull and liability
Trend Range*
Domestic hull and machinery Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) 0% to +2.5%
London/international hull and machinery Decrease, (Purple arrows pointing down) 0% to -2.5%
P&I domestic Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) +2.5% to +5%
P&I crew/towing domestic Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) +5% to +7.5%
P&I international Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) +5% to +7.5%
Domestic primary marine liability Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) +2.5% to +5%
Domestic excess marine liability Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) +5% to +10% (more for underlying crew/towing 1st Layer)
London marine liability Increase, (Purple arrows pointing up) +25% to +30%
Domestic L&H mutual Neutral Increase, (Flat line, purple arrows pointing up) Flat to +2.5%

*All rate projections shown above are subject to good loss record accounts; higher increases for accounts with adverse loss experience.

On March 26, 2024, the M/V Dali fully loaded with containers struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge while departing the Port of Baltimore. The accident tragically resulted in the death of six bridge workers. The accident will result in exceptionally large claims in both the marine and property-casualty markets. Too early to realistically estimate the losses but the marine market is bracing for at least $1 billion. The claim has already influenced the marine excess liability markets who reinsure the International Group P&I Clubs in excess of $100 million limit. Prior to the Dali accident, minor single digit increases were the norm, and this has vastly changed post incident. The Dali will likely impact International Group P&I renewals and Marine Reinsurance Treaty renewals, which will be clearer in January 2025 when those programs renew.

Underwriting in the current environment remains demanding.

  • Marine underwriters require premium increases for claim inflation (personal injury and increases in raw material cost).
  • Excess liability underwriters carefully review non-marine underlying coverages (specifically auto liability) scheduled under marine bumbershoot policies and require higher minimum attachments points (no longer accepting $1 million underlying auto limit for fleets of significant size).
  • Excess liability underwriters are reducing capacity and requiring ventilation between layers requiring quota share placements and additional market capacity.
  • Due to political unrest globally, specifically due to Ukraine/Russia, and Houthi rebels in the Southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has created volatility in the hull war market.
  • Underwriters are seeking additional retentions on U.S. Gulf area hull risks due to consistent NAT-CAT losses.
  • There has been an increase in capacity in the London market due to new entrants in 2023 and 2024, which has enabled the softening of market rates.
  • The recent bridge incident in Baltimore is having an adverse impact to the overall marine marketplace where it is expected to be one of the largest maritime incidents in history.

International group P&I clubs

The P&I club market is starting to stabilize after several consecutive years of large pool claims, high average market combined ratio and lower investment returns. However, the Dali will likely have a negative impact on the 2025 renewals which we will report on in the next issue.


Willis Towers Watson hopes you found the general information provided in this publication informative and helpful. The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal advisors. In the event you would like more information regarding your insurance coverage, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. In North America, Willis Towers Watson offers insurance products through licensed entities, including Willis Towers Watson Northeast, Inc. (in the United States) and Willis Canada Inc. (in Canada).


Phil Gran
Shipowners Leader, North America

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