The Merchant Navy, a profession that navigates the vast oceans, holds a captivating allure for individuals seeking adventure, global exploration, and a career filled with unique experiences. In India, the Merchant Navy has witnessed a significant rise in popularity, with a growing number of aspirants joining its ranks each year.

This esteemed profession not only offers a chance to sail across the seas but also presents a range of financial considerations that require careful planning, including securing one's future through adequate insurance coverage. In this blog, we delve into the world of term insurance for the Merchant Navy, highlighting its importance and the key aspects to consider for those pursuing this remarkable career.

Term Insurance Plans for Merchant Navy

  • Navigating Challenges in Term Insurance for Merchant Navy Personnel

Securing term insurance for individuals in the Merchant Navy poses unique challenges due to the nature of their profession and the specific requirements of insurance providers. Here are some key hurdles that Merchant Navy personnel may encounter when seeking term insurance coverage:

  1. The requirement to be on land during the application process: One major hurdle faced by Merchant Navy professionals is the need to be on land when applying for term insurance. This requirement stems from the necessity of undergoing a comprehensive medical checkup, which is a mandatory component of the application process. Given the high-risk nature of their job and the need for thorough medical evaluations, it becomes challenging for individuals to access these checkups while they are at sea, far away from medical facilities.
  2. Reliance on present contract documentation: Insurance providers often base the issuance of term plans solely on the documentation of the applicant's present contract. This means that past employment history and experience in the Merchant Navy may not be considered when evaluating eligibility for term insurance. This can be a hurdle for those who have recently started their career in the Merchant Navy or have had gaps between their contracts.
  3. Requirement of a guaranteed sustainable income: Term insurance providers typically require applicants to demonstrate a guaranteed sustainable income. This requirement may pose challenges for Merchant Navy personnel, as their income can be variable and dependent on contract durations and availability of assignments.

These hurdles highlight the unique considerations that Merchant Navy individuals face when navigating the term insurance landscape. Overcoming these challenges may require careful planning, seeking specialised insurance providers who understand the nature of their profession, and ensuring proper documentation and financial stability to meet the requirements of term insurance providers.

Maximising Efficiency: Tips for a Hassle-free Term Insurance Application

Note: Take note that the timing of document receipt may vary, occurring 30 days, 15 days, or even just ten days before the boarding date.

Demystifying Term Insurance for Merchant Navy Personnel: A Step-by-Step Handbook

Try to complete the first five steps before you get the current contract documentation proof so that you can save time and make sure the application process gets completed before you board the ship.

Step 1: Evaluate your coverage requirements

Before diving into the process of purchasing a term plan, it is crucial to assess your coverage needs. Consider factors such as your income, financial responsibilities, outstanding debts, and your family's future goals. Assessing these aspects will help you determine the ideal sum assured for your term plan, ensuring that your family is adequately protected.

Step 2: Research reputable insurance providers

Once you have a clear understanding of your coverage requirements, it's time to research and identify reliable insurance providers. Look for insurance companies with a strong track record, excellent customer service, and a range of offerings that cater specifically to personnel in the Merchant Navy.

Step 3: Compare policy features and benefits

With a list of potential insurance providers, compare the policy features and benefits they offer. Look for key aspects such as the tenure of the policy, flexibility in premium payments, claim settlement ratio, riders available (such as accidental death benefit or critical illness cover), and exclusions. Assessing these details will help you narrow down your options to the most suitable policy.

Step 4: Read the policy documents carefully

Before finalising your decision, carefully read through the policy documents of the shortlisted insurance plans. Pay attention to the terms and conditions, policy exclusions, and any limitations or restrictions that might apply to personnel serving in the Merchant Navy. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is covered and what is not.

Step 5: Seek expert advice

Consider seeking expert advice from a financial planner or insurance advisor who specialises in catering to individuals in the Merchant Navy. They can provide you with personalised guidance based on your unique circumstances and help you make an informed decision. We here at Ditto are always up for guiding you, and we are just a phone call away.

Now after these five steps, wait to receive your current contract documentation, and as soon as you get them, resume your application process from step 6

Step 6: Complete the application process

Once you have chosen the most suitable term plan, initiate the application process. Fill out the necessary forms accurately and provide all required documents, such as proof of identity, address, income, and medical history. Be transparent and truthful in your disclosures to avoid any issues during the claim settlement process.

Step 7: Undergo a medical examination

Term insurers send you a list of medical tests that need to be conducted. These tests are tailored to your age and job profile. Merchant navy personnel undergo comprehensive medical evaluations due to the high-risk nature of their job. Certain profiles, such as commercial divers or engineers in the merchant navy, require even more detailed and specific medical examinations. The medical checkup is a crucial step in the term plan application process before you embark on your journey.

Step 8: Pay the premium

After successfully completing the documentation and medical examination, pay the premium as specified by the insurance company. Ensure that you pay the premiums regularly and on time to keep your policy active.

Step 9: Review and update your policy

Regularly review your term plan to ensure that it aligns with your changing needs and circumstances. Update your policy details, such as nominee information, as necessary.

Key Evaluation Factors for Term Life Insurance Applications in the Merchant Navy

  • Risk evaluation as per your designation:

Your position and responsibilities within the merchant navy are crucial factors considered by insurance providers. They evaluate the nature and level of risk associated with your specific role.

  • Task Analysis

The specific duties and tasks you perform onboard ships are examined. Companies assess the physical demands and potential hazards associated with your responsibilities.

  • Sea Time Evaluation:

The amount of time you spend at sea is a significant consideration. Insurance providers evaluate the duration of your voyages and the potential impact on your overall health and well-being.

  • Considering Assignments to Conflict Areas:

If you have been deployed to conflict-prone regions, insurance companies take this into account. They assess the associated risks and security concerns, which can impact the terms and coverage of your policy.

  • Addressing Medical Considerations:

Your overall health and any pre-existing medical conditions are also evaluated. Insurance providers consider the potential impact of your occupation on your health and may require additional medical examinations or disclosures.


Job Risk and Premium Calculation in Merchant Navy Term Insurance

The cost of your term plan coverage will primarily depend on the level of risk associated with your job in the Merchant Navy, as well as any additional risk factors like extreme sports, hobbies, or health issues. Given the high-risk nature of working in the Merchant Navy, there will be a specific premium loading applied to your term insurance. The amount of loading added to your premium will vary based on the specific job roles within the Merchant Navy.

For instance, positions like Engineer, Captain, and Commercial Diver entail higher risk compared to roles such as Medical Officer, Deckhand, and First Officer.

Advantages of buying a Term Plan early for the Merchant Navy

If you are applying for term insurance at a young rank or when you have recently joined a ship, typically between the ages of 21-22, you may be surprised to discover that your premium will be remarkably low. It may seem hard to believe, but there have been instances where insurance companies have requested a salary certificate to determine the coverage amount based on your earning potential.

Additionally, if you are a first-time cadet, you can obtain insurance once your stipend is paid out. During the initial months, you can ask your parents to cover the premium. They will likely feel compelled to pay it since the coverage benefits them as well. Moreover, due to your young age, the premium for term insurance will be exceptionally affordable.

Streamline Your Finances: The Advantages of Opening a Marines Account

To make managing your finances simpler for you and your family, it is recommended to open a Marines Account. This account provides various benefits, including the option to maintain a zero or minimum balance, easy international money transfers, no charges for ATM withdrawals, higher withdrawal limits, unlimited and free debit card transactions within India, and access to free privileges like net banking, ATM/Debit card, NEFT, and RTGS facilities. Additionally, you can enjoy higher interest rates on this account.

Depending on the insurance provider you choose, you may also be eligible for enticing perks such as cash-back offers, free movie vouchers, special promotions, promo codes, and discount coupons. Opening a Marines Account not only simplifies your financial management but also provides you with access to exclusive benefits and rewards.

Documentation Checklist for Merchant Navy Term Insurance

When evaluating term insurance applications, insurance companies often review the stability of the applicant's income and employment history. These details are verified through documents like

  • Active contracts,
  • Bank statements, and
  • Income Tax Returns.

In the event of filing a claim under a term insurance policy, it is important for merchant navy personnel to keep essential documents handy. These include the

  • Policy contract,
  • Death certificate,
  • Relevant medical reports (if applicable),
  • Employment records,

-and any other documents specified by the insurance company for the claims process.

Additionally, insurance companies may also conduct further verification by considering factors such as personal loans, credit card debt, outstanding mortgages, and the income of dependents if they are not entirely satisfied or convinced with the aforementioned documents.

By having these documents ready and accessible, merchant navy personnel can ensure a smoother claims process and a higher likelihood of successful claim settlements.


In conclusion, purchasing a term plan is a vital step for Merchant Navy personnel to ensure the financial security of their families. This blog has provided a comprehensive guide, including premium calculation and factors considered during the application process. By following these steps, Merchant Navy personnel can make informed decisions and protect their loved oneโ€™s future. Seeking expert advice and staying up-to-date with any changes in your policy are also crucial for long-term security. Don't delay; secure your family's financial well-being with a term plan today.


How does the term insurance policy handle claims if the death of the insured occurs outside the home country?

Term insurance policies generally cover death occurring outside the home country, as long as the policyholder has disclosed their international travel details and the policy is valid during that period. The claims process may require necessary documentation and coordination with the insurance company.

What happens if a merchant navy person fails to pay the premium while being away at Sea?

Insurance companies, just like in a normal term plan, provide a grace period for premium payment in this case also, allowing the insured individual to pay the premium within a specified time after the due date. It's essential to understand the grace period mentioned in the policy and ensure timely payment.

How does term insurance cover the repatriation of mortal remains in case of death during service at sea?

Some term insurance policies for merchant navy personnel may include coverage for the repatriation of mortal remains. This benefit ensures that the expenses associated with transporting the deceased person's body back to their home country are covered.

What happens if merchant navy personnel change employers or work for multiple shipping companies during their careers?

Changing employers or working for multiple shipping companies should not affect the validity of the term insurance policy. The coverage typically remains in force as long as the premiums are paid, regardless of changes in the employer or shipping company.

Can merchant navy personnel increase their term insurance coverage as their salary or responsibility increase?

Yes, merchant navy personnel can often increase their term insurance coverage as their salary or responsibilities increase. Many term insurance policies offer the flexibility to adjust the coverage amount to reflect the individual's changing financial circumstances.

How does the term insurance policy account for changes in the merchant navy personnel's health condition over time?

Term insurance policies generally assess the health condition of the insured person at the time of policy application. Changes in health conditions after the policy is issued typically do not affect the coverage or premiums as long as the policy remains active and premiums are paid on time.

Can merchant navy personnel opt for joint term insurance policies with their spouse?

Yes, merchant navy personnel can opt for joint-term insurance policies with their spouse. Joint policies cover both individuals and provide a death benefit in case of the demise of either insured person during the policy term.

Can merchant navy personnel assign their term insurance policy to a financial institution for securing loans?

Yes, merchant navy personnel can assign their term insurance policy to a financial institution to secure loans, subject to the policy's terms and conditions. This allows them to use the policy as collateral for borrowing funds.