Shipowners and charterers will shortly be able to buy insurance to protect themselves from falls in the freight market, as well as increases in fuel prices.

Paratus Maritime Insurance is gearing up to begin selling the new policy in the next two weeks or so, following its launch of the world's first-ever fuel-price insurance product in October last year.

Shipbroking giant Gibsons is acting as the fuel-price insurance's policy distributor to shipping customers and will do the same for Paratus' incoming freight product.