Marine pilots are little talked about when it comes to liability insurance.

Hiscox has put them centre stage, however, with the launch of the first ever insurance package for the

profession covering personal accident, legal liability and loss of licence under one contract.

Hiscox says that in launching the product it is mindful of the disastrous 1996 Sea Empress oil spill off the coast of South-West Wales – for which, according to Hiscox, the vessel's pilot was held liable. The idea is to marry

liability issues for pilots together with more personal insurance considerations such as loss of income to a maximum of $250,000 (£151,000).

"Pilots have long been neglected by the insurance industry despite their high demand for cover," said marine casualty underwriter Andreas Graham.

He added: "In particular, their need for legal liability and loss of licence cover is on the increase, as changes in legislation mean pilots will be expected to take more direct responsibility for accidents."