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Are all forms of marine insurance compulsory under UK law?

No. 

Hull and machinery insurance and P&I cover are not legal requirements for any UK ship. UK ships of less than 1000 GT need no bunker oil pollution insurance. Seagoing UK ships of less than 300 GT, and all non-seagoing UK ships, need no insurance against liability for maritime claims.

 

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Written by Ship Inspection

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What is P&I cover and where does the owner usually obtain it?

In addition to hull and machinery insurance and P&I cover, what forms of marine insurance may be required by owners of UK ships?