In light of the recent spike in pirate attacks, Clive Stoddart, head of Aon’s kidnap and ransom team, issued a call for ship owners to review insurance cover if thye plan on transiting the Gulf of Aden or parts of the Indian Ocean – specifically the Somali Basin.
“Traditional marine insurance policies do not always cover piracy,” he warned, “so we’ve seen an increased interest from ship owners for specialist marine kidnap and ransom policies. These provide guaranteed access to advice at the time of an incident in addition to reimbursement of the ransom, cost of delivery of ransom and legal costs that may occur during a period of illegal seizure.”
Stoddart also observed that the ship owners have now realized that “even though the Gulf of Aden is relatively well protected, the Somali Basin is a vast and relatively unprotected body of water so they must improve their defensibility. Insurers have in turn shifted their focus on the more exposed Somali Basin from the Gulf of Aden.”
He pointed out that due to “guile and determination from pirates, combined with inadequate preparation on board vessels, has allowed for three confirmed cases in less than one week. A recent statistic from the Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) suggested that, as of two weeks ago, 30 out of 31 incidents could have been avoided had best practice been invoked.”
He also noted that Aon has been “talking with the UK Maritime Trade Operations on advising ship owners as much more can be done in the area of training and prevention.”
Source: Aon – www.aon.com
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