Specialist marine insurance intermediary, Seacurus, has developed a petro-piracy endorsement which can be added to existing kidnap & ransom (KR) insurance cover. The coverage was developed in response to the evolving threats to ships, their cargoes and crews when transiting the South China Sea, Malacca Straits, Indonesian Archipelago and Gulf of Guinea.
According to recent figures published by the International Maritime Bureau, South-East Asia accounted for three-quarters of global maritime piracy last year after a surge in tanker hijackings helped to fuel a 22 per cent jump in armed robbery and pirate attacks on ships in the region. There were 183 actual and attempted incidents of piracy and robbery involving ships in South-East Asian waters last year, compared to 150 in 2013. In the Gulf of Guinea, meanwhile, cargo theft is likely to remain on the agenda of Nigeria-based criminal gangs throughout 2015.
“The criminal reach demonstrated by last year’s hijack of the tanker Kerala, coupled with the number of successful and attempted attacks in 2014 and the lack of any evidence that such gangs have been neutralised, suggests that further attempts at cargo theft will take place in 2015 across the region,” said Denis Nifontov, Head of Marine K&R at Seacurus. “Ships’ crews are regularly exposed to life-threatening situations as criminals take control of and ransack vessels, stealing valuable petro-chemical cargoes for commercial gain.”
Nifontov said Seacurus recognized the need for traditional marine K&R cover to evolve to provide all interested parties with assurance that every eventuality is covered.
Seacurus coverage protects crews against the potential for a kidnapping situation, and ship and cargo owners against the risk of business interruption and property theft. In addition to the benefits of a $1 million marine K&R policy, the cover includes as standard loss of hire ($500,000), loss or theft of cargo ($500,000), loss of bunkers ($250,000), and loss or theft of money ($50,000) – all within an aggregate policy limit of $5 million.
“Given that, by its very nature, criminal activity is unpredictable, Seacurus believes that, for a small additional voyage cost, cover can be arranged to give all parties to the maritime adventure peace of mind that their interests are insured,” Nifontov says.
Shipowners, charterers and cargo interests (who can be added to the policy as co-insureds to cover their own interests in the voyage), can buy $5 million of cover for a seven-day voyage for a typical premium cost of $1,250, subject to an assessment of the usual underwriting information, said the company.
Seacurus Ltd is an FCA-regulated insurance broker, founded in 2004, specializing in bespoke revenue protection cover for the maritime industry. Seacurus established the first delegated underwriting binding authority for marine kidnap insurance and is an approved Lloyd’s Coverholder.
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