DOT Offers Insurance For Commercial Ship Owners

Friday, January 18, 2002
Maritime Administrator William G. Schubert today announced that the Maritime Administration (MARAD) is now accepting applications for war risk insurance to cover commercial ship operations in the Middle East. President Bush authorized the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide the insurance at the request of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. U.S.-flag vessels are eligible, as are ships owned by U.S. companies. Other vessels may be covered if their cargoes are considered to be in the security interests of the United States. The insurance covers cargoes as well as the ships and crews. It is underwritten by DOT in return for a premium from shipowners. “War Risk Insurance, which protects vessel operators and seafarers against losses resulting from war or war-like actions, will be provided only if commercial insurance is not available to them on reasonable terms,” said Administrator Schubert.

Schubert added that applications must be made on an individual-vessel basis, and that each case will be considered separately. Additionally, applicants must provide full details from insurance brokers or underwriters of the amounts, terms, and rates of the commercial insurance and justification for the conclusion that the rates are not fair or reasonable. The insurance is available only for areas currently excluded in commercial war risk trading warranties: the Persian or Arabian Gulf and adjacent waters, Israel, Lebanon, Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea, Yemen, Pakistan, Oman, Syria, and Egypt.

Interested shipowners should apply to or request additional information from: Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Attn: Edmond J. Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Insurance and Shipping Analysis, MAR-780, Room 8117, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001, Phone: 202/366-2400, fax 202/366-7901. MARAD suggests that applications be submitted by courier or by fax, and that delivery be confirmed by telephone.

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