Joint Hull Committee Reviews International Hull Clauses

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
The Joint Hull Committee (JHC) has started a market-wide review of the International Hull Clauses, thereby fulfilling a commitment to conduct a six-month reassessment it made when the clauses were first launched on November 1, 2002. A revised version of the clauses will be issued in November this year, based on feedback from the review. The clauses have achieved a large measure of success in producing a clear and self-contained policy document incorporating new areas of cover, and both the shipping and insurance support industries have been quick to commend underwriters for their willingness to engage in open and positive discussion about the practical impact of the new conditions. The JHC is aware that the introduction of new insuring conditions inevitably represents a compromise between conflicting interests and opposing viewpoints, and is therefore keen to press ahead with plans to determine what, if any, refinements are required. The JHC has therefore written to insurers, claims adjusters and shipping interests, inviting their views on any areas of the clauses which could be amended in order to help establish them still further in the forefront of commercial wordings. The deadline for responses has been set at July 31. Simon Beale, chairman of the JHC, says, "We believe it is essential that a broad spectrum of opinion is again sought, and we hope to receive feedback from all areas of the maritime world. All the points raised in this way will be discussed and evaluated by the working parties in anticipation of a second release. We are anxious to capitalise on the positive aspects of the new clauses, and to address any negative points. We are very aware that a balanced wording is only made possible by taking into account comments and suggestions made by all parties to the hull insurance contract."

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