War Risks

Monday, October 08, 2001
Shipowners, charterers, traders, energy companies and insurers will be among those interested to learn the impact of recent events on the war and force major exceptions in their contracts and to identify relevant insurance policies. There are currently many numbers of spats going on between shipping interests and their insurers over the need to increase war rates to destinations - and there are a lot of them - which underwriters might consider to be vulnerable. And the European Shippers Council has asked the EC to investigate war risk premiums levied by marine underwriters. Watson Farley & Williams is reportedly holding a seminar in London October 9 to discuss these issues. In the meantime, a good place to start is the Holman Fenwick & Willan website, which provides a succinct outline of the legal considerations of war and terrorism. Commercial interests may be relieved to know that the courts in the UK have traditionally taken a non-technical view of what constitutes a war. The Court of Appeal, for example, was unable in 1939 to accept that "there is any technical meaning of the word 'war'". And, ten years later, the House of Lords could "see no good reason for giving to the word 'war' a meaning which excludes one type of war". Source: Maritime Advocate Online

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