Marine Link
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Indemnity Insurance News

S & P Credit Rating for Shipowners’ Club

Photo: The Shipowners' Club

Following a request by The Shipowners’ Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association (Luxembourg), as from 19 May 2017 AM Best will  no longer provide a rating of the Club. This decision was taken by the Club in December 2016 following a review of the costs and benefits of maintaining two interactive ratings, coupled with a review of market practice and appetite for rating information. The Shipowners Board concluded that Members’ interests would be best served by having only one rating in future.

IMG Enhance Marine Group Medical Insurance Program

International Medical Group® (IMG) a leader in designing, distributing and administering global medical insurance benefits, has announced its enhanced flagship marine group medical insurance program. According to IMG, the enhancements enable ship owners to provide their crew comprehensive coverage for eligible medical expenses, which is increasingly important with the enactment of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006). The MLC, 2006, which took effect August 20, 2013 and became binding in international law, establishes minimum working and living standards for all seafarers on those ships. As such the MLC, 2006, requires ship owners to provide health protection and medical care to seafarers on board their ship.

UK Commission Formal Probe into Marine Insurance

The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether certain provisions accompanying claim-sharing and joint-reinsurance agreements in the marine insurance sector might infringe European Union antitrust rules. The Commission fears that the provisions at stake in the agreements between the Protection & Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs) within the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) may harm ship owners and the insurers that are not members of the IG. P&I Clubs are mutual non-profit making associations that provide Protection & Indemnity insurance - a type of direct marine insurance - to their members, the ship owners. The International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) is a worldwide association of thirteen P&I Clubs.

Water Taxi Insurer Sues Coast Guard

Insurers for the company that ran the water taxi that capsized in the Inner Harbor, killing five people, sued the U.S. Coast Guard on Feb. 17, claiming the military branch certified the taxi for too many passengers. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The insurance companies allege that the vessel was not properly tested for stability by the Coast Guard before it was put to use and it should not have been allowed to carry 25 people. The boat, run by Seaport Taxi, had just left Fort McHenry on March 6, 2004 with 25 people on board when severe weather moved into the region. Another Seaport captain radioed the Lady D's captain, Francis Deppner, suggesting he steer the boat to shelter.

ITIC Warns Shipmanagers on Lay-Up Liability

The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has urged its shipmanager members to seek legal advice before entering into any contracts with owners relating to the laying-up of vessels. ITIC said there has been a recent sharp increase in the number of lay-up contracts which it has been asked to review. Some of these agreements are based on amended shipmanagement contracts, where the manager acts as agent for and on behalf of the owner. Other agreements involve the manager offering lay-up services to the owner as a principal rather than as agent. ITIC points out, “Where the manager offers these services as an agent of the owner, it will arrange for the appropriate anchorage to be sourced and also arrange for the maintenance and repair of the vessel.

ITIC: Professional Indemnity Cover Needed

ITIC says professional indemnity cover essential in litigious shipping industry. International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has warned that, in today’s increasingly litigious business environment, there is a growing need for shipping professionals to have third-party indemnity insurance cover. This can be the case even in those sectors where insurance has not previously been deemed necessary, and in cases where, despite a favourable outcome to legal proceedings, substantial costs may be unrecoverable.

P&I Club Correspondents Under Pressure

ITIC says P&I correspondents are coming under increasing pressure from clubs and from third parties to ensure that they have taken out professional indemnity insurance. In the latest issue of its newsletter, The Wire, ITIC says it is aware that at least one International Group P&I club is considering asking all its correspondents to obtain professional indemnity cover, and anticipates that a number of other clubs will follow suit. ITIC has recently commented on a proposed P&I club contract for its correspondents…

UK P&I’s Europe Club Receives Upgrade

The UK P&I Club (the UK Club), one of the oldest shipping protection and indemnity insurance mutuals, has announced that ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has extended its ‘A – ‘ rating to The United Kingdom Mutual Steamship Assurance Association (Europe) Ltd. (the Europe Club). This news follows the November announcement that Standard and Poor’s upgraded the outlook for The United Kingdom Mutual Steamship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd. (the Bermuda Club) to “Positive.”  This upgraded ‘Positive’ outlook also extends to the Europe Club. As part of an internal reorganisation ahead of the introduction of Solvency II regulations, the Europe Club will become the group’s main provider of direct insurance from February 2013.

UK P&I Club Welcomes Standard & Poor’s Upgrade

It also noted the Club’s improved operating performance as evidenced by the combined ratio, strength of management strategy, and the improvement in its competitive position. Dino Caroussis, Chairman of the UK P&I Club, said: “This is a welcome endorsement by S&P of the UK Club’s efforts to maintain balanced underwriting and a strong capital position in an environment of rising claims costs and volatile investments. Hugo Wynn-Williams, chief executive of Club managers Thomas Miller P&I Ltd…

Piracy Expected to Rise as Monsoons End

Operators of vessels off the East coast of Africa are being warned by a leading insurance expert to prepare for an increase in pirate attacks after the southwestern monsoon ends in coming weeks. “There is a temporary lull in pirate activity at the moment off the East coast of Africa…but we expect this to be just that - a temporary lull,” said William Tobin, of the not-for-profit mutual organization Shipowners’ Protection Ltd., and a leading speaker at an upcoming regional maritime conference in Abu Dhabi. “When weather conditions improve we expect an increase in activity over and above what we have witnessed in the recent past,” he added. “The lack of any law and order, particularly in Somalia, continues to deteriorate.”  The southwestern summer monsoons occur from June through September.

ITIC Launches Terms for Surveyors and Consultants

suit. Terms for Surveyors and Consultants. sub-contract, time bar and jurisdiction and law. explains Julia Mavropoulos, claims director at ITIC. you when making a claim yourself. properly incorporated into their dealings with other parties. new trading terms and conditions.

ITIC Warns on Gray Areas

goes to court. witness. that the relevant law is still in the course of development. the two categories of adviser and expert. meeting of experts, one of them changes his mind. expert's fear of being sued for departing from a previously held position. where it is unclear whether the expert will be immune from liability. procedure in demurrage claims.

UK P&I Club: 7.5% Rate Increase

At its annual board meeting on 29 October 2012, the board of the UK P&I Club (the Club), one of the oldest shipping protection and indemnity insurance mutuals, agreed that the general increase for 2013 renewal will be 7.5 percent. The premium rating increase is in addition to any increase in the cost of the International Group reinsurance premium for 2013 for the mutual members, which will be determined in the New Year. Recognizing the challenges faced by its members and the Club’s strong capital position, the Board has separately declared a Mutual Premium Discount of 2.5 per cent on the total mutual call for the 2011 policy year. The discount will amount to a 10 per cent deduction for all mutual members for the final instalment of the 2011 call due in December this year.

The Shipowners' Club Bounce Back to Black

Image: The Shipowners' Club

The Shipowners’ Club, the leading mutual P&I insurer in the smaller and specialist vessel sector, has reported resilient results for the year ending 31 December 2016. The Club has reported a combined ratio of 98.6%, an increase in gross tonnage of 0.8m to 25.4m and an overall surplus of US$ 14.7m, including a return on the investment portfolio of US$ 11.8m. Chairman Philip Orme announcing the results highlighted that “the Club has again delivered an underwriting surplus despite slightly reduced income.

UK P&I Club Sets 2.5% General Increase

The UK P&I Club, a provider of protection and indemnity insurance,  agreed at its board meeting Monday that the General Increase for the 2016 renewal will be 2.5 percent. In announcing the increase, the UK Club board said it is mindful of the continuing stress in certain sectors of the shipping market and has therefore set the General Increase for 2016 below the level of claims inflation, adding the General Increase reflects the club’s commitment to maintain balanced underwriting and put the club in the best position to meet the challenges of the future. Separately, in recognizing the challenges faced by its members and the club’s capital position, the board has declared a Mutual Premium Discount of 2.5 percent on the total mutual call for the 2014 policy year.

China Oil Spill Compensation Claims Face Iran Payment Snags

(Photo: China's Ministry of Transport)

The reluctance of foreign banks to deal with Iran could complicate any compensation payments resulting from the collision last week of an Iranian oil tanker and a Chinese cargo ship, sources say. The tanker Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of highly flammable condensate oil, collided with the Chinese dry cargo vessel CF Crystal on Saturday in the East China Sea, causing an oil spill and a blaze that is still raging four days later. Liability has yet to be established but lawyers…

Piracy, Sanctions Top Shipowners’ List of Concerns

Legal and contractual issues, piracy and crime, and international sanctions are the most important areas of concern to merchant shipowners, according to a recent survey by the UK P&I Club. Close behind are crewing and personnel, insurance regulation, loss prevention, environmental legislation, shipboard risk management, cargo preparation and stowage, and port state control. Consequently, owners want information and advice from their P&I clubs on how to tackle the problems associated with these areas. Their priorities have been revealed by the UK P&I Club’s latest member survey. As one of the world’s largest marine mutuals, the UK P&I Club’s 122 million gross tons of international merchant shipping provides a representative cross section of the industry.

Singapore –Bunker Insurance

Singapore –Bunker Insurance The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular providing the names of additional insurers and underwriters that it has accepted for purposes of issuing Bunker Convention Certificates. The insurers and underwriters include: ·         QBE Insurance (International) Limited ·         British Marine Luxembourg S.A. ·         Navigators Insurance Company ·         Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. ·         Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore Ltd. ·         China Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association ·         The Korea Shipowner's Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (www.mpa.gov.sg)

Hold-harmless Clauses May Not Be So Harmless

Robert Hodge

ITIC has warned that the so-called ‘hold harmless’ clauses in many of the contracts entered into by its members may contain pitfalls which could prejudice their rights. A mutual hold-harmless indemnity clause should provide that each party to the contract agrees to take responsibility for - and to indemnify the other against - injury and loss to its own personnel and property and its own consequential losses, even if the accident and related losses are caused by negligence. But ITIC notes that…

U.S. Extends Marine War Risk Insurance

Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta has approved an extension of the authority to provide war risk insurance under Section 1202 of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act (Act). Unlike Section 1205 insurance, which is provided to the Department of Defense (DOD) on vessels chartered to them at no premium and with a full DOD indemnity, Section 1202 insurance is underwritten by DOT in return for a premium from shipowners. This insurance or reinsurance of vessels is available for vessels (including cargoes and crew) entering the Middle East region, whenever commercial insurance cannot be obtained on reasonable terms and conditions. It should…

Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance Broadens In-house Capacity

Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance broadens panel of security, increases marine pollution capacity    Vessel pollution liability insurance company Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance announced it has expanded its carrier partnerships to include Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) and Argonaut Insurance Company.   With this expanded panel, Safe Harbor said it has more than tripled its in-house capacity. BHSI, which carries a financial strength rating of A++ from AM Best, and Argonaut, rated A by AM Best, join A rated Starr Indemnity & Liability Company on the Safe Harbor panel.   Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance is a member of the Falvey Insurance Group, a MGA group specializing in cargo, yacht and marine pollution.

Key Elements of Yacht Insurance, Q&A

Joe McNulty

Accidents happen. That comes as no surprise to those in the insurance industry, but what may be a surprise is the fact that the majority of maritime accidents occur in good weather with perfect visibility. In the following Q&A, Joseph McNulty, founding member of Carroll McNulty & Kull, joins Richard Furman and John Orzel, members of the same law firm, in a discussion on the key elements of marine insurance and what underwriters and claims professionals need to know about federal laws governing the maritime industry. Q. Let's start at the beginning. What is marine insurance?

Iranian Fleet Regains P&I Insurance

Pic: Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines

A large portion of Iran’s shipping fleet has regained Protection & Indemnity (P&I) insurance from Steamship Mutual, reports Mehr News Agency. Steamship Mutual, said in a statement that a considerable number of Iranian vessels have taken out insurance form the company. "We are pleased to observe return of Iranian directors to the board of one of the largest and most diverse P&I Clubs in the world,” Jonathan Andrews, Director & Head of Eastern Underwriting in Steamship Mutual, said.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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