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Insurers exclude war damage from ship policies


Shipowners who send their ships to Russia or Ukraine face a problem: well-known insurers no longer want to cover war damage. This could make transport even more expensive.

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Russian oil tanker “Vladimir Monomakh”: the main thing is that you are well insured?

Photo: Press Office of the Zvezda Shipy / ITAR-TASS / IMAGO

Grain from Mariupol or liquid gas from Russia: Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, trips to Russia or Ukraine have been considered particularly sensitive in the shipping industry.

The risk is now apparently too great for the insurance industry.

Several large ship liability insurers excluded war damage for ships in the region from their policies at the turn of the year because reinsurers no longer want to bear the corresponding risks.

This was announced by several well-known mutual insurers who specialize in liability risks - the so-called P&I clubs.

From January onwards, all damage “related to a conflict between Russia and Ukraine or its expansion” will be excluded, according to the website of the provider P&I American.

The fact that the ship liability insurers are restricting the policies is due to the reinsurance.

They take on the risks of major claims from the liability providers - and no longer want to be responsible for war risks, as the industry says.

For reinsurers such as Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re and the syndicates on the London insurance market Lloyd's, the contract negotiations with customers from the insurance industry, which are often due in the new year, are the first opportunity since the outbreak of the Ukraine war in February to limit their risks.

Ships are usually insured in two different ways.

The ship's hull insurance covers the ship and the machines themselves against damage, while third-party liability (»P&I«) covers third-party claims, for example due to damaged cargo, personal injury, environmental damage or collisions with other ships.

According to industry sources, with the abolition of policies, shipping prices are likely to rise and some ships may be sent on voyages without insurance.

Munich Re and Swiss Re did not want to comment on the development.

The reinsurers in the three countries also want to withdraw war coverage for aircraft, as can be seen from draft contracts reported by Reuters.

The Japanese government has asked insurers to continue offering cover for ships transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Russian waters, officials said.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-12-28

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