As the shipping industry heaved a collective sigh of relief after the Ever Given, grounded in the Suez Canal since March 23, was refloated on Monday, one of the next big concerns is the marine insurance fall-out.
From a marine insurance perspective, this incident is unlikely to impact significantly on cargo claims as insurance cover does not usually include delays, according to the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI).
Depending on the detail of the policy, insurance is also unlikely to cover damage to cargo caused by a delay, the organisation points out. “However, if damage caused by delay is included, this may also affect cargo on other vessels impacted by the closure of the canal.”
The relevant hull & machinery (H&M) and cargo interests, or their insurers, will likely be responsible for the cost of the salvage operations and any General Average costs that may be incurred, says the IUMI.
Other claims, including loss of vessel hire or damage to the canal itself, are likely to be directed to the protection & indemnity (P&I) or other specialist insurer.
“From a wider perspective, marine underwriters are continuously assessing the changing profile of the risks they insure,” said Richard Turner, IUMI president. “The trend for larger container vessels has highlighted a number of potential issues such as compromised manoeuvrability in high winds, an increasing number of onboard fires, challenges surrounding salvage, and the lack of availability of suitable repair facilities. Underwriters need to be aware of this,” he added.