Insurance to Shield Chinese and Asian Vessels in Conflict Zones

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(Image Courtesy: Bluebird Marine Systems)

A marine insurance facility, ‘Hong Kong China War Risk Syndicate’ (HKCWRS), to protect Chinese and Asian ship owners from the risks of war and piracy related adversities, was launched on Monday (November 20.

The facility is supported by Asia Insurance, a wing of Hong Kong’s Asia Financial Holdings Limited. It is available to shipowners in Hong Kong, China and all Asian flag, owned, managed or chartered vessels.

The insurance covers marine hulls for acts of war, piracy attacks and other perils. The maximum limit per hull is USD 100 million.

While the Asia Insurance will lead the HKCWRS, a number of other high profile insurers including ‘China Taiping Insurance’ (Hong Kong), are also backing the syndicate in a subscription format.

The war risk insurance will not just be limited to bombs and missiles. It does not require a formal declaration of war but includes other aspects such as rebellion, insurrection, derelict mines, torpedo strikes, civil commotion, confiscation, restraint and detainment by a ruling power, the insurers said.

A special feature of the insurance is the ability of insurers to give notice to reappraise the situation in the event of increased risk. HKCWRS will create a specific ‘War Risk Committee’ including owners, underwriters, brokers, security advisors, who will come together to discuss, review and respond to issues.

Winnie Wong, Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer of Asia Insurance said, “We believe the time is right for such a facility to be made available for Chinese and other Asian ship owners. Hong Kong and China together form one of the world’s largest ship registries. It is important that as this fleet grows, owners have a range of options available for their insurance needs.”

HKCWRS will work with all approved local brokers and agents who will place the business on behalf of owners. HKCWRS will recommend whether security services/armed guards should be deployed on board vessels.

Managing Director of JLJ Maritime HK, Jonathan Jones said, “The facility is on hand to serve the needs of owners locally and our service will be provided on the ground and face to face in local time. Claims will be handled quickly and professionally, and all legitimate claims will be met.”

Sea News, November 21