Underwriter Response

As the International Union of Marine Insurance prepares for its upcoming annual conference, president Ole Wikborg has spoken out on piracy.

Mr Wikborg said the conference will have a significant focus on the piracy problems in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, as he deemed that the problems are, “an absolutely unacceptable disruption of global trade to which marine insurers must respond.”

He added: “The cargo as well as the hull and machinery insurance markets have made their contributions to mitigate the financial losses resulting from the hijacking or detainment of vessels. Insurers have also helped in negotiations with the pirates and to provide the funds demanded to release crews and return them safely to their homes and families.”

The decisions taken at the conference may well shape the future response of underwriters, and speakers will be urging solutions rasther than simply reassessing the problems. One issue expected to be discussed at length is the use of armed guards, and the vetting of maritime security providers.

Peter Cook of SAMI will be addressing the conference, to provide reassurance to the underwriting community on not simply the ability of private maritime security providers to offer a pragmatic solution to piracy, but one which can be controlled, monitored and the highest standards safeguarded.

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