Specialist insurance business Beazley has launched a new product, called piracy plus, in response to the recent increase in hijackings in the Gulf of Guinea.
Specialist piracy cover launched for Gulf of Guinea risks.
In response to a growing incidence of hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea, Beazley has launched the Gulf of Guinea Piracy Plus, the first tailored piracy policy of its kind designed specifically for shipowners with vessels operating in the region. The product combines cover for both the kidnapping of crew for ransom and the illegal seizure of the vessel for theft of cargo along with the inclusion of a tailored risk assessment and comprehensive incident response service provided by Maritime Asset Security and Training (MAST) Ltd.
The service provided by MAST includes a threat and risk assessment, safety guidance on operating in the Gulf of Guinea, and optional 24-hour vessel tracking. In the event of an incident, ship monitoring and cargo tracking takes place and an armed security team will be deployed when the vessel has been released by pirates to aid the safe return to the ship owner. MAST’s regional presence will ensure that incident response times are fast and risk assessments can be undertaken locally.
Michael Sharp, kidnap and ransom underwriter at Beazley Group said: “The risk of piracy off West Africa is significant. Unlike attacks off Somalia where hijacks focus on holding the crew for ransom, the pirates in the Gulf of Guinea usually focus on the theft of cargo where the associated costs are not covered under a standard piracy policy. As such, we recognised there was a need for a tailored service for ships operating there, and we are delighted that MAST has agreed to provide such a service to our clients.”
Philip Cable, CEO of MAST said: “We are delighted to be working with Beazley on Gulf of Guinea Piracy Plus. Hijack incidents are extremely stressful and worrying for ship owners, and in order for them to be resolved successfully it is vital that the appropriate measures are taken in an appropriate and timely fashion. Our local presence and contacts facilitate cargo recovery and safe transit for the ship owners’ employees after release.”