Modern pirates call for modern measures

Sydney, 7 September 2009

Sydney: What happens if pirates hijack a boat to extort a ransom? Or, what happens if a voyage is terminated due to an act of war?

These are some of the questions answered in Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty’s (AGCS) most recent report ‘Protection against Piracy’, which responds to brokers’ frequently asked questions on how marine insurance policies respond to piracy.

AGCS in Australia released the report as a follow-up to the recent AGCS study ‘Piracy: An ancient risk with modern faces’.

The report will be available as a reference tool for brokers to use when discussing with their clients the exposure piracy might create for their business and what protection marine insurance policies may offer.

The recent events in one of the world’s busiest shipping channels off the coast of Somalia through the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aden demonstrate that the ancient risk of seaborne piracy against transport vessels continues to be a significant concern for international trade today, albeit with a new focus.

General Manager for AGCS Pacific, Stefan Feldmann said: “Pirates have been around for as long as people have used the sea as trade routes”.

“Recent events in one of the world’s busiest shipping channels off the coast of Somalia through the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden, illustrates that seaborne piracy against transport vessels continues to be a significant concern for international trade today,” Mr Feldmann said.

“It is often difficult to stay abreast of insurance policies covering piracy. The Report was developed create awareness around technical content on what an act of piracy is, and some of the salient clauses in the standard marine insurance wordings in use that could apply to acts of piracy,“ he said.

Included in the report are details on how marine insurance clauses may respond to piratical acts. Some of the key areas covered include:

  • What happens if the voyage is terminated due to an act of war and cargo is discharged at an unintended foreign port?
  • What happens if the ship or cargo is captured, seized, arrested or detained as an act of war?
  • Can the Insured claim for loss of the Interest when it is unable to gain access to it even though the Interest is known not have been damaged or destroyed?
  • What happens if the act is carried out by a group who is politically or religiously inspired?
  • What happens if the ‘so called’ pirates are hijacking the Interests to extort a ransom?

The Report will assist brokers to understand how their clients’ marine insurance policies may respond to such events.

The total cost of piracy on the global economy has been estimated to be between US$13 and US$16 billion each year.1

Media enquiries

Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia
Ph. 02-9390 6596
0416 088 414

About Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

AGC&S was formed from the merger of Allianz Global Risks and Allianz Marine & Aviation beginning in November 2005 and was launched as a wholly owned entity of Allianz SE. AGC&S is uniquely equipped to serve its customers needs, providing not only financial strength but also an unequalled global network of specialists with established industry records who support a diverse array of products and services. AGC&S’s industry Global Practice Groups maintain standards for risk assessment, grading and pricing to ensure that customers can expect the same consistently high level of expertise and underwriting throughout its network. Experts from its Global Underwriting Centers provide clients with specialist knowledge and specific underwriting solutions. AGC&S operates in about 70 countries and works with additional network partners in many more across the globe. In addition, decades of rich experience as a corporate insurer put unique tools at our disposal to benefit our clients. These include:

  • Allianz Risk Transfer (ART), a special unit that customizes insurance and financial solutions for difficult risks;
  • Allianz Risk Consultants (ARC), a global network of over 180 regionally based experts who understand the distinctive needs of their local market and industry; and
  • Allianz Centre for Technology (AZT), a highly respected body worldwide that provides technical expertise in risk, safety, technology and sustainable development.

Allianz Australia

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and also provides life insurance.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.

Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2008, the company achieved a gross written premium or approximately AU$2.5 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.

Allianz’s commitment to social, Greenhouse Challenge Plusenvironmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised Allianz as the most sustainable general insurer in the world in 2007.In Australia, Allianz is a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.