Lloyd’s broker teams up with security specialist to offer piracy solution

A security specialist and a Lloyd’s broker have teamed up to offer an integrated solution to protect ships operating in the piracy prone Gulf of Aden.

Hart Security and Swinglehurst have launched Protected Gulf of Aden Transits.

Hart said: ‘As piracy is considered a peril, many existing insurance products do not cover ship owners for the financial loss resulting from a vessel being hijacked. Protected Transits not only provides such cover but does so at very attractive rates, as each vessel is accompanied by an experienced Hart maritime security team.’

The insurance provides cover for hull and machinery, war risks, kidnap and ransom, while no deduction is made for physical damage cover. Additional vessel detention cover can also be requested, to protect against potential loss of earnings.

Commenting on the launch Hugh Martin, general manager of Hart Security UK said: ‘With this region so prone to piracy and yet crucial to world trade, our innovative solution benefits ship owners, seafarers and charters alike.’

Summary of Protected Transits cover:

Insurance cover placed 100 % at Lloyd’s of London

Vessels and crews protected by Hart professionals

Hull values and war P&I covered - each to $75m

Violent theft, piracy and barratry included within war risk cover

No deductable for physical damage cover

Vessel detention cover available, against loss of earnings.

Piracy in the Gulf of Aden

Located between Yemen to the North, Somalia to the South and with the Red Sea and Suez Canal to the Northwest, the Gulf of Aden is a vital artery for world trade. Some 16,000 vessels pass through these waters annually, with many ships enroute to the Suez Canal, through which 10 per cent of global seaborne trade passed in 2007.

There has recently been a major increase in piracy in the waters off Somalia and especially within the Gulf of Aden.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, in the third quarter of 2008, 26 vessels were hijacked by Somali pirates with 537 crew members taken hostage and a further 21 vessels were fired upon. Ransom demands are also rising, with USD 20.0 million demanded by Somali pirates for the release of the Ukrainian vessel MV Faina and her 20-man crew, following their capture on 25 September 2008.

Recent attacks

According to reports, Somali pirates seized two more ships, including their largest prize so far, the Saudi Aramco VLCC Sirius Star. The other was a Japanese owned chemical tanker, the Chemstar Venus. Meanwhile a chemical tanker Stolt Valor was released after payment of a ransom of $2,5m, said the reports.