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West P&I Club launches new Piracy Protection product

This latest product is tailored to meet new patterns of piracy costs to owners, with extended coverage and emergency response expertise

Posted on: 18 January 2024

West P&I Club, a global leader in marine insurance, has today launched West Piracy Protection to help owners manage the evolving threat of piracy in high-risk waters.

The new product provides cover for vessels entering a War & Piracy ‘breach’ area, such as the Gulf of Aden or the Gulf of Guinea, where there is a heightened risk of vessels being seized.

This innovative offering is tailored to provide insurance protection for piracy events where the traditional War policy coverage does not respond adequately to indemnify clients for the typical seizure situations that can take place in these geographic areas. This includes incidents when ships are sometimes held for just a few hours at a time.

Indemnities are provided for ransoms, including loss of transit of a ransom, and the costs of response consultants and legal experts, including reputational risk expenses. Expert support is provided for employees directly impacted by the seizure. Additional coverage is available for Loss of Hire related to a seizure, and for a maximum period of 14 days after release of the vessel.

This product has been developed in partnership with the Hamilton Global Specialty (“Hamilton”) underwriting platform written by Syndicate 4000 at Lloyd’s. Embedded emergency expertise is provided by Crisis24, one of the industry’s largest exclusively retained crisis response teams, and global law firm HFW, a market leader in the specialist field of piracy response.

Richard Turner (pictured left), Head of Product Development at West said: “West Piracy Protection responds to the realities of the evolving piracy threat faced by owners in such locations as the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea. We have seen a pattern of incidents where a vessel is hijacked for just a few hours, meaning that current market wording on Loss of Hire may not be triggered, or ceases as soon as the vessel is released, with little regard for the knock-on consequences, which may include crew changes or vessel repairs.

“Our new product will stand out from the market, not just for the extended coverage but also the embedded expertise we can offer with Crisis24 and HFW. Through this new offering, we look forward to providing West Members and other shipowners with the support to manage the ever-present threat of piracy.”

Mark Mathews (pictured right), Deputy Head of Underwriting (London) added: “We are excited to launch West Piracy Protection. We have worked closely with Hamilton to develop an innovative product that addresses a number of identified needs in the market where existing cover falls short. This new product enables West to offer a tailored piracy protection solution alongside our existing West War policy (launched in March 2023).”

Ship owners and operators can purchase West Piracy Protection as an extension to the West War policy, or as a product on a standalone basis. It is also available to non-West clients.

West Piracy Protection joins other specialist products offered by West, including West Hull (H&M) and West War, both launched by West in 2023. West also provides other diversified products, delivered with expert partners such as Nordic Marine Insurance, Qwest and Astaara, ensuring Club Members are fully supported at every stage of their voyage.

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