Swiss Re-EF Marine to provide P&I cover to foreign ships calling at Indian ports

P Manoj MUMBAI | Updated on July 19, 2019 Published on July 19, 2019

The country’s maritime administration has approved Zurich-based Swiss Reinsurance Company or Swiss Re, whose liability cover against risks, including oil spills and collisions for foreign ships calling at India’s ports, will be accepted by the port authorities.

Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, has partnered with Singapore-based EF Marine Pte Ltd to underwrite a so-called Protection & Indemnity (P&I) cover against maritime claims.

The Swiss Re-EF Marine partnership joins a list of 13 other marine underwriters that were approved by the Directorate General of Shipping, according to a new rule effective from April 2012.

The Merchant Shipping (Regulation of Entry of Ships into Ports, Anchorages and Offshore Facilities) Rules, 2012, makes it mandatory for foreign ships of 300 gross tonnage (GT) or more, entering the country’s ports to hold a valid third-party liability cover against maritime claims.

Such third-party liability risks have to be insured either with the London-based International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (IG Clubs) or such other insurance company authorised by the government.

In shipping, third-party liabilities arising from operating ships such as oil pollution, wreck removal and damage to port property are commonly referred to as protection and indemnity.

Globally, such third-party risks are insured with IG Clubs, a 13-member group based in London that provides liability cover to about 90 per cent of the world’s ocean-going ships, placing a $1-billion limit on individual claims that involve pollution damage and wreck removal.

As the global shipping industry goes through a prolonged downturn, fleet-owners are taking cover from non-IG Clubs to cut their operating expenses. The implementation of new port entry rules would have posed a problem if non-IG Clubs firms that had insured ships calling at India’s ports were not approved by the government.

EF Marine provides ‘AA-’ rated security from Swiss Re with limits up to $500 million. “Through our partnership with Swiss Re, we provide our clients with first class security combined with EF Marine’s extensive knowledge of the P&I market,” EF Marine said.

Published on July 19, 2019
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