US Bodily Injury News November 2011
drawn up, whether the plan was reviewed regularly, and how many revisions were made to the plan? The crewmembers themselves have already called notice into the spotlight by acknowledging that they had received security training, which included a focus on pirate attacks.
Of course, this cuts both ways. It can be argued that the crew had notice as well. In fact, some have wondered whether the crew in fact knew where they were going when they signed on and received extra pay as a result.
It will be very interesting to see how the court cases play out.
In the event your ship is ever attacked by pirates, what is covered by the Club?
P&I insurance responds only where an insured shipowner has a legal liability. There is no legal requirement or obligation to make a ransom payment and thus, the most costly item, a ransom payment, is not covered.
The P&I rules do not contain a piracy exclusion and the usual types of claims that the Club insures will be covered, such as, death, injury, illness, repatriation and loss of crew’s effects.
P&I insurance excludes war risks. This exclusion is typically triggered by the use of “weapons of war.” Interestingly, there is no definition of “weapons of
war,” however, it is generally accepted that a weapon of war is something more than just guns, rifles or conventional ammunition. For example, the use of a rocket propelled grenade would probably be considered a weapon of war and would likely trigger the war risk exclusion.
Some war risk policies include piracy as a specific names peril, in which case, the P&I liabilities are covered by the war risk carrier and not the Club.
What about security guards?
There is no cover restriction or prohibition per se on having onboard security personnel. However, whether the guards should be armed has become quite a controversial issue. For many years, it was a strongly held view that guards should not be armed, however, there has been a shift lately, likely due to the failure of other measures to reduce pirate activity.
Several international organizations now appear to be moving towards endorsing the use of armed guards. There are several risks inherent with the use of armed guards onboard ships. First, there is the risk of escalation in violence in the event that the vessel is attacked by pirates. Secondly, there is an increased risk of a firefight between pirates and security guards that could lead to death or injury of the crew, pirates or innocent bystanders. Lastly, there is a risk of serious damage to the vessel, it’s cargo and other property.
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