Edited from Tradewinds, 2012.09.17
Reported total ship losses have reached 39 this year compared to 24 at the same period of last year according to Harry Yerkes, chairman of the International Union of Marine Insurance’s (IUMI) ocean hull committee.
Yerkes warns that early casualty figures deteriorate quite markedly over the following 12 months so it would be no surprise if the 2012 total loss figure trebled in due course.
The falling insured value of ships and even shipping companies going out of business was adding to the claims pressure on underwriters according to Yerkes.
“This is putting us all under the gun,” Yerkes added ahead of the IUMI conference in San Diego.
The heavy claims and other pressures meant the outlook for the hull market was at best break even said Yerkes who is chief executive of the American Hull Insurance Syndicate.
Yerkes said underwriters would be questioning if they have analysed risk appropriately, what ship operators were doing to assess their operations and the safety and regulatory issues arising.
It would be bad enough even without the loss of Costa Concordia…