Maritime Security – average cost of ransom estimated at $3.5 – $4.5m

25 May 2011

Maritime security – protecting vessels at sea – is becoming ever more important as the frequency and cost of pirate activity spirals.

A new report from Geopolicity (May 2011) entitled The Economics of Piracy states that there has been an alarming escalation of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The first quarter of 2011 saw over 117 ships being attacked and 338 crewmembers held for ransom. The report goes on to estimate the average ransom paid is between US$3.5m and US$4.5m, with the total cost of piracy to the international community as high as US$8.3bn per year.

Bellwood Prestbury is a specialist in maritime security insurance, providing cover for vessels, crewmembers and cargoes. The firm has seen a significant increase in requests for cover and in particular, for personal accident and liability cover for maritime security teams contracted to protect vessels on their voyages through dangerous waters.

Rob Thompson, Director at Bellwood Prestbury, says that more and more ship owners are using maritime security agencies to prepare defensive measures and to provide guards to protect vessels in transit. “The agencies need to insure their people against death, disability or dismemberment. They usually want to include medical evacuation insurance and may want some form of maritime liability insurance to cover possible harm to crewmembers or damage to the vessel or cargo while evading potential capture.”

Bellwood Prestbury’s Lloyd’s Coverholder status means that the firm can quickly organise bespoke maritime security cover on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual call-off, minimising administration and providing a single point of contact to ensure that people are properly covered before any vessel sets sail.

For more information on bespoke maritime security insurance for vessels, crewmembers, cargoes or security teams, call Bellwood Prestbury on: +44 (0) 1242 584 558.

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