Maritime security – the kidnap and ransom insurance question

16 February 2015

If you are tendering for maritime security contracts, do you include kidnap and ransom insurance for your operatives and if so, how much will it be?

This is the question vexing maritime security consultants as they respond to the growing number of tender requests in areas like the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, where the threat from pirate activity is escalating.

Meeting BIMCO GUARDCON standards

When it comes to insuring operatives, most shipowners now expect maritime security companies to meet the insurance requirements referred to in the BIMCO GUARDCON standards. This requires maritime security companies to cover operatives for public and employer liability, and professional indemnity, as well as provision for repatriating injured operatives once they are landed.

The grey area appears to be kidnap and ransom cover. GUARDCON states that kidnap and ransom for on-board maritime security operatives can be covered by the shipowner – but most shipowners are reluctant to reveal whether they have kidnap and ransom in place. 

A sensitive issue

Kidnap and ransom insurance is an especially sensitive issue, both for maritime security companies and shipowners. Companies tendering for contracts on board ships are frequently faced with the dilemma of whether their bid should allow for kidnap and ransom premium or whether it should rely on the ship’s insurance to provide adequate cover for their personnel. 

However, understandably, shipowners are reluctant to release information about their insurance arrangements in case it should end up in the public domain. There is also the matter of extra administration when it comes to adding extra personnel to their policy. 

A flexible solution for $100 per transit

Bellwood Prestbury has developed a flexible and affordable solution to this problem. Using our status as Lloyd’s Coverholders we are able to offer maritime security operators an ongoing kidnap and ransom policy with cover of up $1m on a call off basis, so that companies only pay for operatives when they are on board ship. Starting from as little as $100 per transit, it’s a cost-effective way to ensure operatives are properly covered. 

Set up on an annual basis, it makes it easy to include appropriate costs in tender requests and cuts down on administration when operations become active.

As well as kidnap and ransom insurance, we also provide maritime security firms with a range of other competitively priced protection including combined liability, life, personal accident and emergency medical and evacuation cover.

If you need information about kidnap and ransom insurance for your maritime security personnel or any other type of high-risk cover please contact the Bellwood Prestbury team on +44 (0) 207 305 5650 or contact us now.

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Categories: Kidnap & ransom, Maritime Security

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