Strike Club, a leader in the niche market of marine delay insurance, has reported rising claims levels and said in late November that the claims climate had been worsening considerably.
Strike Club Management chairman and chief executive Bill Milligan said that new risks such as the Ebola crisis had led to port closures and had put extra pressure on ship operators trading into West Africa.
The Club has called for a general increase of 10% for Classes I and II (shore-related risks) for the policy year commencing February 1 2015, and a general increase of 5% for ship-related risks. The 5% figure is in line with the average increases proposed by most P&I clubs that have already released details of their planned price increases.
Strike said that in the 2013/14 year there were many strikes in South America, which affected numerous entered vessels. There were a number of issues in Africa, while in the Far East there were events in Hong Kong and Indonesia. Strike Club has set a release call of 30%. The directors said that they planned to cover part of the anticipated shortfall from contingency funds, but advised members to budget for a closing call of 30%, with a release call of 40%.
Strike Club said that the 2014/15 year had begun with a similar level of claims to 2013/14. Members have been advised once again to budget for a 30% closing call and a release call of 40%.
In Class III both years have developed as expected, with a 20% budge closing call.
A broad range of events cause delays to marine, with closure of port or sea lane leading the pack at 17.9% over the past five years. Collision causes 15% of claims, followed by stevedores' strikes (13.7%), port workers' strikes (11.5%) and damage to machinery (10.2%).
The Club noted that in 29 West Coast US ports there had as yet been no new agreement on employment contracts that expired in July. Should there be a shutdown, that could cost $2bn a day in losses.