In recent years cargo losses worth more than one hundred million dollars have not been recovered under traditional cargo insurance policies due to critical exposures being excluded, warned Willis Group Holdings plc (WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker.
Heightened levels of political unrest and uncertainty have highlighted a significant gap in coverage for cargo risks around the world. That is because standard "all-risks" cargo insurance policies may not respond to losses arising from various types of violent unrest.
For example, traditional cargo insurance policies typically exclude certain losses, such as those arising from civil war, insurrection, rebellion and terrorism for goods in store. Meanwhile, political violence policies, which typically respond to these types of risk, usually exclude transit exposures and cover fixed assets rather than stock.
In response, Willis has launched a new insurance facility, called Undercover, to protect cargo in transit and in store against all types of political violence, terrorism and war risks.
Willis’s Undercover, which has received support from a panel of leading London Market insurers, wraps up the coverage provided by these different policies under a single facility, eliminating gaps in coverage and reducing premium costs by removing duplication of cover. It is understood that there is currently no other such facility available in the market.
Trevor McGarry, Executive Director of Willis’s marine insurance business, said: "It is apparent that many companies misunderstand their cover. They think they’re protected when in fact they are not. With all the unrest currently sweeping across the world it can be difficult for companies to be assured that they have the right cover in place, particularly when the definition of violent acts is open to interpretation. The violence in Syria, for example, has been inconsistently reported as a civil war, a rebellion, and an insurrection. And yet how these events are defined has a critical bearing on whether or not insurance policies will respond."
McGarry continued: "With that in mind, and given the extraordinary volume of losses that are not recoverable under traditional cargo insurance policies, Willis has created Undercover, a facility which protects companies against all their cargo exposures, regardless of whether that cargo is on land or at sea, in transit or in store."