West P&I Club launches new piracy protection product

New proposition covers vessels entering "breach" areas

West P&I Club launches new piracy protection product


By Kenneth Araullo

Marine insurer West P&I Club has announced the launch of its new product, West Piracy Protection, designed to assist shipowners in navigating the increased risks of piracy in areas such as the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea.

The product specifically targets situations where vessels enter designated war and piracy “breach” areas, which are known for heightened piracy risks. West Piracy Protection aims to fill gaps in traditional war policy coverage, which may not fully address the nuances of piracy incidents in these regions, including cases where ships are held for short periods.

Key features of West Piracy Protection include indemnities for ransoms and related expenses, such as loss during ransom transit, fees for response consultants, legal experts, and costs associated with reputational risk.

The policy also provides support for employees directly affected by piracy incidents. It offers additional coverage options, including loss of hire for a maximum of 14 days post-vessel release, addressing the aftermath of a seizure.

This insurance product is a collaborative effort between West P&I Club and the Hamilton Global Specialty underwriting platform, underwritten by Syndicate 4000 at Lloyd’s. It also integrates expertise from Crisis24, known for its crisis response capabilities, and the global law firm HFW, which specialises in piracy response.

West Piracy Protection is available as an addition to the West War policy or as a standalone product. It is also accessible to non-West clients. The launch of this product complements West's existing portfolio, which includes West Hull (H&M) and West War, both introduced in 2023.

Richard Turner, head of product development at West, highlighted the unique aspects of the product, noting its relevance to the changing patterns of piracy incidents.

“Our new product will stand out from the market, not just for the extended coverage but also the embedded expertise we can offer with Crisis24 and HFW. Through this new offering, we look forward to providing West Members and other shipowners with the support to manage the ever-present threat of piracy,” Turner said.

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