Five UK insurers slammed for allegedly "putting profit before principle"

The British providers get added to so-called 'dirty list'

Five UK insurers slammed for allegedly "putting profit before principle"


By Terry Gangcuangco

Five British insurance companies have been added by Burma Campaign UK to its so-called ‘dirty list’ due to the insurers’ role in aviation fuel deliveries to Burma.

Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, said in a release: “The Burmese military are using airstrikes indiscriminately against civilians, even against schools and hospitals, and insurance is a vital part of the supply chain delivering aviation fuel to Burma.”

According to the campaign organisation, UK P&I, Steamship Mutual, Britannia P&I, NorthStandard, and Shipowners’ Club failed to give a commitment to stop providing insurance cover to vessels involved in the deliveries.

Amnesty International report

The UK-based protection and indemnity (P&I) insurers were among the P&I clubs identified by Amnesty International in its “Deadly Cargo: Exposing the supply chain that fuels war crimes in Myanmar” report.

Amnesty International, which wrote to the insurers, said in the 150-page document: “The following P&I clubs provided insurance to the vessels at the time they transported aviation fuel: UK Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd. affiliated to UK P&I (Yu Dong); Japan Shipowners Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association affiliated to Japan P&I Club (Santya); Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd. affiliated to Steamship Mutual (Swarna Mala); QBE Asia Pacific (Synergy); The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Ltd. associated to Britannia P&I (Super Hero); Shipowners Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (Luxemburg) affiliated to Shipowners’ Club (Bhureemas); and North of England P&I Association affiliated to UK North P&I Club (Super Infinity).”

It was highlighted in the report that no vessel will transport any good without marine insurance.

‘Ignoring’ guidance

Burma Campaign UK, meanwhile, went on to cite guidance that was issued by the British government last year telling companies to avoid being involved in the supply of aviation fuel to the Burmese military. The campaign organisation asserted that the abovementioned UK insurers are ignoring the guidance.

Farmaner said: “These insurance clubs have clearly taken a decision not to add delivery of aviation fuel to their cover exclusions, despite knowing this means they may insure aviation fuel that reaches the Burmese military and is used to kill civilians. This is the definition of putting profit before principle.”

Burma Campaign UK’s dirty list spans 174 international companies that are either doing business with the military in Burma or involved in projects where there are human rights violations or environmental destruction.

What do you think about this story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!