Insurers face multi-million-dollar claims from Maersk Honam fire
The blaze on the "Maersk Honam" has rocked the insurance industry with a repair bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, although some shippers will not have been insured. The vessel was still-smouldering while being towed slowly northwards to a port of refuge, heading slowly in the direction of Mumbai, being in vicinity 14 05N 065 14E on March 16. Hundreds of containers in the fore section of the mega ship appeared to be a total loss, but boxes stowed behind the superstructure and in the aft section looked intact. Maersk declared a general average (GA) on March 9 and appointed Liverpool-based average adjuster Richards Hogg Lindley to collect the necessary GA security. It has advised cargo owners, including 2M partner MSC, of its decision to declare GA. MSC requested its customers to contact their insurance company so that the cargo can be released without delay. There was no reliable information regarding the condition of the cargo. Many of the shippers may not have arranged any marine cargo insurance and will be in for a shock when the average adjusters require a substantial deposit before the release of undamaged containers. For cargo that was insured, marine reinsurance branches are bracing for an avalanche of claims.