Human error caused 75% of global marine claims value 2011-2016, says AGCS

Human error contributed to 75% of the insured losses in marine over nearly 15,000 claims in the past six years, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s annual Global Claims Report 2017. AGCS noted that human error had long been regarded as a major cause of incidents in the shipping sector, with an estimated 75% to 96% of marine accidents attributable to human error (Safety & Shipping 1912-2012 From Titanic to Costa Concordia, AGCS). Such incidents also rank as the top cause of liability loss, driven by the high costs that can be associated with the impact of a major event, such as the increasingly expensive wreck removal, passenger and crew liabilities and pollution and litigation costs. AGCS analyzed 14,828 marine claims, covering the years 2011 to 2016, for the 2017 edition.

AGCS said that crew negligence and inadequate vessel maintenance were potentially increasing areas of risk, given the difficult current economic shipping environment, “particularly if shipowners opt to recruit crew with less experience and fewer qualifications/training in order to save money or choose to stretch maintenance work to the longest possible intervals”.

Negligence and/or poor maintenance is already one of the top causes of liability loss in the sector, AGCS said, emphasizing the importance of rigorous inspection and maintenance regimes.

Other major causes of liability loss include: crew injuries, subsequent loss of income and expenses such as medical costs; damages to cargo while engaged in handling activities; leaks at port terminals resulting in environmental damages; vessel collisions leading to pollution spills; and accidental damage to key infrastructure, such as natural gas pipes.