Insurers could face huge hull loss from Lürssen shipyard fire

The marine divisions of several insurers look to be facing a loss approaching €600m ($720m) as a result of the fire that broke out in superyacht shipyard Lürssen on the morning of Friday September 14th.

The fire was brought under control by the following day. Firefighters battled through the night with 20 ship firefighting specialists from Hamburg at the shipyard in Bremen-Aumund. Special equipment was used to gain access to the burning yacht Sassi, the possible source of the conflagration. The outer construction of the shed and a roof caught fire to an estimated length of 130 meres and initially it was extremely difficult to access the inside of the shed and the source of the fire. Smoke emitted from the shed, but even after this stopped the intense heat inside the building made it impossible for crews to advance deeper into the floating dock. Nearly 500 firefighting personnel contributed to the operation. The dock itself, which looked in danger of capsizing, was eventually stabilized.

Re-insurance reported that the building risk slip for Sassi was understood to be led by QBE, which was exposed to 4.7% of the almost €750mn Marsh-brokered risk policy, which incepted in October 2014.

Lancashire held about 9% of the slip, equating to a line size of around €70m.

RSA, Beazley and Atrium were reported to have written between 5% and 6% of the slip.

The shipyard’s owners said on September 17th that investigations were ongoing to find the cause of the fire. However, the cause of the incident as well as the extent of damage caused to the shipyard was currently still unknown.