Warning from UK cargo specialist broker re Red Sea; keep insurers in the loop

With some marine cargo vessels with Israeli connections already changing their routes following the recent attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, marine cargo insurance specialist Ascend Broking has urged forwarders to not forget to advise their insurer of any changes.

Ascend Broking’s specialist marine cargo insurance team is headed by Matt Price. It noted that the shipping route declared to an insurer when a policy was taken out constituted a material fact. This effectively contributes to the insurer’s consideration of the risk and the premium payable. Any alteration to the route could affect the insurance policy’s validity in the event of a claim. Any change in route could also impact on the goods being carried, especially if perishable, which would again affect the insurance cover, the broker said.

Ascend observed that, with 12% of global trade and 30% of global container traffic passing through the Suez Canal between the Mediterranean and Red Sea, the current situation in the area represented a crisis scenario.

Changes to shipping plans also opened up a greater risk of cargo theft and interception by criminal gangs. Those not changing their route, but sticking to the Red Sea / Suze / Eastern Mediterranean, could find themselves encountering delays – something not typically covered as standard by an insurance policy, but which could be written into specific policy wording.

Matt Price said that “any carrier or forwarder using the Red Sea route, or business that has goods on board vessels that take that pathway between Europe and the Middle East and Asia, needs to be checking on their insurance cover and ensuring it is valid and serving their needs. We can review any policy currently in place and offer our expert opinion on any changes required.”