RR&CO
LONDON MARITIME SOLICITORS

Marine Insurance

We resolve all disputes
involving the sea. 
We'll get you moving again.

Marine Insurance

 

Marine Insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, cargo, terminals, and any transport or cargo by which property is transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and final destination.

Hull Insurance & Builders' Risk

Experience dealing with all major policy forms, including:

  • Institute Hull Clauses 01.11.2003 and 01.11.2002
  • Section 55 MIA 1906
  • Institute Time Clauses - Hulls CL 280 (01.11.95)
  • Institute Additional Perils Clause - Hulls (01.10.83)
  • International Hull Clauses (01.11.02)
  • Institute Warranties CL 26 (01.07.76)
  • Institute Port Risk Clauses CL 312 (20.07.87)
  • Institute Time Clauses - Port Risks CL 311 (20.07.87)
  • Broker Cancellation Clause
  • Several Liability Clause (direct or reinsurance as applicable) ISW 1001
  • Notice of cancellation, automatic termination of cover and war and nuclear exclusions clause - Hulls, etc. CL 359 (01.01.95)
  • Service of Suit Clause (Marine) LPO 17d

Coverage issues

  • Included and excluded losses
  • Wilful misconduct of assured
  • Delay
  • Ordinary wear and tear
  • Disclosure and representations
  • Utmost good faith
  • Non disclosure of a material fact
  • Disclosure by agent
  • Untrue representations
  • Double insurance
  • Warranties
  • Section 33 Warranty
  • Express warranties
  • Warranty of seaworthiness of ship
  • Interpretation of slip and policy wordings

Policy INTERPRETATION

Our experience with coverage issues relate to the interpretation of (unique) slip or policy wording (and rarely involve the wording of the institute clauses) or involve the issues of non disclosure of material facts/statutory warranties (section 33 warranties + the warranty of seaworthiness) as well as express warranties. Recent cases have involved the interaction of undisclosed principals with the non disclosure of material facts relating to the undisclosed principal. 

The institute clauses are tried and tested and rarely promote disputes or litigation. However the Joint Hull Committee have recently issued the international hull clauses (01.11.03). This new policy form incorporates detailed changes to the international hull clauses of the previous year, although the basic structure remains the same.

The new clauses are aimed at accelerating the claims process and set out the rights and obligations of both the assured and the underwriters in relation to the submission, review and settlement of hull claims. An important obligation placed upon the underwriters is to make a decision on a claim within 28 days. 

However, unlike the Norwegian hull plan there is no sanction applied to underwriters if they fail to pay within a set period. The new policy form broadens the latent defect coverage, adopts the BIMCO general average absorption wording and removes the effect of under insurance for claims of salvage, sue and labour, and general average. On the flip side of the coin, the new policy form no longer provides cover for a final scrapping voyage, and places an obligation on the owners/managers to provide notice of the claim as soon as they become aware of a loss or damage.

Overall, the international hull clauses (01.11.03) are to be applauded, they reflect a sophisticated move forward in marine wordings to be expected from a London market that over the last ten years has finally come of age. 


Freight, Defence & Demurrage (FD&D)

FD&D insurance is essentially: 

"Legal expenses insurance covering shipowners or charterers for their contractual disputes arising out of the operation of ships."

FD&D insurance may be likened to the fourth leg of the table after H&M, P&I and Charterers Liability. Although the assured bears the result of such a dispute, nevertheless the concerned underwriters pay for all the legal costs of a dispute including general advice, the issue of dunning letters and/or arbitrating or litigating the dispute through to an award or judgment. Indeed were the action to fail and opponents costs awarded against the assured, then these also would be paid by underwriters.

FD&D also covers matters which have not (yet) escalated into a dispute. We run the provision of such FD&D legal services for a various Lloyd's and Company underwriters usually led by Travelers Syndicate 5000, also featured on the slip may be Navigators Insurance Company, AIG and Federal Insurance Company. Under this facility we are available on a 24/7 basis to provide legal advice on the assured's shipping contracts. 

This legal advice service, although reality based, can be an extremely useful tool in the shipowner's or charterer's toolbox. Charterers engaged in international trade contracting with overseas entities can have legal support and assistance direct from senior London solicitors ready to step in and fight their case as and when needed. 

We are also engaged by the FD&D departments of various international P&I clubs to provide legal case handling assistance. 

Recoveries

  • Allocation of recoveries as between underwriter and assured
  • Doctrine of abandonment
  • Doctrine of subrogation
  • Excess of deductible: entitled to receive proceeds up to extent of own loss
  • ITC hulls 01.10.83/01.11.95 Clause 12.3
  • Assured must not prejudice underwriter's rights of subrogation

Marine Professional Negligence

Marine professional negligence is a common law tort which in essence is a breach of the duty of care of professionals such as agents or brokers (chartering/ insurance / bunker / sale & purchase / ships agents etc) or other marine professionals such as Average Adjusters.

Marine professional negligence claims have become more common in recent years particularly in times of economic downturn, where losses su ered are often more apparent.

RR&CO act on behalf of leading underwriters at Lloyd’s advising on coverage and recoveries in relation to marine professional negligence insurance policies.

Important Update: The Tort of Unlawful Means Conspiracy

The Tort of Unlawful Means Conspiracy is a radical change in the law, opening the floodgates for litigation. The newly defined tort arises where:

“Two or more parties agree to use unlawful means to injure the claimant [and, as a result of which, the claimant suffers damage]"

It follows that now (post 2008) any form of illegality, whether criminal or civil, will suffice for unlawful means. The effect of this is that such a conspiracy might be relatively easy to establish in highly interlinked transactions, and the unlawful means could be satisfied by a relatively minor breach of regulations, provided that this was the means of inflicting the harm. The required intention to injure need not be a predominant intention, but instead could be subordinate to the conspirators’ own self-interest.

Of course, criminal prosecutions for fraud are subject to the criminal burden of proof of 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. However, the standard of proof for the tort of Unlawful Means Conspiracy is the ordinary civil standard of 'on the balance of probabilities'. 

Shipping & Insurance Fraud

Often it is the seemingly innocuous email that passes through which results in large transfers to third party fraudsters. Complex shipping and insurance frauds are a particular specialty of this firm.

Choosing the Right Team for the Job

Such cases require forensic examination of documents, identification of the source of emails, interrogation of clients’ IT systems and invariably asset tracing of the fraud proceeds. Part of our team is Blackhawk Investigations, who act as our Corporate Investigators. Dominika is their Head of Operations, read her bio here.

Real Expertise in this Area

Although the vast majority of fraud matters we deal with for both the London and Scandinavian insurance market remain confidential some are reported in the law reports (the most recent published would be Ariela v. Kamal).

Assistance from the Experts

Our Corporate Investigators can be dealing with your case within minutes, ensuring vital evidence is preserved and recovery avenues remain open.


View our other Areas of Expertise:

ADMIRALTY LAW | CHARTERPARTIES | CARGO | MARINE INSURANCE

OFFSHORE AND ENERGY INSURANCE | S&P AND NEWBUILDING CONSTRUCTION

 
 

A Full Service Maritime Law Firm