A new marine insurance facility aimed at protecting Chinese and Asian ship owners from the risks of war and piracy has been launched.

Named the Hong Kong China War Risk Syndicate (HKCWRS), the facility is supported by Asia Insurance, part of Hong Kong’s Asia Financial Holdings Limited. It is available to ship owners in Hong Kong, China plus all Asian flag, owned, managed or chartered vessels.

The insurance covers marine hulls for acts of war, piracy attacks and other perils. The maximum limit per hull is US$100m.

Asia Insurance will lead the HKCWRS. A number of other high profile insurers including China Taiping Insurance (Hong Kong) are also backing the syndicate in a subscription format.

The HKCWRS has been welcomed by the Hong Kong Ship owners’ Association’s incoming Chairman Jack Hsu as well as the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers. Other supporters include the HK Transport & Housing Bureau and the HK Maritime and Port Board in Hong Kong as well as leading maritime law firms, banks and insurance brokers.

Winnie Wong, Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer of Asia Insurance, said: “We aim to support Hong Kong as a leading marine insurance market, and this is the first step on our journey. This facility also strongly supports the Belt and Road initiative which is a primary objective of China’s overseas trade development.”

War Risk insurance is not just about bombs and missiles flying and does not require a formal declaration of war. It includes rebellion, insurrection, derelict mines and torpedos strikes, civil commotion, confiscation, restraint and detainment by a ruling power.

A unique feature of the insurance is the ability of insurers to give notice to reappraise the situation in the event of increased risk.

HKCWRS will create a specific War Risk Committee including owners, underwriters, brokers, security advisors who will come together to discuss, review and respond to issues. The Committee will take into account other similar war committees’ positions but will adopt an independent approach.

HKCWRS will make recommendations on whether armed guards should be deployed on board vessels.


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