The Hellenic War Risks Club is celebrating its 50th year of operation in 2011. The Association’s founding Directors, which included J C Carras, J E G Kulukundis, C M Lemos, D J Chandris and F P Lykiardopulo, recognised a need for Greek shipowners to come together on a mutual basis to provide the most competitive war risk insurance premiums, which, at the time, were difficult and expensive to obtain. The Association currently insures over 70% of the Greek merchant fleet for war risks with a total insured value of over $92bn. The highest value of a ship entered in the Association was £6.5m in its first year, compared to US$220m in 2011.
In recent years, the Association has been profoundly affected by Somali piracy incidents in the last three years with 15 entered ships having been seized since 2008. At the Association’s Annual General Meeting held in Athens on 12 September, the results for the 2010 Policy Year were formally adopted by the Membership. Despite the payment of several large claims in the year, mostly relating to Somali piracy, the Association reported a positive result for the year which increased the year end reserves to $68.6m.
To commemorate the Association’s 50th anniversary, a lunch for its Members was held at the Piraeus Yacht Club following the AGM and Directors’ meeting.
Over 100 Members and Directors of the Association attended the lunch. In a speech to the guests, the Association’s Chairman, Michael Chandris, thanked the Members for their support and illustrated how war risk premiums had fallen in real terms since the Club’s beginnings. The Managers, Thomas Miller, were also thanked for their contribution to the Club’s success with the Chairman highlighting the virtues of Anglo – Greek cooperation. Vice-Admiral George Zambellas, Deputy Commander in Chief of the Royal Navy, a guest of the Chairman, congratulated the Association on its 50 years of operation and gave an enlightening speech on the Royal Navy’s role in the fight against piracy.
Piracy loss of hire
The Hellenic War Risks Club introduced Piracy loss of hire cover in response to numerous enquiries from Members concerned about the commercial risks of sailing through the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and other areas. Around 3, 300 transits of the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean are expected to be made by entered ships in 2011.
The Club continues to offer optional insurance for hire lost as a result of war risk damage but it now also offers members the option of extended loss of hire insurance that covers hire lost if a ship is seized by pirates, even if the ship has not been damaged.
Additional Premium areas
The Hellenic Club requires an additional premium for vessels sailing in areas deemed to be at risk due to Somali piracy. This zone is under constant review and a map depicting the current situation can be seen on the Club’s website: www.hellenicwarrisks.com