Striving for zero damage in international shipping is a utopia. Despite all efforts in prevention, training, and education, and the involvement of IMO, classification societies, port state control, and other initiatives to enhance shipping safety, incidents will remain inevitable. The inherent dangers of the sea, together with human error, ensure that accidents will continue to happen.

Maritime insurers support policyholders by minimizing potential damages and managing any claims that may arise. P&I insurance specifically covers maritime liabilities.

Marine insurers possess extensive experience with their in-house specialists, but it is also common for them to engage external service providers. P&I correspondents will have local knowledge and contacts to ensure smooth operations. Surveyors will investigate the cause of incidents and use their specialist knowledge to assess the extent of the damage or guide this process. Lawyers will provide legal advice on jurisdiction, common law, and the interpretation of various contracts, such as charter parties and bills of lading. In cases of General Average, an average adjuster will determine the magnitude of the General Average and will allocate the salvage costs among the salvaged value of ship, cargo, equipment, bunkers, and freight at risk.

At IMU, we believe that enhancing cooperation among all parties is key to improvement. This includes not only collaboration between service providers but also effective communication with clients and counterparties. 

We call this improvement effort: ‘islands fighting’. Too often, we encounter parties involved in a case being settled in their islands, participating in the claims-handling process only based on their own experience and insights. With modern communication techniques, knowledge can be shared instantly, leaving no valid excuse for delays. It ultimately comes down to discipline and mindset. 

When we bring our knowledge together and commit to organizing it interactively and proactively, we create ‘collective knowledge.’ Our clients will appreciate the improved results this approach brings, and we will always invite them to join us in this process of ‘knowledge sharing.’

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