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Jul 2019

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Middle East: London market widens list of waters deemed as high risk for shipping

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Jul 2019

London’s marine insurance market has widened the list of areas deemed high risk to include waters off Oman, the UAE and the Persian Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, in a move that could push up premiums, reported Reuters.
 
The London insurance market’s Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk. The Committee, made up of syndicate members from the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the International Underwriters Association of London, met on 16 May following the attacks.
 
“The situation will be kept under close review,” said the Joint War Committee, whose guidance influences decisions by underwriters on insurance premiums.
 
Four tankers, comprising Saudi Arabian, UAE and Norwegian-flagged ships, were attacked on 12 May off Fujairah. No one has claimed responsibility for the incident.
 
“Very little information is to hand about the explosions at Fujairah anchorage on 12 May and the circumstances and methods employed remain unclear,” the Joint War Committee said in further comments.
 
“There is no doubt that considerable damage was done and there will be significant claims,” it added.
 
The attacks took place against rising US-Iranian tension following Washington’s decision in May to try to cut Tehran’s oil exports to zero and beef up its military presence in the Gulf in response to what it called Iranian threats.
 
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Norway have launched an investigation and have described the attacks as deliberate. 
 
In another development, Saudi Arabian pumping stations were damaged in a drone attack.
 
Separately, a notice published by the Federal Aviation Administration said all commercial aircraft flying over the waters of the Gulf needed to be aware of “heightened military activities and increased political tension”. M 
 
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