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COVID ‘injects uncertainty’ into marine market

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Global marine premiums across all sectors are relatively stable, but COVID-19 has “injected a new level of uncertainty”, the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) says.

IUMI’s annual analysis of marine insurance statistics shows “early signs of a modest market recovery”.

However, the gap between global hull premiums and global tonnage continues to widen, albeit at a slower rate.

“Hull loss ratios have improved slightly and a benign loss environment prevails, with the continued exception of large vessel fires,” IUMI says.

“This, coupled with a reduction in underwriting capacity, seems likely to predict a market recovery, but from an exceptionally low base.”

Loss ratios for cargo underwriting have improved slightly, but global trade dipped sharply as a result of COVID-19 and accumulation of risk onboard and ashore continues to grow.

“The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted trade, shipping, commodity prices and consumer activity which in turn means the outlook for marine insurance is far from certain,” IUMI Secretary General Lars Lange said.

“Despite this, our analysis is reporting the beginnings of a modest market recovery in most business lines.”

The full report is available here.