The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a pandemic, and most of us are affected in one way or another. But as we take the necessary precautions to weather this new and unfamiliar situation, there are crucial functions to society that cannot stop. The shipping industry is very much among these functions, and our clients have important roles to play in the upcoming months. We would therefore like to assure everyone that the marine insurance industry remains open for business, and we remain available at all times to serve our clients’ needs.
The global nature of Marine Insurance has inadvertently prepared our operations for a situation like this. The distances have made us fully digital, and Lloyd’s successfully tested their electronic emergency trading protocols last Friday, 13 March, which has allowed it to now close the Underwriting Room with effect from Thursday 19 March. We cooperate seamlessly between our offices in Scandinavia, in the UK, on the European Continent and in Asia, as well as with our business partners worldwide, without delay. Our clients should expect no less than the excellent service they are used to.
While our clients can expect business as usual in terms of service, there will be consequences of this virus that affect their insurances going forward. Our product portfolio contains several products that protect against interruption caused by illness, pandemics, quarantines, etc. This is now unavailable for new inquiries, and we expect this to be a topic of discussion in upcoming renewals. Events relating to the current outbreak of COVID-19 will be specifically excluded, and cover for consequences such as increased waiting time for spare parts will likely be capped. It is to be expected that the marine insurance business adapts to a changing environment.
These past months and weeks have presented challenges on a scale we have not seen for a very long time. We are pleased to report that our markets stand firm and that the systems we lean on work as they should. Insurances should not be among our clients’ concerns right now. That is what we are here for, and we will help our clients through this crisis, and prepare for whatever comes next.