Seafarers' insurers should work with a knowledgeable broker to maximize their coverage and strengthen their hand in the event of a dispute, according to Joshua Gold, a New York-based partner at Anderson Kill P.C.
Mr. Gold spoke during a Monday session at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc's 2021 conference, which was practically held.
Anachronistic policy language, lack of uniformity over forms of coverage and shorter restrictions are key issues as policyholders for sea freight. must navigate, Gold said.
One of the oldest clauses on sea freight insures "concerns the adventures and dangers that this company is content to carry and take on, they are of the seas, fires, attacking thieves, piers, masters and sailors, and all others similar dangers, losses and accidents that have, or will cause damage, disadvantage or damage to the insured goods or any part thereof, he said.
Even if this type of language persists, policyholders for sea freight should insist that the forms of insurance have all the language of risk that is similar to what one would see in a commercial real estate policy, said Gold.
"Go into the details of what f ine pressure can mean. It is good to work with your broker to get the most comprehensive language you can, he says.
Other important insurance clauses that you need to look for are lawsuit and work coverage, accident coverage and fraudulent bills of lading. Policyholders should work with an experienced broker to reveal variations in language that may limit the scope, Gold says.
"Get the widest version you can. It's often worth extra premium money and leg work to compare the store and find the best form of coverage you can," he says. "Many of the insurances in the first party sector will try to limit the time a policyholder has to initiate coverage disputes in the event of a dispute and the insurer refuses to pay the claim," he says.
These time limits can be much shorter than the six-year clause under New York law, he said.
According to a marine insurance doctrine called "uberrimae fidei" ̵
"This is an area where some insurers may take a very aggressive approach to an otherwise covered claim and try to repeal the insurance policy to avoid paying a claim," he said.