Singapore joins established maritime nations in offering war risk insurance for ships

Ships in the waters near Gardens by the Bay, on March 12, 2017.
Ships in the waters near Gardens by the Bay, on March 12, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Singapore now offers war risk insurance for ships, joining the likes of established maritime nations such as Greece, Japan, Norway and Britain.

Almost 800 Singapore-registered ships will be covered under the Singapore War Risks Insurance Conditions (SWRIC) launched on Tuesday (Jan 22).

Previously, ships here had to subscribe to insurance provided by overseas companies such as British insurance giant Lloyd's of London.

The SWRIC is open to shipowners who wish to adopt it.

"As a novel and improved product offering to the international maritime community, the SWRIC contributes to Singapore's standing as a thought leader in the field of marine insurance," said Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, at the Singapore Shipping Association's (SSA) Chinese New Year cocktail reception at Raffles City Convention Centre on Tuesday.

He said the new product was Singapore's equivalent of the war risk insurance cover provided by internationally used marine insurance plans such as the Nordic Plan and Britain's Institute Time Clauses.

War risk insurance covers ships in the event of endangerment to the ship or crew, such as in situations where ships are victims of collateral damage in war-torn areas.

The SWRIC is part of efforts to improve the maritime sector here, which is also undergoing a digitalisation drive.

On Tuesday, the SSA, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Customs and the Infocomm Media Development Authority signed a memorandum of understanding to develop an inter-operability framework for electronic trade documents.

At the event, Dr Lam said 2018 was a challenging year but Singapore did well, with more containers passing through its docks.

A total of 36.6 million containers were handled here last year, up 8.7 per cent on 2017. The sector also accounts for 7 per cent of gross domestic product.