Insurers still see too many navigational claims

FEBRUARY 12, 2015 — The Swedish Club says that half of the costs of hull and machinery claims it handles have arisen due to navigational claims such as collisions, contacts or groundings — a figure that has remained steady over recent years despite improved technology and the widespread implementation of Safety Management Systems.

In its latest Loss Prevention publication, Navigational Claims, the marine mutual insurer reveals a number of interesting findings relating to claims for hull and machinery damage made between 2004–2013.

Many navigational claims still occur due to procedures not being properly followed by crew members, and officers not communicating with each other properly. In addition poor communication between both vessels and bridge team members and a lack of situational awareness all play a part.

Measures that can be adopted to help prevent these incidents occurring include having clear, meaningful procedures for officers and crew to adhere to and, more importantly, ensuring they understand the consequences of not following them properly.

"Being able to identify the reasons for navigational claims is invaluable for masters and shipowners," says Lars Malm, Director, Strategic Business Development & Client Relationship for The Swedish Club. "This report shows that most claims can be prevented by simply ensuring that all crew follow proper procedures and consult with each other before making major decisions."

The Club also stresses that the implementation of an effective training program for officers is vital especially in relation to effective communication and risk assessment. Often risks increase when sailing in congested waters, dense traffic or close to land and this needs to be acknowledged and appropriate measures adopted.

The thirty-four page report uses case studies to demonstrate how navigational accidents can occur. These examples detail the cause of the accident and how it could have been prevented with proper planning and better lines of communication. There is usually a chain of errors leading up to the accident and the case studies highlight the most common ones.

Read the report HERE

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