Operating ships has always been a risky business and whilst there is no doubt transiting oceans is safer than it once was, accidents do still happen. When such accidents occur it can be a daunting prospect for ship owners to know how to present a claim against their insurers and here is where Average Adjusters can help.
Role and benefits of using an average adjuster
Average Adjusters are specialists in the law and practice of general average and marine insurance. They prepare claims under marine insurance policies which generally involve loss or damage to marine craft, their cargoes or freight. They may also be called upon to prepare statements of claim against third parties and to deal with the division of recoveries from third parties for such casualties as collisions.
Average Adjusters may be appointed by any party involved in a marine claim. However, the Average Adjuster is bound to act in an impartial and independent manner, irrespective of the identity of that party.
Using an average adjuster to present the claim to insurers should ensure prompt agreement of the fair claim by both shipowner and insurer, and prevent undue delay in settlement of claims. average Adjuster’s fees will form part of the claim against insurers.
Why use WTW as your average adjuster
Our team are industry specialists and members of the Association of Average Adjusters (membership applicable to UK and US colleagues only), delivering technical expertise that is accessible worldwide.
We have Average Adjuster teams in London, New York and Singapore, supporting clients with clear and effective guidance in the event of a loss, minimising damage to their balance sheet and reputation.
At WTW we can provide a full claims service to our clients. Whilst the claims team can liaise with insurers on the shipowners behalf and arrange the payment of claims, our Average Adjusters team can ensure preparation of your claim. Additional fees apply, and will vary. This will streamline the process from the time of the casualty to completion of the insurance claim.
A close working relationship between our average adjusters and the claims advocates can ensure adjusters are on hand to offer initial advice.
We can advise on all costs that make up part of the valid claim and assist you to help ensure recovery is maximised.
How our adjusting team can add value
Setting the scene
A vessel explosion and subsequent fire occured whilst it was loading a cargo of chemicals. It took over a day to put out the fire using both shore fire services and fire-fighting tugs. The vessel was forced to leave port and sail a significant distance to a second port under salvor assistance where her contracted voyage was declared frustrated and the cargo was transferred to on-carrying vessels.
The cost of repairing the vessel was greater than her market value but she was not a constructive total loss (CTL) against the insured value. The owner’s sold the vessel on an ‘as is where is basis’ and there was a substantial disagreement between insurers and owners regarding the estimated cost of repairs.
The adjusting and marine claims teams worked closely with owners to bring the matter to a swift and commercial resolution by offering the insurers the opportunity to propose an “all in” cash offer in excess of USD 10 million to owners that took account of the unrepaired damage claim and the ship’s proportion of general average that settled the claim to everyone’s satisfaction.