International marine challenges are stacking up


Ahead of the 2021 Airmic Conference in Brighton next week, HDI global share some valuable insight

The marine cargo insurance market has seen an increase in containers being lost at sea, an increase in major fire losses on container vessels as well as a proliferation of complex international regulations and taxes around the globe, all of which mean the need for the right cover has never been greater, argue Marion Robertson, Cargo Underwriter and Steve Foreman, Director of Marine Cargo, HDI Global SE

In 2020 there was a huge rise in container losses at sea, just over double that of the two previous years and the trend of losses continues on this upward curve. This spike is partly a result of containers being poorly stacked in terms of weight distribution, being piled up too high, and being poorly secured and lashed. There has also been an increase in the size of container ships, with some container vessels now able to hold over 20,000 containers.

But this is just a part of the picture. The reliance on, and subsequent pressure on, many clients’ global supply chains continue to mount.  This vulnerability to interruption and delay in supply was perfectly illustrated earlier this year by the 220,000-ton EverGiven which ended up stranded in the Suez Canal – disrupting many international brands reliant on the timely supply of goods ranging from barbecues and camping equipment through to furniture, phones and even lemons.

And on top of human error there is also an increased incidence of, and severity of, Nat cat events around the world, impacting cargo both in transit and in storage.

International tensions across the globe are also contributing to the rise in complexity of the regulatory and tax regimes in different countries, placing yet more stress on running smooth supply chain operations.

Against this background, HDI Global’s marine cargo insurance team – which has real local reach in over 150 countries worldwide – is working closely with clients to establish robust, fully compliant programmes including the issuance of local policies in individual countries where required – and access to local underwriting and claims services.  However, this is only part of the solution – as a centrally managed Master policy with the right level of cover and clear terms and conditions is also essential - and something our team is highly experienced at developing.

HDI Global can offer global programmes for marine cargo that are either standalone or part of a package with property, casualty, and other lines of business. And we also have the ability and appetite to work with clients on developing, where appropriate, captive-based solutions.

We have invested in a dedicated portal, enabling clients and brokers with 24-hour access to key policy data, including information on premiums, collections, policies, and claims, which is updated daily.

For clients that need to protect their entire supply chain across the globe developing bespoke, centrally, and locally managed insurance coverage is key – and that is what we do. To find out more and see how we can help secure your peace of mind find us at Airmic at Stand 65 or contact us at


About HDI Global SE

Companies from the trading, production and service industries need an insurance partner they can rely on.

As part of the Talanx Group, HDI Global SE has been one of the leading insurers offering a broad and needs-based range of insurance solutions and accompanying services for decades.

HDI operates through foreign branches, subsidiaries and affiliates as well as network partners in more than 150 countries, offering international industrial insurance programmes.

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