DOWNBEAT MESSAGE FROM IUMI.
If a general recovery does materialise this year, it will be slow and painful, according to marine insurers meeting in London this week. International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) president Deirdre Littlefield told journalists that underwriters were braced to tackle new problems which were emerging as a result of the ongoing slump.
Ms Littlefied was speaking after IUMI's annual winter meeting at Lloyd's. She said: "Newbuild cancellations and deferments are increasing, but a huge amount of tonnage still is due to be delivered this year and next. Regrettably, we have not seen a significant leap in the scrapping rate of old ships, which is almost beyond belief in the present crisis.
She continued: "Understandably, owners and charterers are doing all they can to reduce costs. If this means skimped maintenance and deferred repairs, however, it's bad news for insurers who cover hull, cargo and liability risks. The situation is compounded by the emergence of new problems. These are mainly technical but could lead to big headaches for underwriters.?