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First Class Claims Service

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This case, which made international news, involved a tanker owned by an international shipping company. In July 2021, the tanker was hit by a ‘suicide drone’ off the coast of Oman. One of our team we were informed straight away and immediately put the subscribing War underwriters on notice. From the first notification we knew that this was going to be a large, complex, and high-profile case. Not only this, but as the case gained international attention, explosives experts concluded the drone was produced in Iran, who were then blamed for the attack and the case therefore escalated to become very politically sensitive.

As further information was received, unfortunately our team was advised that there were two fatalities on board as a result of the attack; the Master, who was Romanian and one of the security personnel, who was British. To make matters even more delicate, there was a debate with underwriters regarding the injuries to the Master, as it could not be evidenced that his injuries were directly linked to the attack. Using our negotiation skills, we obtained underwriters’ agreement that the Master’s injuries were as a result of the attack and were therefore fully covered under the terms and conditions of the vessel owner’s War policy.

It was incredibly important to deal with the families and the crew with the utmost care and empathy, skills which have been enhanced by our team’s many years of experience in handling complex and sensitive claims, with our client always being the focus of any incident. In this case, our team member immediately appointed a third party to care for the needs of the family and arranged psychological assistance for the crew.

We handled the claim from first notification to the successful collection of the final amount, including negotiating several substantial advance payments from underwriters throughout to assist the client, for the damage to the vessel, the two fatalities, and the necessary psychological help for the crew. We delivered expert advice using our deep knowledge of the policy terms and conditions, assisting all stakeholders; our client, their underwriters, as well as third parties such as the surveyor and lawyer instructed on the case. This complex case added to existing strong, long-term relationships, and was successfully concluded within “weeks” as opposed to “months” which could easily have happened if we hadn’t handled, negotiated, and managed the overall claim as well as we did.

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