Vessel Security and Maritime Insurance
By Roger L. Tomberlin
Today, the international community fails to realize that sea piracy still has not been eliminated. Not only has piracy never been eradicated, but the number of pirate and terrorist attacks on ships has tripled in the past decade alone elevating piracy to its highest level in history. Contrary to the stereotype, intelligence has revealed that today’s pirates are often trained fighters who frequently board speedboats equipped with satellite phones and global positioning systems. Many of these so called pirates have ties to regional terrorist organizations indigent to areas from which they operate.
The maritime insurance underwriters in London and the United States appear to continue as before and write policies without concern for rising piracy and terrorism on the high seas. Maritime insurance underwriters are only concerned with the quality of the vessel, type of cargo and area of operation. The policy will be written, and extra riders placed on the policy if the vessel ventures into high risk areas. The insurance community surprisingly does not inquire into the defensive tactics of the ship and crew.
It is the conclusion of this thesis, maritime insurance policies will continue to be written on whatever cargo is available and the addition of defense measures of the shipping community will not help diminish the premiums the maritime insurance industry expects.
Roger L. Tomberlin is a 20+ year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation serving within International and Domestic Terrorism programs. He is currently serving as a Program Coordinator within the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program which includes HAZMAT, railroad, airline, and marine investigations.