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Insurers warn shipping is not prepared for the next pandemic

Insurers and the Global Maritime Forum (GMF) are warning that the shipping industry is not prepared for the next pandemic, despite being in the throes of the current Covid-19 outbreak.

The wake-up call is being issued as sustainable shipping advocacy body GMF, risk adviser Marsh and the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) published their latest Global Maritime Issues Monitor, detailing the concerns of top decision makers in the sector.

A global economic crisis tops the list of worries, while climate and environmental issues stay high on the agenda.

The report for 2020 is the first in which pandemics are listed as an issue in the annual ranking.

“Immediately, it receives the lowest preparedness score of the 19 global issues included in the survey of senior leaders from six continents,” the organisations said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed a number of weaknesses in the maritime value chain, including the inability to protect seafarers’ well-being, they added.

Marcus Baker, global specialty head of marine and cargo at Marsh JLT Specialty, said: “It will be critical for the industry to consider health impacts as it evaluates its response to Covid-19, particularly issues of physical and mental well-being for seafarers.

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