A timely notification will enable NHC to be of assistance. Our network of specialists and correspondents around the world will be ready to support both owners and NHC.
It is an obligation as per insurance conditions to notify Underwriters without undue delay.
Post Notification the NHC Emergency team will react in accordance with the NHC Emergency Response Plan based on severity of the reported claim.
Special trained personnel will use subscription tools and OSINTEL, in order to build a “picture” on the situation.
This Operation Intelligence will assist the owners and the NHC Emergency team in focusing on mitigating the Claim by making the best decisions based on the best available information.
When an average has occurred the normal procedure is to appoint a Hull & Machinery surveyor to attend the vessel prior to repairs commencing. Surveyors are usually appointed by NHC based on the notification from the Master through the assured/Ship managers.
When damages relate to third party matters, surveys should be arranged so that representatives from all parties can be present.
Spec, Tendring & Contract
If the insurer is aware of the casualty, it is usually under the policy his duty to clarify with the assured whether or not he will demand invitations to tender.
Good specifications following major incidents involving fires, groundings and collisions is imperative to achieve a good result for both owners and insurers.
NHC will always encourage and participate is such a process involving specifications and tender process following major casualties.
The Underwriters surveyor will not participate throughout the repairs of the vessel.
Thus it is important to notify the surveyor if there are any non-compliance with the planned repair process as agreed during the initial survey or if there are any changes in the extent of the damage ort any other extra ordinary conditions.
Statement of Claim
Following the repair of the vessel the owner will prepare their final statement of claim under the policy.
NHC has developed tools and templates to assist our members in presenting their claims under the policy.
Adjusting of claim
Following the presentation of owners final claim, NHC will prepare the final adjustment under the policy based on the Owners Statement of Claim, the survey report and the policy conditions.
When the final adjustment have been approved by the Assured and his broker, the adjustment will be sent to the broker for collection of funds from the various markets participating on the particular policy.
We have seen changes in the shipowner's organizations during the last 10-20 years. Today's superintendents have a significant role in handling H&M and LOH claims under their policies from notification to payment. This might be the superintendent's first experience in handling a claim or at least he might have limited experience. His role might be unclear due to lack of internal procedures and consequently he is not comfortable with how to approach an incident affecting the Owner's policies.
Norwegian Hull Club has acknowledged this challenge and we have produced a Marine Insurance Course for Superintendents or other personnel being involved in the handling of a claim. Duration of this interactive workshop would usually be from 2 - 4 hrs and is conducted at the shipowner's location.
The objective of this course / workshop is add to the superintendents' existing knowledge together with improving the handling of marine insurance claims under the Owner's insurance policies.
Lessons learned from major casualties handled by NHC
Various types of insurance / Owners insurances
The difference between H&M and P&I
The claims process - Superintendent's role from notification to payment under the policy
Claims procedures / the NMIP
At the time of the incident / notification
After the incident / prior to repairs
During repairs / at the yard
After repairs / preparation of claim
Final adjustment and collecting
All services are subject to availability.
It is not possible to complete and finalize a claim until Owners have presented their final claim under the policy following an incident. Some Owners do not have an in-house procedure in how to present their claims. We have experienced that in most of our claims it is the Superintendent's obligation also to present Owner's claim. This might be the superintendents first involvement in handling a claim under a H&M policy. In what form is the claim to be presented? What is actually recoverable under the insurance conditions? These are questions we often receive. We also see that after the completion of repairs the focus on the claim decreases and due to other commitments a delay of the presentation of the claim can occur making, the task of completing the claim later more difficult.
Based on our experience Norwegian Hull Club has developed a new service; "Owners statement of Claim" in order to assist superintendents in presenting claims. This excel sheet contains claims procedures, contact details to your claims handler, checklist for claimable items and a structured system for presenting the claim.
Upon notification of a new claim NHC will forward this document to the superintendent and explain the use of same. When the superintendent approves invoices he must produce a copy for the hard copy of the claim as well as include the invoice in the excel sheet. If used correctly the Owner's claim under the policy will be completed when the last invoice related to the claim is paid. We have often seen that the handling time of a claim has been reduced by more than one year for those Members that have implemented this system.
All services are subject to availability.
We have often experienced that the progress of completing a claim has been slow under the H&M or LOH policies from the Owners side. This might be related to the fact that the superintendent is dedicated to new dockings of other vessels or be involved in other projects following the completion of an average repair. Thus, the handling of the claim and the presentation of the final Owners Statement of claim will be delayed.
Some claims might be complex due to the cause of the incident or there might be challenges in respect of the policy wording and whether the claim is recoverable. Other claims might involve a recovery process against third parties such as makers, yards or even charterers which can be difficult to handle.
In order to assist Owners in progressing and completing their claim under the policy or pursuing claims against third parties, NHC has developed the service "In-house Claims Office". Norwegian Hull Club Claims personnel will open an in-house claims office at Owners premises for one full day and will be available for those superintendents having a pending claim. This service has been very much appreciated by our Members and might be useful also in combination with arranging a Norwegian Hull Club Marine Insurance Course for Superintendents.