News: Novel Coronavirus - Strike and Delay class
17 February 2020
COVID-19, is an infectious disease that has spread to 25 countries to date. It represents a significant and acute global public health issue. The club advises members to remain vigilant and follow recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and national authorities in respect of this outbreak.
The latest information from the WHO is that the number of confirmed cases has exceeded 50,000 with 1,665 deaths recorded as of 16 February. The number of cases is rising, although the rate has recently slowed in China.
Disruption is being reported in Chinese ports due to the shortage in available labour. The extension of the lunar new year holiday is a significant factor but in some cases workers are absenting themselves from work as a result of understandable anxiety about infection risk or following recommendations by employers. Even though some countries like Singapore have raised the level of civil preparedness and response, mandatory orders are not generally being imposed by the authorities.
Ports in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere are currently using screening and quarantine measures to manage the infection risk but remain open. The club will continue to monitor this and provide updates if the situation changes. At minimum, most ports will require ships to provide:
- declaration of health
- information on crew and passenger health and travel history
Borders also remain open at present although in some cases, such as Hong Kong, the number of active crossing points are reduced.
We recommend that members should also get the latest information from their local agents to avoid or minimise delays.
Coverage under the Club’s Rules
Where ships are unavoidably delayed, members who purchase the club’s Strike and Delay insurance are protected against up to 29 different perils.
Delay caused by mandatory quarantine of the ship is one such risk, whether arising from concern about spread of the coronavirus or another reason.
If a person on board the ship falls ill or crew members abscond as a result of actual or potential infection and the ship is delayed, the cover will indemnify the member for that cost.
If a member’s ship is under orders to a specific loading or discharge port and suffers unexpected and unavoidable delay due to official closure of that port, Strike and Delay insurance is designed to meet the cost of that lost time.
If the delay is due to circumstances existing at the time the ship is entered (or the commencement of the policy year, if earlier), it is not recoverable.
The cover is offered in two parts; for delays caused by shipboard events and those onshore. Members can choose the combination of risks that suits their profile. Limits are based on a daily indemnity declared in advance and agreed by the club for up to 20 days delay in excess of a one day deductible for most risks.