Beazley has responded to the recent increase in hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea by launching Gulf of Guinea Piracy Plus, the first tailored pirate policy designed specifically for ship-owners whose vessels are active in the area.
The product provides coverage for the kidnapping of crew for ransom and the illegal seizure of the vessel for theft of cargo.
The product also includes a tailored risk assessment and comprehensive incident response service which is provided by Maritime Asset Security and Training (MAST) Ltd.
The MAST service offers a threat and risk assessment, safety guidance and the option of 24-hour vessel tracking.
Once a ship has been released by pirates an armed security team will be dispatched to facilitate the rapid return of the vessel to its owner.
Michael Sharp, kidnap and ransom underwriter at Beazley Group, warned that there was a significant risk of piracy off West Africa.
Sharp added that, unlike the piracy around the Horn of Africa, piracy around West Africa focused more on cargo theft than kidnap and ransom.