On 3 October 2022, the Nordic Marine Insurance Plan Version 2023 was published, updating the 2019 version. The updated version will enter into force on 1 January 2023. Several amendments have been adopted, which include significant amendments relating to sustainability, sanctions, extended time limits, and an extensive review of the loss of hire rules.
Brief summary of important amendments
The committee's focus on sustainability is reflected in the amendments to Clause 12-12, which regulates the choice of repair yard following a casualty. The amendment introduce an extra allowance which serves as an incentive for the assured to lower emissions by choosing repair alternatives which require shorter voyages. This is just one amendment that shows the committee's ambition to contribute to a more sustainable future.
Loss of hire
The most significant amendment to the Plan is the revision of Chapter 16. The loss of hire conditions has undergone extensive review, where the revision committee sought to make the terminology more consistent. It is emphasized that the loss of hire insurance should cover the assured's loss of income, as opposed to income attributed to the vessel. The commentary clarifies that this focus is reflected in the adjusted terminology, whereby "loss" is replaced with "the Assured's loss of income", i.e. the prerequisite for compensation is the actual loss of income. This is contrary to the judgement Hamburg Cruise (LA-2018-35513), where the Court of Appeal concluded that the Assured could claim the agreed daily amount even though the Assured had continued the employment with a substituted vessel. The updated version of the Plan provides an important clarification in this regard.
Claims leader's authority and rights
The amendments in Chapters 7 and 9 have clarified the relationship between the co-insurers, the claims leader, and the mortgagees. Clause 7-1 has been amended to clarify the rules concerning notice of mortgage and the claims leader's authority to receive and accept notice of mortgagee on behalf of the co-insurers. Further additions in Chapter 9 have been aimed at clarifying the claims leader's authority and thereby enhancing the administrative benefits of having a claims leader.
Recent geopolitical developments have prompted amendments to the Plan. One noteworthy amendment can be found in Clause 2-17 which regulates sanction limitations and exclusions, protecting the insurer from an obligation to make payments that could be subject to sanctions. The provision has deleted reference to France, Russia, and China. The preface clarifies that the amendments have aligned the provision with the clauses used in the English market. The commentary further notes that the reference to the Russia was problematic given the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine and saw the need to remove any uncertainty connected to counter sanctions from Russia.
The revision has also extended the time limits in some provisions, allowing the insured additional time to present their claim. In Clause 5-23 the time limit of six months to claim compensation for a causality has been extended to twelve months, to align with the Norwegian Insurance Contracts Act Section 8-5 sub-section 1. Also, the time limit to establish total loss of the vessel when there is an intervention by a foreign state in accordance with Clause 15-11 has been extended from six to twelve months.
For more information and the full update on amendments please refer to https://www.nordicplan.org/.