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Piracy – Threat at sea

Munich Re publishes a new brochure on the hazard of piracy at sea, the legal and underwriting implications, and loss minimisation options



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    The number of pirate attacks on merchant vessels has risen sharply in the last thirty to forty years. There is evidently a clear connection between mounting prosperity and increasing international trade in some parts of the world and political instability, wars, and growing poverty in others. The piracy hot spots are off the coasts of Southeast Asia, West Africa, Somalia, South America, and the Caribbean islands, but also in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Every year, hundreds of ships are attacked and hostages taken, hundreds of sailors are injured, traumatised, or killed, the ensuing losses total billions of dollars, and when oil tankers are captured, for example, there is the danger of environmental disasters – a situation that causes concern not only to shipping companies and governments. Marine insurers and reinsurers are thinking about measures designed to control and prevent piracy too.

    Piracy – Threat at sea, which Munich Re published to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the International Maritime Bureau, contributes towards the analysis of the danger arising from piracy and explains the legal situation at both national and international levels. It highlights underwriting aspects and describes ways of reducing the risk.

    The brochure can be found on Munich Re's website at We will be happy to send you a copy upon request (to place an order, please call +49 (89) 38 91-2508 or send an e-mail to

    Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft
    signed Kluge           signed Küppers

    This media information contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development, in particular the results, financial situation and performance of our Company. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.