Damage and liability incidents cause voyage delays, customer dissatisfaction and loss of profits. Maritime Mutual’s mission is to protect their Members from business disruptions by responding quickly and pro-actively to reported incidents. Maritime Mutual’s first step will be to establish incident nature and intensity.Maritime Mutual will then mobilise the appropriate expertise to site to advise the master and crew, investigate the underlying cause of loss and assist in bringing the situation under early control.
On the occurrence of a loss or damage incident, Members should notify an Maritime Mutual regional office or their broker immediately. This will ensure prompt attendance by a Club appointed correspondent or marine surveyor and who will advise and collect the evidence required to support the defence and resolution of any liability claims. Members are also encouraged to work closely with the Club and their representatives to avoid unnecessary admissions of liability, restrict incident site access by claimant representatives and preserve evidence to the mutual benefit of the Member and the Club.
Members will be guided as to how they can encourage and assist loss minimisation. This could include prompt and positive on site actions such as facilitating the protection and separation of damaged cargo, the urgent use of shipboard oil pollution control equipment or the swift provision of medical care to injured crew, passengers or stevedores. The expenses of all Member actions which minimise loss (known as ‘sue and labour’ costs) are covered by the Maritime Mutual Club Rules.
Maritime Mutual’s in-house Claims Executives will assess the amount and underlying causes of alleged 3rd party claimant loss. They will also review and consider the application of the potential defences available to the Member. If necessary, specialist advice will be obtained from maritime lawyers. Maritime Mutual’s Claims Executives will then communicate directly with the claimant’s representatives to negotiate a resolution on the best terms possible for the Member and the Club. Once accomplished, recommended settlement terms with the claimant will be advised to the Member for their formal consideration and approval. Liability claims settlement will then be finalised and the Member protected by way of a signed receipt and release document from claimants.
During the process of Loss Assessment and Liability Claims Settlement, Maritime Mutual’s Claims Executives will also be referring to the Club Rules to confirm that the circumstances of the loss fall within the wide-ranging terms of Club cover. In the majority of cases, the transition from Claims Settlement with liability claimants and the formal indemnity process of Claims Reimbursement to the Member will be a smooth and integrated process. If any concerns should develop during this process, then constructive communications between Maritime Mutual’s Claims Executives, the Member and their broker will take place to accomplish positive resolution and incident file closure.