But £1bn shipwreck unlikely to spark rise in marine rates

Marine insurers have urged passenger ship operators to tighten up safety procedures and crew training standards to prevent a repeat of the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

“In the past, we have raised and discussed a number of issues that will definitely come out of this investigation, like evacuation procedures, crew competence, stability issues, safe navigation issues,” International Union of Marine Insurance president Ole Wikborg said at a press conference in London.

“We welcome the opportunity to maybe make a change in the legal environment that regulates this type of business.”

But Reuters reported that Wikborg said there was no guarantee the Concordia disaster, potentially the costliest insurance loss in marine history, would push up shipping insurance prices as many underwriters in the highly fragmented marine insurance industry could be unaffected.

He said: “If there is a sufficient number of underwriters who are not affected by this loss, then there is no incentive for the whole market to tighten up.”

The Costa, a cruise liner carrying over 4,000 passengers and crew, ran aground and capsized off the Italian coast on 13 January, killing at least 16 people