Lloyd's has responded to the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan, over the state of Kashmir, by designating north-west Indian ports as exclusion areas.

The move means that vessels sailing to the ports could be subject to hefty additional premiums, estimated at between 0.1% and 0.75% of their hull value.

Pakistani ports have been on the list of exclusion areas since shortly after the attack on 11 September. According to a Lloyd's Market Association (LMA) spokesman, underwriters were concerned about the two main ports in the north-west India, Kandla and Mumbai.

He added that the additional premiums related to hulls and not the premiums on their cargos. "There's been no movement by the cargo market," he said.

"They seem fairly relaxed about the situation."

All ships insured through Lloyd's pay an annual war rate to trade everywhere in the world except the exclusion areas.

Owners of ships that intend to go to these areas have to inform their underwriters, to give them the opportunity to charge an additional premium.

The LMA spokesman said: "There's no flat rate and it doesn't mean to say that they will charge an additional premium, they just require notification."