Allianz launches end-to-end insurance for “unique” project cargo

NEW YORK: Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), part of the Alliance insurance group, has expanded its project cargo offering to provide end-to-end coverage for companies with “unique and complicated risks”.

Underwritten by AGCS Marine, the project cargo insurance is designed to cover shipment of equipment and machinery to a construction site; loss or damage of components in transit that are part of a large infrastructure project; and project delays due to the late or non-arrival of critical components.

“By having a single policy cover both marine and engineering risks, there are tremendous benefits [including] enhanced risk management, expedited policy issuance and claims resolution,” said Kevin Wolfe, AGCS global head of Project Cargo. “We now provide a single point of contact for clients and brokers, which makes it easier to identify whether a loss occurred in transit (marine) or during a construction phase (engineering),” he added.

Alliance said the growing need for project cargo insurance has been prompted by stricter regulations governing plant efficiencies and air quality, as well as increasing demand for alternative energy sources.

“Companies on all continents are increasingly seeking convenient and comprehensive insurance for large-scale projects which is why this collaboration is attractive to them,” explained Christopher van Gend, global head of Engineering.

A recent example of project cargo insurance cover by AGCS was the move of the steel-hulled four-masted barque freighter ‘Peking’ from New York City to Hamburg by Herren & Partner’s semi-submersible heavylift vessel CombiLift 111.

A so-called ‘Flying P-Liner’ owned by the German shipping company F. Laeisz, the ship was launched in February 1911 as one of the last of the four-masted windjammers to carry wheat and nitrates between Europe and South America.

Docked at Valparaiso, Chile at the outbreak of World War I, the Peking was subsequently awarded to Italy as war reparations, before being sold in 1923 back to its original owners who continued operating it on the South America nitrate trade until the opening of the Panama Canal made it uneconomic.

Peking was eventually sold to New York’s South Street Seaport Museum in 1974 and then moored on the East River until 2016, when the city decided to offer it as a gift to its home port of Hamburg rather scrap it. The offer was contingent on preserving the vessel and a consortium in Hamburg, backed by the German government, purchased the ship for US$100 as a feature of the German Port Museum due to open in 2020.

After a 13-day Atlantic crossing, the vessel is now at Wewelsfleth, a small town on the River Elbe near Hamburg, undergoing a three-year restoration.

“The return of the Peking was an adventure not only because of its history, but also because of the connected insurance challenges that were custom-made for this exposure,” said Volker Dierks, head of Marine Hull Underwriting, AGCS Central & Eastern Europe. “After the refurbishment, she can teach the public about the past hardships of a sailor’s life. At that time, wind was the most important factor for a successful and safe journey.

AGCS provides insurance solutions to over 75 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies, writing a total of €7.4 billion gross premium worldwide last year.