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Piracy is an ever-changing risk which grows, moves and adapts around the world as criminal gangs exploit opportunities wherever they appear.

After a reprieve from attacks for 5 years; 2017 has seen another surge in Somalian Piracy. With 5 vessels hijacked or boarded in the first 4 months of the year alone, and a number of confirmed approaches and attacks reported, it’s clear that Somali piracy is still a prevalent and growing threat once again. We offer US$15 million kidnap and ransom cover and access to our unparalleled risk consultants NYA, a GardaWorld company, to ensure that you are fully covered for any eventuality.

And while incidents have increased off the Horn of Africa, this has been eclipsed by the Gulf of Guinea which are now the most dangerous waters in the world for seafarers. Throughout 2016, pirate groups cemented their shift away from the hijacking of tankers for product theft, and have instead turned their focus to the kidnap of crew for ransom. At least 52 seafarers were kidnapped from commercial vessels in the Gulf of Guinea in 2016, a 41% increase from 2015. Aspen are the only market to offer an exclusive Piracy Threat cover for the Gulf of Guinea, with a range of enhanced cover, tailored specifically to the risks in this region.

Beyond the traditional high risk areas; 2016 also saw a new trend of kidnap for ransom evolving in South East Asia. With criminal gangs operating from the Philippines with near impunity; 2016 saw 10 vessels hijacked successfully with 48 crew abducted. As coordinated international response progresses slowly, hampered by national restrictions, a change is unlikely any time soon. Characterized by violent robbery and opportunistic kidnap, it is more important than ever to ensure you are adequately covered in these areas. Aspen are the only market to offer an Exclusive S.E.A Threat cover, specifically designed to address the risks in this area.

Our bespoke cover allows our clients to get the protection they need worldwide whilst avoiding unnecessary insurance costs. And our chosen response consultants, NYA, a GardaWorld company, are the market leading specialists in managing piracy, hijacking and kidnap and ransom events. Should the unfortunate occur, they are able to deploy experienced response consultants to our clients wherever they are in the world and advise on all aspects of any negotiation to help bring your crew, vessel and cargo home safely.


Aspen piracy cover protects vessel owners, operators and charterers against:

  • Ransom, detention and hijack – US$15 million
  • Extortion, where given – US$15 million
  • Transit – US$15 million
  • Legal liability – US$15 million
  • Loss of hire – US$15 million, up to 365 days cover available (stand-alone or as an extension)
  • Personal Accident – US$1 million, up to US$250,000 per covered person (higher limits on request)

Additional Expenses

Our policy also covers additional expenses incurred against an insured event, which may include:

  • Fees and expenses of an independent negotiator
  • Fees and expenses of public relations consultants and interpreters
  • Cost of travel and accommodation
  • Costs of medical and/or psychiatric care
  • Interest on authorized loans to meet a ransom
  • Costs of communication, recording equipment and advertising
  • Personal financial loss, where given
  • Fees and expenses of independent forensic analysis
  • Reasonable costs of cosmetic or plastic surgery
  • All other reasonable expenses incurred by the assured or insured persons in negotiating the release of the victim with prior written approval of the underwriters