Maritime transportation is the oldest of the transportation forms of moving larger quantities of cargo with long tradition and culture. As ancient as the transport at sea, so is also the history of pirates. Some say that they should be regarded as a “necessary evil”, the other side of the shield that creates a balance in the world, others merely accept the presence. In any event it creates the background for fascination and intrigue, even though the brutality in reality is extensive. This elucidates the need for knowledge of which challenges this problem creates, and this thesis will look upon this in relation to marine insurance. Also, the difference between piracy and armed robbery both in international law and Norwegian marine insurance has been looked into.
After researching the subject, the difficulties of separating the terms piracy and armed robbery became more pronounced. It was therefore necessary to look further into these in an international and domestic perspective. Particularly it became important to find out more about how it would be treated in Norwegian marine insurance.
When establishing the difference in cover between hull and war insurance, the two main insurances a vessel signs, the discussion of piracy and armed robbery is very important. As the war insurer mainly covers piracy, but will not take responsibility in cases of armed robbery, the hull insurer is possibly the one covering the latter. This separation also influences the other insurers, at least the P&I and loss of hire insurer, as neither of these cover war perils as a starting point. In the situations regarded as piracy, the war insurer will have to cover losses from all insurances, while if armed robbery, the cover will be exactly the same as if it had been another crime. The cover from hull, war, P&I, loss of hire and cargo insurance regarding both piracy and armed robbery is included.
The last part of the thesis describes a real case from 1999, the situation of Alondra Rainbow. The vessel was hijacked by pirates in the Strait of Malacca while steaming. After a few weeks a vessel matching the description of the vessel, but with another name, was observed in Indian waters and the Indian Coast Guard was alerted. This proved to be the first case ever where UNCLOS’ encouragement to intercept a vessel hijacked by pirates, was used and the pirates was convicted afterwards in a country with no relation to the attacked ship. This particular case is thereafter looked upon from a Norwegian marine insurance view.
The final outcome of this thesis is that there would be beneficial for the marine insurance industry to look further into, and perhaps create some guidelines as to how to handle cases in the grey zone between piracy and armed robbery.