Update: Ukraine Launches Grain Insurance Program With Marsh McLennan, Lloyd’s

November 15, 2023 by and

Ukraine is starting an insurance program with broker Marsh McLennan and Lloyd’s of London to provide cover for grain vessels sailing from Ukraine’s deep-sea ports, just days after a ship was hit by a Russian missile.

The country is launching a $50 million program for insuring ships against military risks, first deputy prime minister and economy minister Yulia Svyrydenko said.

The program is intended to make it easier for shipowners to get cover to transport goods by sea from Ukraine, a major agricultural exporter that’s reliant on foreign exchange revenues from food exports. While ships are still sailing to its ports through the Black Sea, some owners are increasingly wary of using it after the missile strike, which claimed the life of the first merchant sailor since Moscow’s invasion.

Kyiv set up the new temporary route from its ports after Russia exited a safe corridor deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July. Marsh McLennan previously had a different program in place but that was suspended after Russia’s exit.

Marsh McLennan said that the program would be underwritten by insurers at Lloyd’s and “provide affordable insurance supporting the export of grain and other critical food supplies globally from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.” It is intended to provide hull and separate protection and indemnity war risk insurance, the broker said in a statement.

Russia has threatened to treat any ships sailing to Ukraine as potentially carrying weapons. Still, a steady stream of ships has been transporting grain and metals since September.

Ukraine’s Risky Bet on Black Sea Shipping Corridor Pays Off as Ships Stream Into Ports

Insurance broker Miller and Clearwater Dynamics said in September that together with Ukrainian authorities, it is offering “full war risks insurance coverage” for vessels operating in the Black Sea.

Photograph: A farmer collects grain from a combine harvester during the summer wheat harvest by the Ukrainian seed agricultural company Peremoga, meaning “Victory,” in the Fastiv district of Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Monday, July 24, 2023. Photo credit: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg