Martime disasters involving passenger ships have certainly made headlines across the world in recent years. Notable examples include the Costa Concordia disaster, Sewol ferry sinking and Norman Atlantic ferry fire, all of which brought passenger safety into focus. Interestingly, however, despite these high profile mishaps, the number of ships lost at sea is declining. Back in 2007, 170 large vessels were lost and this fell to just 75 in 2014, according to Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty.
22 percent of all losses between 2009 and 2013 can be attributed to machine damage/breakdown with fire accounting for 16 percent. Hull damage and collision made up 9 percent of all losses each while 8 percent were due to storms. Even though the declining number of sinkings/losses may seem like good news for insurance companies, the increasing size of container ships may actually lead to bigger losses. The Mediterranean Shipping Co’s MSC Oscar became the largest container vessel in the world this year. Almost as long as four football fields and with a 19,224 teu capacity, a serious mishap involving a vessel like this could cost upwards of $1 billion.