This study provides an empirical evaluation of maritime risk exposure expressed as the monetary value at risk (MVR), which incorporates life of crew and passengers, vessel value of hull and machinery, carried cargo value, third party liabilities, and potential external damages like pollution. MVR is based on individual safety quality data of about 130,000 vessels, on insurable values related to various potential damages, and on proxies for fractions of values lost at incidents. MVR provides a tool to enhance strategic planning of maritime administrations and insurance providers, which is illustrated by a high level comparison of annual risk exposure with insurance premiums for 2010 to 2014. The analysis reveals a global annual insurable value of 30.6 trillion USD with associated annual MVR of 38.8 billion USD for very serious and serious incidents. Although oil tankers show the highest risk exposure (1.75 million USD per tanker per year), safety qualities are found to be best for this ship type (1.4% annual incident risk) and worst for container vessels (2.8%). Annual growth rates in total risk exposure are mostly positive with highest value for dry bulk carriers (27.8%), whereas risk exposure tends to decline for pollution of oil tankers (-2.0%) and passenger vessels (-11.3%), and for loss of life of oil tankers (-1.9%) and dry bulk carriers (-1.4%) but not of passenger vessels (6.9%). A comparison across administrative dimensions reveals that most risk exposure lies with old open registries and with beneficial owners and DoC companies located in high income countries. Comparison with global insurance premiums suggests reasonably adequate coverage of maritime risks (excluding cargo). Our analysis indicates under-insurance of risk by around 5%, corresponding to about 1 billion USD per year, with some uncertainties remaining for the actual loss fractions of the various involved damages.

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Keywords shipping incident, monetary value at risk, risk exposure, insurance, pollution, loss of life
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Series Econometric Institute Reprint Series , Econometric Institute Research Papers
Knapp, S, & Heij, C. (2016). Evaluation of total risk exposure and insurance premiums in the maritime industry (No. EI2016-25). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from