The Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has enjoined stakeholders in the maritime industry to get knowledge and understanding of marine insurance so that they can take full advantage of it in their business.
The association argued that if stakeholders are fully abreast of the nitty-gritty in marine insurance, they would be in a position to take the right decisions in their business transactions.
These were unfolded in Lagos at the 6th practical maritime dispute resolution seminar organised by MAAN in collaboration with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
The association which has been organising practical sessions on various aspects of arbitration and alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) in the last five years said this year focus was on marine insurance.
Delivering a paper on “Perspectives on marine Insurance Contract”, the President of MAAN, Dr. Omogbai Omo-Eboh traced the history of marine insurance, and legislative framework.
He also highlighted some of the reasons why claims made by an insured cargo or ship owner may fail, just as he threw more light on the differences in the Marine Insurance Act 1961 and Insurance Act 2003.
According to Omo-Eboh who is also a Lagos based legal practitioner, the Insurance Act takes precedence over the Marine Insurance Act by virtue of section 100 of the Insurance Act which provides that where the provisions of any enactment is inconsistent with those of the Insurance Act, the provisions of the Insurance Act shall prevail.
He argued that since the law of marine insurance is technical and often complicated, business owners need to seek professional help from brokers and lawyers both at the time of effecting insurance through the period of coverage and particularly at the point of loss.
In another paper on “Dispute Resolution in Marine Insurance Claim: A Marine Surveyor’s Perspective”, the Managing Director, Seaguard International Services Mr. Monday Ogadina, said a successful marine claims are determined by the loss management and procedures employed by the claimant during the pre-loss, time of loss and post-loss.
Ogadina noted the importance of documenting the loss with material evidence, facts of the events, documentation of the third party, and proximate cause of loss. Others are the managing the loss by issuing the letters of protest, and conducting the joint survey and keeping the claim alive.
According to him, engaging marine surveyors who are independent and experienced in the management of cargo is an advantage. Engagement of marine surveyor will definitely help in claim presentation to the marine underwriters, reduce or eliminate disagreement and litigation, and for other third party loss recovery.
Other speakers at the seminar included the Managing Director, Bureau de Maritime Limited, Mr. Nimbe Oviosu; representative of the Managing Director of LASACO Assurance Plc, Omoh Warrie; the Managing Director of JOF Nigeria Limited, Mr. Segun Fagboyegun; Vice President, MAAN, Mr. Adewale Jones; and the Managing Director, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr. Wale Onaolapo.
Managing Director, Equity Assurance Plc, Mr. Dolapo Balogun; Pioneer President, MAAN, Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour;, President, Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Mr. Louis Mbanefo SAN and the Managing Director, Peacegate Group, Prince Ayorinde Adedoyin also presented papers at the two days event.
After each session, the speakers answered wide ranging questions raised by the participants on the various topics discussed.
Considerable time was also devoted to an interactive moot and mock arbitral process which was coordinated by the Young Members Group of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Nigeria Branch on the second day.
Participants at the seminar were drawn from the maritime, judiciary and insurance practitioners. Legal practitioners, students and members of the association also participated fully in the seminar.
Secretary, Cargo Defence Fund (CDF), Ms. Azuka Ogo, who represented the Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello chaired the opening session. Special guests at the seminar included Hon. Justice E.O. Sanyaolu (rtd), member, MAAN Board of Governors/Advisory Board, Hon. Justice J.T. Tsoho and Hon. Justice S. Saidu.