Last month’s shocking takeover of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama container ship by Somali pirates and even more shocking resolution was just a recent example of what is increasingly becoming a commonplace incident. According to publicized statistics, 111 ships were attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden in 2008, a 200 percent increase over 2007. Forty-two of those ships were held for ransom, and 889 crew members were taken hostage. Most ransom demands were between $1 million and $4 million per ship.

To find out more about the surge in recent pirate attacks and related insurance implications, Claims spoke with Howard Mills, Deloitte’s chief insurance advisor and former New York State insurance superintendent.

CLAIMS: What kind of claim implications do pirate attacks have for insurers? What effects have there been by paying ransoms for ships and captains, and were those ransoms insurance related?

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