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Monday, April 16, 2012

RMS Titanic and Insurance settlement document

Though there have been hundreds of things, Critics kept writing about Sachin’s 100th ton – huge expectations were raised and much hype created for that non-relevant record and things became silent once he made that.  It is hundred years since the vessel Titanic sunk and media is crazy about this single loss irresistibly making it a symbol of disaster, wealth,  love, heroism, cowardice insurance and whatever making it an ideal material for film – acclaiming it to be unsinkable, yet sinking on its maiden voyage gives it an eternal sense of incompleteness that fascinate many. 

Somehow I have not watched the James Cameron’s blackbuster movie Titanic released in 1997 and won acclaim more as a romantic film than recording of the disaster with dimensional love of it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes.

Of the many reasons for its International acclaim, The New Yorker, points to a basic reason: because of the recent invention of wireless telegraphy it was "one of the first global news stories to be reported... more or less simultaneously with the events." The ship was, in fact, one of the first ever to send out a SOS alert. Harold McBride, the Titanic's junior telegraph operator, who survived, told his senior officer: "Send SOS. It's the new call, and it may be your last chance to send it." The Titanic was perhaps the world's first really global media event.

Sure, all would have read more about this earlier and have already formed an idea from the movie and media reports.  If still not, RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage. One of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, she was built between 1909–11 by the Harland and Wolffshipyard in Belfast. She carried 2,223 people.  Her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere seeking a new life in North America.  Though she had advanced safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors, she lacked enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard.

After leaving Southamptonl, on 14 April 1912, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 pm, the collision caused Titanic's hull plates to buckle inwards in a number of locations on her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea. Over the next two and a half hours, the ship gradually filled with water and sank. The 710 survivors were taken aboard from the lifeboats byRMS Carpathia a few hours later.  The sinking of the ocean liner RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912 in a mere four hours of it hitting the iceberg is remembered as one of the most dramatic events of  the twentieth century.

Now there are newspaper reports of “an Insurance document being released for the first time”.  The ship's hull and machinery was valued at £1 million and owners White Star Line would have had hundreds of different insurers.  The total pay out by Royal Insurance, now forming part of the RSA Insurance Group, on it was £4,000 [Rs.3,26,000/-] (an estimated £263,000 in today's money – Rs.2,14,83,000/-). There were claims amounting to £150,000. This is the first time the document, dated April 30 1912, has been seen by anybody outside the RSA Insurance Group.

Newspapers quoting Richard Turner, marine director at RSA, state that there would have been up to 100 insurers of the Titanic. "Although a million pounds does not sound very much, it must have been one of the largest values of any ship afloat at the time, if not the largest," he is quoted as saying and  "The fact that so many insurers were involved meant the risk was widely spread and everyone was affected by it."  Each firm covered about 1% of the value.  Mr Turner added: "The wider impact was on the way ships were designed afterwards, the sinking exposed the frailties in design and that had an impact."  He said with the First World War erupting two years later the market would have become dominated by claims for damage caused by fighting, adding it was hard to estimate the effect of the Titanic on premiums.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

PS :           the simplicity of the Claim note approving its full insured value of £ 4000 and the time taken (a fortnight) for this settlement amazes !!!!

1 comment:

  1. Good one dude - photo for posterity - Smith