Nairobi Mall Attack Post article

Attackers entered the Westgate building on 21 September with the siege continuing for four days resulting in the deaths of more than 60 civilians and with more than 20 people reported as still missing.

Due to explosions during the attack part of the mall car park collapsed. Lloyd’s insurers QBE, Chaucer and Canopius were the lead insurers for the building’s political violence and terrorism policy with loss adjuster McLarens representing the London market on the majority of claims.

McLarens London regional manager Mark Adderley said working on this event was complicated by the fact that the mall remained a crime scene under the control of the Kenyan government.

“It has been critical to foster a relationship of trust and cooperation with the Kenyan authorities, local insurers and the insureds. Deploying a specialist team that is experienced in terrorism claims and supported local adjusting resources is critical in these events,” Adderley said.

He said it was important to have an understanding of the local market and the dynamics of the local economy.

“In Kenya, finance is a real issue due to the fact that lines of credit generally do not exist and cash flow is an enormous issue. For the insureds in this instance, property owners and shop keepers, who have large mortgages or a significant amount of stock destroyed, any delay in payment could have put them out of business.”

QBE portfolio manager Nicky Ablett said responding to events like the Westgate attack is where the London market excels.

“For QBE’s part as the lead on the supermarket that collapsed, we settled 40% of the property loss within two weeks. We accepted that the sensitivities of the situation prevented immediate investigation and assumed our responsibilities early,” Ablett said.

Simon Low, Canopius political risk and crisis management divisional underwriter, said the attack signalled a shift to “commando” style terrorist activity.

“In the past the modus operandi often took the form of truck bomb or suicide attacks. The Westgate attack primarily facilitated by guns and grenades has proven again that a significant loss to both people and business can still be significant irrespective of the method of delivery,” Low said.

Chaucer political violence underwriter Andrew Buckham added: “This is a good example of how a local based insured and broker and an international reinsurer, via an international broking specialist, can work together successfully for the benefit of the policyholder.”

This article was originally published in POST magazine and was written by Katie Marriner.

Post Article

This article was originally published in POST magazine and was written by Katie Marriner.

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