107 #96: The Titanic and her cargo were re-insured immediately after the disaster

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Titanic insurance

FALSE. In fact, Titanic was only insured by third parties for two thirds of her build cost—the balance being carried by her ultimate owners, the International Mercantile Marine Co.— and her cargo was not insured at all. Senator Smith went into the matter of Titanic’s possible re-insurance in considerable detail at the US enquiry:

PAF344: ‘You say the Titanic cost, complete, one million and a half pounds, in round numbers. What was she insured for?’

‘She was insured for, in round numbers, £1,000,000, the balance being carried by the I. M. M. Co., under our own underwriting scheme.

‘Adding to that, I would like to say that I do not believe there is any company crossing the Atlantic that carries such a large proportion of its own insurance as the subsidiary companies of the International Mercantile Marine Co.’

PAF668: ‘Between the time that you received this information from Montreal and the time you made public the information which you received from Montreal, did your company reinsure the Titanic or its cargo anywhere?’

‘Absolutely, no.’

PAF669: ‘Did you make any endeavour to reinsure with the Lloyd’s in England?’

‘None whatever.’

PAF670: ‘Are you speaking now for all the officers of your company, here and abroad?’

‘I say this, that our insurance is handled in our New York office, and I am sure that nobody would have taken any action regarding it, or have done anything in connection with it, for account of our company or anybody connected with the company in any way, without first having taken it up with me.

‘I might say that through the entire day we told the newspaper representatives, who were there all the time—we got our first information from the newspapers, and we told the newspapers all the time— that our only authentic information was coming from Capt. Haddock [of the Olympic] and we were giving them that.’
PAF677: ‘If your officials in Liverpool or London, or any place else, had reinsured your cargo would you have known it?’

‘I would certainly have had the advice. But there was nobody in England who was in any way connected with the insurance department and nobody there who would have taken any action in connection with insurance matters. I might say we carry no insurance on the cargo, Senator.’

PAF678: ‘None at all?’

‘We only insure the freight money; the insurance is not on the cargo itself, but on the freight money.’ PAF679: ‘This ship was insured for $4,000,000?’

‘This ship was insured with outside underwriters for $5,000,000, in round figures. It was, in pounds, about a million pounds. The company carried the remainder, up to about £600,000—between £500,000 and £600,000. That is, our insurance fund carried the remainder.’

If you’d like to read the full book of101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic…But Didn’t!, or any of my other books on Titanic, please visit my Author Page on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/tim-maltin/e/B005LNHYEQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

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