Belfast Telegraph

Titanic insurance document released

An insurance document from the Titanic has been 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 (an estimated £263,000 in today's money). 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.

Richard Turner, marine director at RSA, said 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 said.

He added: "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.

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