Marsh McLennan has formed a public-private partnership (PPP) to offer insurance for ships carrying grain and other food supplies from the Black Sea ports in Ukraine.

The US insurance broker is teaming up with the Export Credit Agency of Ukraine (Ukreximbank), Ukrainian state-owned Ukrgasbank and Germany’s DZ Bank to launch the new insurance facility, called Unity.

Insurers based at Lloyd’s of London will underwrite Unity, which will offer up to $50m in coverage for hull war risk and $50m as P&I war risk insurance.

The facility will be supported by standby letters of credit from Ukreximbank and Ukrgasbank, each of which has been confirmed by DZ Bank.

Additionally, Unity is backed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Economy, offering war risk insurance to shipowners and charterers if secure routes are not available.

Marsh McLennan president and CEO John Doyle said: “The launch of this insurance facility will especially benefit the developing nations that buy much of Ukraine’s grain and also help Ukraine’s future recovery and reconstruction endeavours.

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“Through these efforts, we are fulfilling our purpose as a company to give our communities and clients the confidence to thrive.”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said: “The launch of the Unity facility will enable Ukraine to provide vital food supplies to the world at the same time as supporting the Ukrainian economy and keeping the Black Sea open for international trade.

“This partnership between the Ukrainian government, Marsh McLennan and Lloyd’s of London is a sign of confidence in our economy and demonstrates that Ukraine is open for business.”

In June 2023, Marsh McLennan said it would work with the Ukrainian Government to enable access to the worldwide insurance market.

Marsh McLennan teamed up with the government and insurers to set up a platform for sharing war risk data to help insurers make informed decisions.