Shipping in the Arctic passage

Arctic glaciers

Discover the work we’re doing to help prepare our clients and the environment as they navigate the risky waters of polar shipping. 

RSA is focused on insuring progress. With increased shipping, mining, and tourism in the Arctic, we have customers that want to take advantage of these opportunities. Our role is to help them succeed in a way that mitigates risk as much as possible.

RSA has been working with its partner WWF to better understand the potential environmental and social impacts of shipping on the Arctic environment. Together in 2012, we embarked on a piece of research using our technical mapping skills to produce a series of GIS maps to look at sea ice retreat, the emergence of potential shipping routes and environmentally and biologically sensitive areas in the region. 

We consulted these maps, in addition to other critical pieces of data and information, as part of our risk analysis and decision to underwrite the Nordic Orion last year.

When reviewing risks with an Artic shipping exposure we ask:

Is the ship Polar Class? Will they have an ice navigator onboard who understands Arctic waters? What is the company’s familiarity and experience in traversing Artic waters? Do they adhere to regulations such as the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act and has the Canadian Coast Guard has been informed of the voyage? What is the company’s overall track record.

We feel we are in a critical stage now to properly plan for the increase in Arctic shipping we see happening within 20 years and that involves, risk management and ensuring that a proper policy regime (such as the Polar Code) is in place that conserves key environmental and cultural values and minimizes conflicts with other social, environmental and economic objectives. 

Find out more about arctic marine coverage.