The insurance claim for a Mitsui OSK Lines car carrier, on fire and unmanned in the Atlantic, could total over $500m after it emerged that the vessel is carrying Bentley and Lamborghini supercars.
Shipping satellite analysis company Skytek, which specialises in monitoring cargo movements from space, said the 6,400-ceu Felicity Ace (built 2005) is a carrying a combination of Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche and Audi cars.
It said there are a confirmed 189 Bentleys among the 3,665 cars on board. It estimates the starting price for each car aboard to be around $99,650. That could push the value of the cargo to a minimum of $365m, but Skytek is estimating the bill could exceed $500m.
Insurance experts said a fire of this nature is likely to result in the vessel being declared a constructive total loss. The entire cargo will almost certainly be written off as a total loss, they added.
The final insurance bill will be determined by whether the cargo cover is placed at the show room price, or at cost.
The ship’s owner, MOL, said the vessel is currently in “stable condition” with at least one tug and salvage team in attendance. A total of three tugs are scheduled to be in attendance at the vessel by 21 February.
But fire-fighting equipment will not arrive at the ship until 23 or 24 February, MOL said.
MOL added that the car carrier is still south of the Azores and is currently drifting away from the islands.
The Felicity Ace was sailing from Emden in Germany to Rhode Island in the US when the fire broke out, forcing the crew to abandon ship.