LONDON - London's marine insurance market has widened the area in the Red Sea it deems as high risk amid a surge in attacks on commercial ships, according to a statement issued on Monday.

Guidance from the Joint War Committee, which comprises syndicate members from the Lloyd's Market Association (LMA) and representatives from the London insurance company market, is watched closely and influences underwriters' considerations over insurance premiums.

The joint war committee widened the high risk zone to 18 degrees north from 15 degrees north previously, the statement said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; Editing by Alison Williams)