Shipowners’ Club Once More Keeps Premium Rises to a Minimum

P and I Clubs — By on October 31, 2013 at 11:20 PM

shipowners new 06 11 2012Despite a continued upward trend in the cost of claims and additional reinsurance costs, The Shipowners’ Club, P&I insurance provider to the smaller and specialist vessel sector, is to raise premiums by just 5% for the 2014/15 renewal.

31st October 2013 – Announcing its half year (2013/14) financial results Shipowners, which minimised its premium rise at the last renewal to a market low of 5%, will keep next year’s increase to a similar small rise.  In the P&I Club’s Half-year Report, issued yesterday, Chief Executive Charles Hume stated, “We appreciate that any increase is unwelcome and we recognise that it is necessary to achieve a balance between ensuring the long-term financial security of the Club and recognising the financial challenges faced by many Members in the current economic climate. As Members and brokers will be aware, our track record of general increases is the most competitive in the market and we intend to keep it that way.”

Highlighted in the half-year report is the continued growth in both premium and tonnage entered in the Club.  In the first six months of the trading year earned premiums are up some 11.5% at USD 120.3 million, of which USD 5 million represents new business over the same period, when compared to the previous year.  Vessel tonnage entered stands at 24.47 million GT, an increase of 18.6%.

As indicated, though, claims are also trending upwards both in frequency and value, net of reinsurance.  There was particular volatility in the second quarter with the impact from claims within the USD 1 to 5 million band having the most effect.

Charles Hume noted that these trends were consistent with reports from the market in general. “We will be monitoring the claims position for the third quarter very closely,” he commented.

The report shows that the Club remains in a strong financial position with a surplus of USD 1.1 million for the first six months and an increase in capital and free reserves to USD 276.7 million.  The combined ratio for the period is 98.4% against 95.5% for the full 2012/13 year; excluding some small improvements in back years the pure year combined ratio is 100.6%.

Hume continued, “The 5% general increase continues to include the increased costs of reinsurance. It is inevitable that these costs will rise again and, uniquely within the International Group, the Club is absorbing them within the general increase. We intend to utilise the Club’s very strong capital position for the benefit of the membership to ensure that the likely increase in reinsurance costs is mitigated.”

“We place the utmost value on the long-term relationships that we develop with our Members whose financial interests, we believe, are ultimately best served by the stability and continuity of entry with the Club,” concluded Charles Hume.  “In turn we thank both our Members and their brokers for their long-standing support.”

A pdf of the Half Year Report 2013/14 is available for download at

http://www.shipownersclub.com/publications/latest-publications

The Shipowners’ Club is a mutual marine liability insurer, providing Protection & Indemnity insurance to smaller and specialist vessels since 1855. The Club currently insurers over 33,000 vessels from more than 6,200 Members worldwide and is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs.

The Club has offices located in Luxembourg, London, Singapore and Vancouver.

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