Shipowners' P&I holds increases after strong half-year - 16/10/2014

INTERNATIONAL Group member the Shipowners’ Club will not seek a general increase to premiums next year, after reporting a strong underwriting performance and a significant increase in free reserves for the half-year ended August 20.

Earned premiums came in at $120.3m, with ultimate claims at $73.6m. The club’s underwriting surplus was $4.6m, and its investment return was $11.6m.

Capital and free reserves totalled $314.1m, with free reserves up $15.3m. Its combined ratio was a healthy 95.5%.

Last year’s decision to withdraw from the US Pacific northwest fishing sector did result in some loss of premium income but is expected to have a positive effect on the underwriting result.  

Despite this, gross earned premium is ahead of the 2013 figure at the half-year stage, with underlying organic growth described as strong. 

While reinsurance costs have grown in recent years, enhanced stop loss cover with Swiss Re is designed mitigate future claims exposure.

Claims activity in the first half was relatively modest despite one large casualty, with fewer high value claims and fewer claims overall. 

Chief executive Charles Hume said: “The club remains in a strong financial position and our board has decided that there should be no general increase applied to premiums for next year.

“In addition, we will absorb any increase in reinsurance costs; we will continue with our policy of not applying any adjustments for reinsurance at a later stage.

“For our pooled membership, we maintain our policy of no additional or release calls.”

In 16/10/2014