Commenting on the background to the decision, Ian Gooch, chief executive of the Club’s management team, says, “Claims in the Club’s retention layer for the current policy year show some encouraging signs, especially at the attritional level, where increased deductibles seem to be playing a part. Although claims in the highest band, in excess of $1m, are running at a moderate level, this band is volatile and has been very expensive in other, recent years. Overall, there remain clear signs of a strong inflationary trend, particularly in the cost of individual larger cases, something which may be reflected by the experience of the International Group Pool this year. The claims picture there is extremely unfavourable, both in terms of claim frequency and average claims severity.”
With regard to investments, the London Club year-to-date return stood at 4.05 per cent at 20 August, and the Club says a cautious approach to planning for the part to be played by investment contributions continues to be required in the current uncertain and low-growth environment.
Gooch concludes, “The Committee recognised the depressed market conditions in different shipping sectors. But, with claims increasing, the Committee considers it to be in the best interests of Members and Club to safeguard its financial strength and move to more balanced underwriting performance. It is against this and the said background that the decision was taken to set a general increase in annual call rates for the 2013/2014 policy year of 12.5 per cent. The Committee also emphasised that attention should be paid to the adjustment of rating and deductible levels for individual Members, where their record and/or exposure to risk requires it.”