UK P&I Club welcomes Standard & Poor’s upgrade
The UK P&I Club (the UK Club), one of the oldest shipping protection and indemnity insurance mutuals, has welcomed an announcement by the ratings agency Standard and Poor’s upgrading the UK Club’s outlook from “Stable” to “Positive.”
In its review, Standard and Poor’s said: “The positive outlook reflects our expectation that the UK Club’s stronger and more stable underwriting performance of 2011 and 2012 will continue through 2013-2015.” It also noted the Club’s improved operating performance as evidenced by the combined ratio, strength of management strategy, and the improvement in its competitive position.
Dino Caroussis, Chairman of the UK P&I Club, said: “This is a welcome endorsement by S&P of the UK Club’s efforts to maintain balanced underwriting and a strong capital position in an environment of rising claims costs and volatile investments. “We are dedicated to our goal of being the leading shipowner controlled provider of marine liability insurance and maintaining our level of capital within the AA range of Standard & Poor’s capital model.”
Hugo Wynn-Williams, chief executive of Club managers Thomas Miller P&I Ltd, said: “Our return to the top level of the P&I market has been rewarded by increased support from new and existing Members. However, we will continue to focus on breakeven underwriting and careful management of our risks; from monitoring the UK Club’s entry criteria, an extensive loss prevention programme, and strong claims management, through to the purchase of reinsurance to protect against potential spikes in claims.
“The UK Club has maintained its disciplined approach to underwriting and risk selection as evidenced by a further solid underwriting performance. The last four policy years have achieved an average combined ratio below 100 per cent.” The UK Club’s funds have continued to strengthen in the first half of 2012 with free reserves and capital increasing a further $8 million to $494 million at 20th August 2012. The UK Club is one of the strongest clubs financially in the International Group of P&I Clubs with a free reserve ratio of 167 per cent.
UK P&I Club
The United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Limited is generally known as the UK P&I Club. As a mutual association since its establishment in 1869 the Club has existed solely for the benefit of its members. Its structure as a mutual insurance association enables it to respond to the changing needs of its assureds and allows it to provide superior service, attention and coverage. The UK P&I Club is directed by the members. Overall control lies with the directors, elected by the members from amongst themselves. The directors normally meet four times a year to formulate policy on calls, the scope of cover, finance, underwriting and claims matters, reinsurance and issues affecting the P&I world. They resolve specific claims which may not fall clearly within the cover. Thomas Miller, the Club’s managers, is organised to respond promptly to requests for assistance and to provide informed advice and help with members’ claims. Individual support goes far beyond that normally provided by a commercial insurer. The UK Club’s size and the scale of the managers’ operations has enabled the latter to develop specialist skills and expertise seldom seen in marine P&I. In 350 ports around the world, on-the-spot help and local expertise is always available to members and the masters of their ships from the Club’s 460 correspondents and claims handling services and advice from the network of offices and branches in London, Piraeus, New Jersey, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.