The London P&I Club
has reported that its level of claims for the 2003/4 year of account was down by fourteen per cent on the previous year. And it says its ongoing vessel inspection programme, which sees roughly half its entered fleet inspected each year, has helped produce this marked improvement.
John M Lyras, Chairman of the London Club
, says, “Claims for the 2003/4 policy year are running at a lower level than at any time during the last twenty years, a fact that I believe is a reflection of the selectivity of our underwriting”. He adds that such selectivity results in part from tactical decisions based on the Club’s ship inspection programme and other means of assessing members.
Paul Hinton, Chief Executive of A Bilbrough & Co, Managers of the London Club, says that, while the Club’s comparatively benign claims experience – in contrast to that of many other members of the International Group of P&I Clubs – can sometimes be attributed simply to good fortune, the factors are usually more complex.
He notes, “Bilbroughs’ Loss Prevention Department continues to inspect, annually, roughly fifty per cent of all vessels entered, a figure that is believed to be by far the highest in the industry.
“Not only do regular inspections help ensure that the entered tonnage meets an acceptable standard in physical terms, but compliance with the ISM Code is also monitored. Clearly, strict compliance assists when it comes to reducing the number of accidents resulting in P&I claims.”