JHC Pushes Ahead with Clause Review

Friday, May 31, 2002
The Joint Hull Committee in London (JHC) is pushing ahead with ambitious plans to review the existing Institute Hull Clauses in order to bring them into line with current market practice. Subject to satisfactory conclusion of the consultation and approval process, the new clauses should be ready for use by November of this year. Although no far-reaching changes are anticipated, the JHC is keen to make the standard hull clauses as consumer-compatible as possible. As a starting point, the JHC will review the 1983 and 1995 Clauses with a view to adjusting them to reflect current market practice. In addition, the JHC considers that a number of supplementary clauses, which are now in everyday use, could be drafted to form part of an addendum. This addendum could then be amended or reissued at various times as appropriate, without requiring any change to the main wording. The opportunity may also be taken to include some aspects of the London Market Principles (LMP), and in addition to clarify London market hull claims procedures in the wording and/or addendum. Simon Beale, underwriter of the KJ Coles syndicate at Lloyd's, and chairman of the Joint Hull Committee, says, "This is not a fundamental rewriting of the existing standard clauses. But the wordings in current usage have been in the market for seven years and more, so it would be surprising if some amendments were not deemed beneficial to both the shipping and insurance industries, particularly since ISM compliance has become mandatory for so many ships and owners since the most recent wordings were launched in 1995. "Initial consultations are taking place with brokers, solicitors and average adjusters, and we have scheduled discussions for further consultation with policyholders - the shipowners and managers. It is important that insurance wordings reflect current industry thinking and market developments, as well as legislative changes, rather than languish in the past."
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