Insurer Targets Growth in Offshore Sector

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Shipowners’ Club recently announced measures to reorganise its London branch.  This included the setting up of two internal syndicates, bringing together both underwriters and claims handlers specialising in specific geographical regions; a third syndicate will focus on the offshore sector.  Providing liability insurance to the vast array of offshore and platform support vessels, from anchor handlers, tugs and workboats to the fast crew boats employed in the energy industry, already forms a prominent part of the Club’s portfolio.  Shipowners plans to develop its reach to owners and brokers of this vessel type even further.

Charles Hume, Chief Executive of the Club comments, “The syndicate concept is one that we believe will ensure the Club’s high service levels are maintained and indeed enhanced.   We recognise that our membership in the offshore sector represents a key element of our overall business.  We expect this specialist syndicate to provide both outstanding service to existing Members and to further develop our market share in this area, which demands significant expertise.”

The Offshore Syndicate will be headed by William Tobin as Underwriting Manager, with Helen Todd as his deputy and Jonathan Clark as Claims Manager, all three having a wealth of experience in handling offshore business. They will be supported by a team of underwriters and claims handlers, many with legal experience, who will be ready to respond to all enquiries which often include the urgent assessment of contracts, an ever-increasing demand from this industry sector.

William Tobin explains the thinking behind the move, “We have merged the underwriting and claims teams working with offshore Members in order to deliver the most relevant, and at the same time widest possible, specialist cover for vessel owners in this sector.  The move will also enable us to create close and productive relationships with the broker community. 

We always recognise the importance of finding tailored insurance cover and service packages.  In the case of our offshore Members, contract review is a vital part of our service. Detailed review enables us to ensure that the cover we provide can match Members’ contractual liabilities.”

The enhanced focus provided by the Offshore Syndicate is in line with the Club’s strategy to strengthen relations with Members and brokers alike and learn from them what more the Club can do to develop any additional insurance products they would like to see. .  This is underpinned by an existing, systematic and focussed development of simplified insurance products in response to Member and broker demand.

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