The Shipowners’ Club, the leading P&I insurer in the smaller and specialist vessel sector, has reported steady financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2017, despite challenging market conditions.
The Club recorded a 99.3% combined ratio, consistent with previous years. The modest underwriting surplus achieved in the first six months of US$ 0.7m has been supplemented by a favourable return on the Club’s investment portfolio. This portfolio has contributed some US$ 24m of surplus in the first half of the year – a return of 3.7%.
At half year position, the frequency of claims has remained remarkably stable when compared with the same period in 2016. However, despite such stability, the Club has witnessed a 15% increase in the overall quantum of claims reported. This increase is particularly evident across the majority of lower bands up to US$ 1m.
The Club has an actively managed investment portfolio of some US$ 575m. The Club’s benchmark policy is to invest approximately 75% of the portfolio in cash and fixed income products, with the balance in equity investments, which has generated a total gain from investments of US$ 24.3m in the first half of the year.
Simon Swallow, Chief Executive commented: “In previous Half Year Reports, we have commented on significant tonnage growth due to organic acquisition, especially in the offshore sector, and many new business opportunities. Today, the challenging shipping environment has seen the laying up of tonnage and a slowdown in membership growth in many sectors of the maritime industry."
"This is matched by the emergence of fierce commercial competition due to the proliferation of new capital coming in to the insurance market
. Despite the challenging conditions, the Shipowners’ Club continues to see great loyalty from its membership and has experienced encouraging areas of growth from certain vessel sectors," Simon added.
"It is at this time that we must reinforce the Club values, to Members and their brokers, that are part and parcel of a mutual P&I solution. We strive to listen to and work with our membership to offer stability of premiums, the sharing of like-for-like risks, a proactive and caring claims philosophy and at all times attention to service at every stage of the Broker – Member – Club relationship. The feeling of belonging and being part of a family of owners is an essential part of our offering and is supported by financial assurance through the Club’s capital and free reserves. We are proud to be able to present our half year report for 2017,” he concluded.