The Shipowners’ Club Expects Inflation to Affect Overall Claims Costs

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The Shipowners´ Club board in last year´s meeting took the decision that no general Increase would be applied across the membership for policy year 2023. With the exception of a 10% increase in the Yacht sector, and increases for some members operating Dry Cargo vessels, the decision meant the Club was one of the only Clubs in the International Group Clubs not to apply a general increase, as the club says in an article published earlier this month.

The Shipowners’ mutual insurance association board noted that the club was in a market leading underwriting position, but potentially faced some headwinds by virtue of inflation running at higher than historic levels.

“The big unknown is inflation and given that it has been a relatively benign year for claims, especially to the International Group Pool, we haven’t seen the impact of inflation. This may change, but the key thing is that we only ever ask Members for what we need” explained the Club’s Director – Underwriting, Ian Edwards.

“We don’t like surprises and neither do our Members and their brokers”. Sticking to that promise and mindful of increases in premium requested through General Increases in recent years, the Board resolved that no General Increase would be applied across the Membership for policy year 2023.

The Club expects inflation to continue to be influential in terms of overall claims costs and it also expects to face modest increases in reinsurance costs for next year.

Whilst steady growth remains a key strategic goal, the Club, as it is mentioned in the article, is committed to doing so without compromising on their underwriting discipline.

“We want to grow steadily like everyone else” explains Edwards “but we don’t seek to write new business for anything other than what we believe is the right premium, as after all we are all sharing risks together.”

With over 34,000 vessels underwritten and the highest membership of any IG Club at over 8,000 Members, as the club claims, the Shipowners´ Club members have the benefit of a much larger spread of risk.

However, as the Club’s Director – Underwriting, Ian Edwards, recognises the Club cannot afford to rely on their reputation, as the go-to Club for smaller and specialist vessels. “Renewal is never easy, it’s an open opportunity for people to shop around. Particularly with our smaller clientele there has historically been a lot of options for them. We’re the only Club that doesn’t apply release calls so they’re free to shop around,” as he says. Yet consistently the Club has reported retention numbers in excess of 95%.

Source: Shipowners Club

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