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The American Club reports solid progress in 2016 despite challenging business climate

Positive trends continue into 2017 centennial year

  • P & I and FD & D entries grow by 16% and 19% respectively during 2016.
  • 2016 policy year premium flat, but financial year revenue grows by 17%.  
  • Tonnage and premium increase by further 6% through June 2017. 
  • Membership risk profile continues to improve.
  • Attritional claims developing favorably, in line with earlier years.
  • Pool claims continue at moderate levels.
  • 2014 policy year closed without call in excess of original estimate.
  • 2015 policy year release call margin reduced from 15% to 10%.
  • Eagle Ocean Marine continues to gain market share with excellent profitability.
  • American Hellenic Hull gains Solvency II licensing, early growth exceeds expectations.
  • Houston office opened to extend Club’s capabilities in US gulf and beyond.
  • Club’s surpluses move strongly upward over first quarter of 2017.
Joe Hughes - Sept 16

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc.

NEW YORK, JUNE 23, 2017:  Despite a challenging business climate, the American Club reported solid progress during 2016, the closing year of its first century of service to the global shipping community.  Members attending the one-hundredth Annual Meeting of the Club in New York yesterday heard that its business was developing positively and that 2017, its centennial year, had started on an upbeat note.

Club tonnage had grown substantially during 2016 – P & I entries by 16% and FD & D business by 19%.  2017 had also started well in this respect, both tonnage and premiumhaving grown by 6% over the four months since renewal.  It was also encouraging that the business renewed by the Club continued to enjoy a favorable risk profile, with a trailing five-year loss ratio of only 51%.

The results of the financial year to December 31, 2016 disclosed a small operating loss of just under $2 million.  Total premium was up 17% for the year at $95.3 million, as were net investment income and net realized investment gains which, at just under $7 million, were about 13% higher than 2015 ($6.2 million).  However, losses and other expenses had risen from $83.3 million to $108.5 million, mainly due to two claims of unusual severity during the course of the 2016 policy year.  This, combined with a small unrealized loss on investments of $2.9 million, had generated a total Members’ Equity at year-end of $51.4 million, just under $5 million less than it had been at the end of 2015.

Encouragingly, however, the Club’s surpluses had risen substantially as of March 31, 2017, by which time the balance of premium for the 2016 policy year had been fully recognized.  The Club’s GAAP surplus had grown over the quarter by 17% to $60 million, a figure about 9% above that recorded twelve months earlier.  Its statutory surplus also rose by nearly 10%, to $72.8 million.

Loss development continued to follow the favorable trends of recent years.  Claims for 2015 were still at comparatively low levels and had moved the year into respectable surplus.  Attritional exposures for the 2016 policy year were developing at a level largely the same as they had been for 2015 at a similar stage.  Claims for the 2017 policy year, albeit at a very early point of development, were following the positive emergence of 2015 in particular.  Losses within the International Group’s Pool also continued to develop favorably.

The Club’s investments had generated an overall return of some 2.4% during the period against a blended benchmark of 2.2%.  This was a substantial improvement on the previous year’s return of only 28 basis points.  It was a creditable result given the market uncertainties which prevailed during most of 2016.

The Club’s Eagle Ocean Marine fixed premium facility had performed strongly in 2016, and into the early part of 2017.  With an aggregate combined ratio of just over 60%, the facility was making a very healthy contribution to mutual results.

Taking all these circumstances into account, the Club’s Board resolved formally to close the 2014 policy year without call in excess of the original forecast.  At the same time, in view of its continuingly positive development, it was decided to reduce the release call margin for the 2015 policy year from 15% to 10%.

A highlight of 2016 had been the licensing of American Hellenic Hull by the Cypriot authorities.  Fully capitalized and compliant under the Solvency II insurance regulations of the European Union, American Hellenic Hull had made excellent progress to date.  Some 1700 vessels are now insured by the new company which continues to gain market share and promises to make a significant contribution to the Club’s business from a variety of perspectives over the years ahead.

On the service front, the Club’s Managers had opened an office in Houston, Texas in July, 2016 in order to extend the Club’s capabilities in the US Gulf and beyond.

In assessing the condition of the Club’s affairs in its centennial year, the Club’s Chairman, Arnold Witte of Donjon Marine Co. Inc., said: “2016 was yet another challenging period for the shipping industry and all those who serve its interests.  But it was also a year of achievement for the American Club across a wide spectrum of activity.   The Club remains well placed to exploit opportunities in the future.  In this special, centennial year, my fellow Directors and I wish to thank the Members, and all those who act on their behalf, for their continuing support as we move into our second century of service to the global maritime community.”

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s Managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc., echoed Mr. Witte’s remarks: “Notwithstanding difficult business conditions, 2016 was a solid year for the American Club.  It advanced its business in many areas as the year unfolded.  It was particularly encouraging to see a solid increase in tonnage, a trend which has continued into 2017.  Claims continue to develop favorably, revenue is growing despite a weak pricing environment, investments are performing well, membership is expanding, free reserves are increasing, and the Club’s service capabilities continue to be enlarged.”

He concluded: “As we reflect on the American Club’s first century, we will continue to exploit the energy and enthusiasm which have driven its recent progress, fortifying the Club’s prospects for further success over the years ahead.”

The Annual Meeting saw the election of Ms. Judy L. Collins of Patriot Contract Services, LLC, Concord, California and Mr. Gary K. Cutler of Poling & Cutler Marine Transportation, Inc. of Freehold, New Jersey, as new members of the Board.

The retirement of Mr. James P. Corcoran, an independent member of the Board, and a former Superintendent of Insurance for the State of New York, was also noted.  Mr. Corcoran was thanked most warmly for his outstanding contribution to the Club’s affairs over many years of diligent service.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Houston, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/

The full 2016 Annual Report for the American Club can be accessed on its website.

P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.
 

 

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Hughes bullish on Club’s future, and that of the International Group

NEW YORK MARITIME INC. HOSTS ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS.

AMERICAN CLUB’S JOE HUGHES DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS CELEBRATING CLUB’S CENTURY OF SERVICE TO THE GLOBAL SHIPPING COMMUThe American ClubNITY, EXEMPLIFYING NEW YORK’S OUTREACH TO THE WORLD.

New York, June 1, 2017 :  New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR) recently hosted the annual meeting of its members in New York.  NYMAR represents the many maritime service related businesses in New York, and seeks to promote the city as a leading global maritime cluster.

The keynote speech at the meeting was delivered by Joe Hughes, chairman and CEO of the managers of the American Club and a director of NYMAR.  Entitled Celebrating the American Club’s Centennial: Reflecting on the past to gain perspectives for the future, his speech reviewed the first 100 years of American Club history and the changes in the P & I world which had taken place over the last 40 years; made predictions as to what the future might hold, both for P & I insurers in general and for the American Club itself; and assessed what the Club and its managers had learned from their experience of recent years, including what perspectives that experience had provided for the future.

Hughes’ address contained a positive message in regard to the future of both the International Group and the American Club.  In regard to the former he said:

“The International Group will maintain its basic shape; the cooperative deployment of Group resources will strengthen; there will be a growing emphasis on financial and risk modeling; Group market share will be maintained; regionalization of service delivery will expand; there will be continuing product diversification by the clubs; and specialist, fixed-premium insurers will continue to have a respectable role in the market.”

Hughes emphasized the importance of the American Club, and the development of its business globally over recent years, in promoting the New York maritime community.  This development had seen the Club not only becoming more international in its reach for membership, but also diversifying its product lines into the fixed premium P & I sector through Eagle Ocean Marine, and the market for hull insurance in the form of American Hellenic in Cyprus.  He commented:

“We are proud to fly the US flag as the only mutual P & I insurer domiciled in the Americas.  The Club’s future is a bright one, and its interests will continue to be pursued with energy over the years ahead.”

Looking back over his 40-year experience in the sector, Hughes noted the many changes which had taken place over the period since the late 1970s.  They were of both a quantitative and qualitative nature – the size of club retentions and pooling exposures, broker involvement, rating agency presence in the market, and the scale of reinsurance coverages being a few of the many areas of change to which he referred.

In considering the lessons learned from the development of the American Club over the previous 20 years, Hughes observed:

“Perseverance is the most basic resource upon which the American Club has relied in developing its position in the global market.  The decline of its traditional markets forced the Club to develop internationally.  This required hard work in taking an organization that was exclusively an American operation in decline to a confident player on the world stage.  But it had to be done for survival’s sake.”

Acknowledging the importance of New York as a dynamic maritime cluster, Hughes concluded by saying:

“As the American Club celebrates its centennial, let us equally celebrate the distinctions of its hometown of which it is proud to be centenarian daughter.  New York has always celebrated its strivers, and the American Club will continue to strive, in that worthy tradition, over the years to come, flying the flag of both the city of its birth and the nation of whose principles and deep entrepreneurial instincts it seeks to remain an example for all to see.”

 

Notes to Editors

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Houston, Piraeus, Hong Kong and Shanghai, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/
P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

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The American Club celebrates its Centenary

International P&I insurer publishes book to mark this milestone and its place in the global maritime industry

 

NEW YORK, JANUARY 3, 2017:

The American P&I Club was founded in New York nearly a century ago. To celebrate its first 100 years, a book entitled The American Club: A Centennial History has just been published.

The book tells the story of the Club across ten decades of maritime and marine insurance history both within the United States and across the world. Its author is Richard Blodgett, a former Wall Street Journal reporter whose previous credits include histories of the New York Stock Exchange, Kohler and Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Club’s Chairman, Arnold Witte of Donjon Marine Co., Inc., commented:

 P&I clubs are one of the least known, yet significant, niches of the maritime world. The American Club: A Centennial History reveals the rich traditions of the clubs through the spyglass of the only P&I club in the Americas. I am delighted that we have been able to record for posterity the challenges the American Club has faced over the years, and we are very proud of all the achievements and benefits it has brought those who work in the global shipping industry and to marine insurance in general.”

The American Club was founded in February, 1917. War was raging in Europe when the Club began. At that time, P&I insurance was available primarily from clubs in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. In consequence of UK government trade-related sanctions which had been imposed on certain US shipowners in 1916, the American Club was established to provide a reliable source of coverage in the United States.

The Club was the brainchild of W. H. LaBoyteaux, President of Johnson & Higgins, the leading US marine insurance broker in the United States at that time. The Club was an immediate success, enjoying the support of many of the foremost US steamship companies.

The size of the American merchant marine fluctuated in the 1920s and 1930s. It grew during World War II, but entered a prolonged period of decline thereafter. In the decades from 1950 onward, the worldwide merchant fleet grew steadily. But nearly all that growth was taking place outside the United States.

Although the Club only admitted its first foreign-flagged member in 1980, it had ambitions of further international growth over the years which followed. These ambitions gained momentum in 1995 when the Club implemented a major strategy for growth and diversification. Entitled Vision 2000, it called for new leadership, the expansion of the Club’s membership internationally, the establishment of overseas offices, the development of new insurance lines and many other initiatives designed to place the Club at the forefront of its industry peers.

In 1998 the American Club became a full member of the International Group of P&I Clubs. This alliance of leading insurers provides outstanding security and technical resources to the maritime community. It also supports the industry’s broader interests as one of shipping’s most influential voices.

Today, the American Club is thoroughly international in scope, offers the broadest range of marine insurance products and is larger and more successful than ever. On the threshold of its centennial year, Members domiciled outside North America account for about 85% of the Club’s insured tonnage.

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., also commented:

“Today the American Club is thoroughly international in scope, offers a broad range of marine insurance products and is larger and more successful than ever. At present, members domiciled outside North America account for some 85 percent of the Club’s insured tonnage. What was founded in 1917 as an American Club serving the American steamship industry has successfully recast itself as an American Club serving the global maritime community, building on the enduring values of its long traditions.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Houston, Piraeus, Hong Kong and Shanghai, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/

P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

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American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company COMMENCES operations

CYPRUS, JULY 1, 2016: The American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) Ltd is pleased to announce that the Cyprus regulatory authorities have approved the company’s operating license.

The company, established in Cyprus in 2015 by the cooperation between the American P&I Club and Hellenic Hull Management, is now officially in operation with immediate effect. AHHIC is a global insurer and covers all hull and machinery risks for shipowners worldwide.

American Hellenic Hull is the first marine insurance company in the region that meets all the requirements of the European Solvency II Directive.

Management and operation of the new insurer has been undertaken by Hellenic Hull Management, led by managing director Ilias Tsakiris. Hellenic Hull’s team has already been working to ensure the new company’s initial growth.

American Hellenic Hull was recently presented to the international shipping market with a large reception at the Posidonia 2016 international fair in Greece. The company’s first event attracted 4,000 people from the maritime sector including senior representatives of 350 shipowning groups. The sponsors and managers of American Hellenic Hull thanked the shipowners present for their support of the new venture. It was underlined that the company is ready to compete for a significant share of marine business worldwide in all the major markets.

“I wish to thank the teams from both companies that have worked hard to create American Hellenic Hull, but above all thank you to the Greek and international shipping community for their immediate support,” said the chairman of the American P&I Club’s board of directors, Arnold Witte.

Ilias Tsakiris, managing director of Hellenic Hull Management, said: “My colleagues and I are extremely proud of our strategic alliance with the American Club. Our 20-year history of management and operating knowledge in the marine insurance market guarantees the success of this major new international marine insurer, which will offer clients the benefits of a local service approach.”

ENDS

AMERICAN P&I CLUB:

  • American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.
  • The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York. Τhe Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Houston, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.
  • The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping. For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/ – the full 2015 Annual Report for the American Club can be accessed on its website.

SOLVENCY II

EU insurance legislation unifies a single EU insurance market and enhances consumer protection. The third-generation Insurance Directives established an “EU passport” (single license) for insurers to operate in all member states. Solvency II is a fundamental review of the capital adequacy regime for the European insurance industry. It has established a revised set of EU-wide capital requirements and risk management standards that replaced the previous solvency requirements. Solvency II aims to achieve consistency across Europe and includes the following key ideas:

  • market consistent balance sheets
  • risk-based capital
  • own risk and solvency assessment
  • senior management accountability
  • supervisory assessment
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New Director Elected at American Club

NEW YORK, JUNE 27, 2016:

At the Annual Meeting of the Members which took place in New York on June 23, Panagiotis Christodoulatos of Athens-based Ikaros Shipping and Brokerage Co., Ltd., was elected as a Director of the American Club for the forthcoming year.

At the Director’s meeting that followed, Arnold Witte of Donjon Marine Co., Inc. and Mr. Markos Marinakis of Marinakis Chartering Inc. were re-elected as, respectively, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Club.

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the Club’s Managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc., was re-elected as Club Secretary, and Lawrence J. Bowles was re-elected as General Counsel.

The American Club reported solid progress during 2015 to its Members at the meeting. Despite a challenging economic climate, the Club’s business developed respectably, and 2016 had started on a positive note.

The full Annual Report 2015 is available at www.american-club.com/page/annual-report

 

Notes to Editors

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Houston, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/

The full 2015 Annual Report for the American Club can be accessed on its website.

P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

 

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The American Club reports solid progress in 2015 despite a difficult business climate

 

  • International P&I insurer maintains positive trends into 2016
  • membership risk profile continues to develop favorably
  • retained claims for 2015 at multi-year low
  • moderate Pool exposures
  • Eagle Ocean Marine maintains strong profitability
  • investment in American Hellenic Hull expands product range
  • new Houston office extends regional service reach
  • Club wins prestigious industry award

 

NEW YORK, JUNE 24, 2016: The American Club reported solid progress during 2015 at the annual meeting of its members held in New York yesterday. Despite a challenging economic climate, the Club’s business developed respectably, and 2016 had started on a positive note.

The Club’s tonnage and revenue experienced some attenuation in 2015 as global trade slowed and freight markets continued to struggle. Following the 2016 renewal, year-on-year tonnage entered for P&I and FD&D risks was stable at about 14 million GT for the former and 9 million GT for the latter class of business, but the Club’s charterers’ entry had showed encouraging growth.

Elevated levels of vessel turnover over the previous twelve months had caused an erosion of the Club’s dry bulk constituency (which, for 2016, has fallen from 44% to 40% of the total) but tanker tonnage had grown by a commensurate margin (rising from 40% to 44%). Premium rating, however, had remained comparatively firm, despite the enduring effect of “churn” as older, higher-rated vessels continued to be replaced by younger, lower-rated ships.

Claims for the Club’s own account proved to be exceptionally benign during 2015. Indeed, at the fifteenth month (as at May 20, 2016) of development, retained claims for the 2015 policy year were $29.5 million, 44% lower than those of 2014 at the same stage. International Group Pool claims were also exhibiting a modest level of development both for 2015 and its two predecessor years.

The risk profile of the American Club’s membership had further improved over the 2016 renewal. Entries at the outset of the current policy period had a trailing five year gross loss ratio of only 52%. This indicator had been on a favorable trajectory for several years, and augured well for the future.

Net premiums earned during the 2015 financial year were about 14% lower than the figure for the previous period. Total income, at $87.6 million, was also down by comparison with 2014, an increase in net interest and dividend income being offset by a year-on-year reduction in net realized capital gains.

However, incurred losses for the 2015 financial year, at $49.4 million, were more than 25% lower than the figure recorded for the previous twelve months, while operating expenses were also down, in this case by about 2.5%.

While the Club’s net income for the 2015 financial year increased from $1.2 million to $3.6 million, this was offset by an unrealized loss on investments of $5.8 million producing a small after-tax deficit for the year of $2.2 million compared with a surplus of $1.3 million twelve months earlier. Accordingly, members’ equity had reduced from $58.6 million to $56.4 million as of December 31, 2015.

The Club’s statutory surplus at year-end 2015 was, however, substantially greater than that recorded twelve months earlier, rising by 15% from $64.8 million in 2014 to $74.3 million for 2015. Some of this was attributable to the issue of a surplus note of $19.5 million toward the end of 2015, part of which had been committed to the Club’s investment in the hull market in the form of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, Ltd.

As to the development of policy years, 2013 was being closed as originally budgeted. The deficit for the year of $6 million would be subvented by the Club’s contingency fund which stood at $72.5 million as of March 31, 2016. In addition, the release call margin for 2015, as foreshadowed in the Club’s Circular of November 2015, was being reduced from 20% to 15%, in light of the continuingly benign claims development on that year.

The American Hellenic Hull initiative, which had commenced in the early part of 2015, continued to gain momentum. Many benefits had already accrued to the American Club, and more would follow. The transaction would enable the Club to become involved in the hull sector in a cost-effective manner which exploited existing corporate structures and market platforms. This combination of capabilities was creating a new force of growing energy within the marine insurance industry worldwide.

Eagle Ocean Marine (EOM), the American Club’s fixed premium facility, which focuses on the operators of smaller vessels in local and regional trades, was also performing well, and had made a strong contribution to overall results. EOM had continued to expand its market footprint during 2015, particularly in Asia. Its combined ratio remained less than 70%, testimony to its prudent approach to risk selection.

On the service front, in addition to the energetic promotion of loss prevention and other risk management tools, the Club was opening an office in Houston. This was scheduled for early July 2016. The office would enhance the Club’s claims handling and related services throughout the Gulf of Mexico, contiguous regions of the United States, and in Central and South America.

In recognition of its superior standards of member service, the American Club had in May 2016 won the Lloyd’s List 2016 North American Maritime Services Award. This spoke to the high regard in which the Club was held by the maritime community and represented a fitting tribute to all its members on the eve of the Club’s centennial year.

In assessing the Club’s performance, its Chairman, Arnold Witte, President of Donjon Marine Co., Inc., said: “For most of the shipping industry, 2015 was not a good year. Nevertheless, the American Club made progress in many areas. This has been sustained into 2016.”

He continued: “Next year the American Club celebrates its centennial. It is to be hoped that economic conditions generally, and those affecting the shipping industry in particular, will have improved by that time. But whatever the future holds, your Board remains committed to an exceptional level of solidarity with its members, and dedicated to maintain those unsurpassed levels of service upon which its reputation has been built during its first hundred years.”

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., added: “Global trade faltered in 2015, exacerbating the economic hardships which have weighed upon the shipping industry in recent years. While this gave rise to an unpromising environment in which to advance the business of the American Club, it nonetheless made good progress during the year. A particular highlight was the development of the American Hellenic Hull initiative which holds great promise for the future.”

Mr. Hughes continued: “It was especially gratifying to win the Lloyd’s List 2016 North American Maritime Services Award, the Club having, in the opinion of the judges, “gone above and beyond best practice to offer the shipping industry something exceptional.” The award celebrates the great progress the Club has made in recent years. On the eve of its centennial, the American Club looks forward with both confidence and excitement to a second century of service to the global maritime community.”

Summary of Annual Results – 2015 Financial Year

  • Total income down 14% to $87.6 million
  • Incurred losses down 25% to $49.3 million
  • Net income up  200% to $3.6 million
  • Overall investment earnings positive with a 28 basis point return
  • Members’ equity at $56.4 million
  • Statutory surplus up 15% to $74.3 million

Other Highlights:

  • 2015 policy year claims exceptionally favorable: 44% better than 2014 at same point
  • Loss ratio of business renewed for 2016 improves to 52% from 57% two years ago
  • 2013 policy year being closed as originally budgeted
  • Release call margin for 2015 policy year reduced from 20% to 15%
  • Eagle Ocean Marine grows market footprint with solid profitability
  • American Hellenic Hull initiative gains momentum with great promise for the future
  • Houston office opening in early July, 2016
  • Club wins prestigious Lloyd’s List 2016 North American Maritime Services Award

Annual Report 2015 available www.american-club.com/page/annual-report

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Houston, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/

The full 2015 Annual Report for the American Club can be accessed on its website.

P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

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The American Club wins Lloyd’s List 2016 North American Maritime Services Award

Image 2 - Lloyd's List N American Awards 2016 - Winners #P&I Insurer recognised for best practice to the shipping industry

NEW YORK, MAY 23, 2015:  The American Club has won the Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Services Award for 2016. The presentation of the award took place in New York at the end of last week in the presence of a large congregation of luminaries from the North American maritime community, and the Chairman of the Board of the American Club, Arnold Witte, accepted the award on its behalf.

In a news release, Lloyd’s List said: “The Maritime Services Award – General is bestowed on an organisation, company or individual for an exceptional achievement or contribution to any service sector of the North American maritime industry and the judges were exceedingly impressed with the American P&I Club’s recent growth.”

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., said:

“An important criterion explicitly identified by Lloyd’s List was the winner of this award should have gone ‘above and beyond best practice to offer the shipping industry something exceptional’ and we are absolutely delighted that the judges were satisfied we have achieved this.”

“The essence of our original entry is contained in the commendation of the Club (as below) which was taken into account by the judging panel in choosing the American Club for this award from a very strong field of finalists,” Hughes added.

This distinction was bestowed on the Club by a 14 strong judging panel representing many sectors of the shipping industry. It speaks to the high regard in which the American Club is held by the maritime community and represents a fitting tribute to all its Members on the eve of its centennial year.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

The American Club Commendation in full

Commendation of the American Club recognising its success in winning the Lloyd’s List 2016 North American Maritime Services Award:

“The American P&I Club has developed over recent years into a strong player in international marine insurance. Having grown and diversified, it now has a truly global presence and a broad range of products. Approaching its centennial, the Club celebrates a distinguished past and welcomes a future of continuing success.

The American P&I Club is the only mutual protection and indemnity insurer domiciled in the Americas. Founded in 1917, it has provided nearly a century of dedicated service to both the domestic and international shipping communities.

For much of its history, the Club insured only US-based shipowners. But in the mid-1990s the Club adopted a new strategy of international growth and diversification. Since then, the American Club has undergone a remarkable transformation. Its achievements over the period include: a fivefold increase in entered tonnage; fourfold premium growth; eightfold growth in funds under investment and a tenfold increase in free reserves; a broad and expanding international membership, 47% of its revenue now coming from EMEA, 32% from the Americas and 20% from Asia. Twenty years ago, less than 10% of its income came from non-US sources.

The Club has also developed extensive international service capabilities. In addition to its New York headquarters, it has dedicated offices in London, Athens, Hong Kong and Shanghai, with a Houston office opening soon. Also, having originally been only a reinsured member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, the American Club is now a full member of this preeminent industry collective in which it plays an active and important role.

The American Club takes pride in its energetic promotion of maritime safety and loss prevention. Its publications and training materials – together with other focused initiatives – are second-to-none in the industry. Its proactivity in this area is driven not only by the benefits it brings to the Club but also by a desire to support society’s common interest in the safety of life at sea and the preservation of the marine environment.

The American Club has also expanded its line of insurance products in recent years. In addition to P&I and FD&D cover, the Club now provides a full catalogue of related protections. It has also pioneered new areas of business such as its Eagle Ocean Marine facility which boasts a growing footprint in the fixed premium P&I sector across the world. Most recently, the Club has further diversified into the hull insurance market through its investment in the American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company in Cyprus.

Occupying a unique position within the North American marine insurance community, there can be no better example than the American Club of US service outreach to the world in recent years, the Club having emerged as a global player commanding universal respect within the industry.”

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong and Shanghai, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/

P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

 

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Five Marine Visionaries Honoured at 23rd Annual Maritime Hall of Fame Awards

New York, May 12, 2016:

The 23rd Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame reception and awards dinner took place yesterday evening in New York where five individuals were honoured in front of more than 350 of their colleagues from the international maritime transportation industry.

The Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey founded the Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame in 1993 to recognise maritime visionaries who, through excellence in their company, organisation or services, best exemplify the qualities of futuristic thinking that guides the maritime industry.

Funds raised from the Awards evening promote educational services for the sector and, whilst all previous honorees are from within the global maritime and related transportation industries, in 2013 former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg was recognised.

The five outstanding leaders honoured were:

  • Duff Hughes, President, The Vane Brothers Company.

Celebrating 25 years as President of Vane Brothers, Mr Hughes has overseen the company’s transition from a Baltimore-based ship chandlery, established in 1898, to a major marine transportation provider with 150 vessels operating out of seven locations along the U.S. East Coast.

Mr Hughes joined Vane Brothers as a junior partner in 1980 and, leading up to Vane’s 100th anniversary in 1998, spearheaded the construction and acquisition of a fleet of tugboats and barges greatly broadening the bunkering business.

In 2014, Mr Hughes donated Vane’s flagship tug, the Elizabeth Anne, as a training vessel for midshipmen.

  • Robert (Rob) P. Kusiciel, Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain Logistics and Transportation, Honeywell International, Inc.

Prior to becoming Vice President in 2014, Mr Kusiciel spent several years at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. before joining Honeywell in 2001 as Director of Global Transportation. He has held a number of executive roles, most recently Vice President of International Transportation and also as Director of Global Services.

Before joining Wal-Mart, he was the Vice President of Product Development for i-Scope, an Internet-based start-up of global order fulfillment systems and, prior to that, spent 15 years with global industry leaders in transportation such as Sea-Land Service, Hapag Lloyd, APL and Cast North America. Mr Kusiciel holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois.

  • Symeon P. Palios, Chairman and CEO, Diana Shipping, Inc.

Mr Palios is a qualified naval architect and engineer and has been actively involved in the shipping industry for his entire working life.

He purchased his first ship the m.v. “SEMIRA” in 1969, after forming Diana Shipping Agencies S.A., a company he served as its Managing Director and President.

After purchasing and operating a number of cargo vessels capable of carrying both dry and wet cargoes for over 30 years, he formed Diana Shipping Inc., and in February 2005 became its Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Since 2011, Mr Palios has been a Board Member of the “Maria Tsakos” Foundation which is closely involved in matters affecting maritime technology and the marine environment.

  • William (Bill) Payne, Vice Chairman, NYK Line (NA), Inc., and Vice President, NYK Ports, LLC.

Mr Payne took his first maritime job as a relief summer deckhand in 1973 on a newsprint carrier calling at mills in western British Columbia and returning to San Francisco and the newspaper industry in his native California.

Following graduation from UC Berkeley in 1976, Mr Payne joined the San Francisco office of Kerr Steamship Company in 1978. Then in 1989 he was recruited to NYK Line (North America) which was in the process of opening its own offices in lieu of using a general agent.

Promoted to Vice President of Liner Operations and Customer Service in 1999, in 2006 he became Senior Vice President of Marketing, Pricing, and Trade management for the Transpacific and Transatlantic services for NYK Line.

In 2008 Mr Payne became COO and Executive Vice President rising in 2011 to President of NYK Line (North America).

  • Christopher (Chris) J. Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO, American Bureau of Shipping, Inc.

Mr Wiernicki is an internationally recognized naval architect and business leader.

He joined the American Bureau of Shipping in 1993 and has served in many positions in the organisation. Prior to American Bureau of Shipping, Mr Wiernicki was President and CEO of Designers and Planners Inc., one of the leading naval architecture firms in the US.

Mr Wiernicki holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt, a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from George Washington University.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Joe Hughes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., Manager of the American P&I Club.

A past President and current Director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, Mr Hughes was himself honoured in the 2011 International Maritime Hall of Fame and is a well known figure in the marine insurance industry internationally.

 

Notes For Editors

About the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey

Although it has served the port since 1873, the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey can trace its beginnings back to the early 1860s when the Merchants Exchange and News Association collected and distributed information concerning ships’ sailings and arrivals.

It provided the most updated information of New York’s ships’ positions as they travelled, as well as other maritime information, and became known as the Pine Street News Room, building up a good reputation for reliable shipping news.

As maritime activity in New York flourished, the need for more information exchange increased and the Maritime Association of the Port of New York was formally opened in February 1873.

The organisation’s usefulness gained prestige and, in 1879, it became Lloyd’s of London’s United States ship intelligence representative.

In 1944 the Maritime Association created the Joint Committee on New York Port Protection, which joined the United States Coast Guard and Navy to protect piers, ships, and cargo from damage as, by this year, more ships travelled through the New York port than any other in the world.

In 1982 the Maritime Association completed the renovation of the Statue of Liberty, the great symbol of American freedom.

Every year the Association hosts the acclaimed International Maritime Hall of Fame Awards, in the early years at the Statue of Liberty Island, then at the World Trade Center’s Windows On the World and at the United Nations.

Today, through its marine intelligence staff, the Association works 24 hours a day, providing ship traffic information through its PINS System (Port Information Network System) that announces ship arrivals and departures with real-time data through a network of computer systems easily accessible for Association members.

 

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AMERICAN CLUB ANNOUNCES MODEST GENERAL INCREASE FOR 2016 POLICY YEAR: P&I PREMIUM TO RISE BY 2.5%, BUT NO INCREASE FOR FD&D

RELEASE CALL MARGINS FOR 2013 AND 2014 POLICY YEARS REDUCED: CURRENT YEAR TO BE REVIEWED IN FIRST HALF OF 2016

Premium uplift by international P&I insurer in line with current market trends 

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 23, 2015:     At its meeting in New York on 20th November, the American Club’s board resolved to levy a general premium increase of 2.5% for P&I cover, but no increase in the cost of FD and D for the 2016 policy year. The club’s board also reviewed release call requirements for open policy years, significantly reducing the margins for 2013 and 2014, and undertaking to revisit the 2015 figure in the first half of 2016.

In reaching these decisions, the Board took account of the Club’s recent performance against a background of the overall economic climate, the outlook for the freight and investment markets and the implications of emerging trends within the P&I environment.

In a circular released to its members, the American Club said that, over the last twelve months, the “churn effect” (the term applied to the reduction of premium volume as older, higher-rated vessels are replaced by newer, lower-rated ships) had had a more subdued impact upon revenue than was the case from 2012 through 2014. Indeed, the average net rate per ton for the Club’s P&I entries was only 2% lower than it had been twelve months earlier, despite unrelenting pressure on premium pricing over that time. The Club also remarked that claims development for the 2015 policy year had been favorable to date as to both retained losses and those covered by the International Group’s pooling arrangements for larger claims.

In commenting on these developments and the outlook for the industry in general, Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., said:

“Price increases, however modest, are never welcome, particularly at a time when the freight markets continue to struggle.  Nevertheless, the board remains resolute in its commitment to consolidate the financial standing of the American Club, particularly in light of the progress it has made in recent years.

Let us hope that the outlook for shipping will improve as the global economy expands in 2016 and beyond. However, apart from the tanker sector and certain other specialist trades, the freight markets have yet to experience any sustained growth.

As to the prospects for P&I generally, pressure on premium pricing is likely to continue, given the difficulties facing shipowners at large. On the claims front, the severity of attritional losses will probably increase, even if their frequency continues to diminish, while the size and volatility of large claims are unlikely to abate,” Hughes concluded.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

American Club Circular

Full details of the American Club’s Circular number 41/15 dated November 20, 2015 can be found here http://www.american-club.com/files/files/cir_41_15.pdf

Highlights of Circular number 40/15

  • 2013 much improved by comparison with the position twelve months earlier. Release call reduced from 20% to 7.5% over and above the current estimated total premium for the year. Year expected to be closed in June 2016 in accordance with original budget.
  • 2014 exhibiting a deficit, but likely to improve toward closure expected in the first half of 2017.  Release call reduced from 20% to 12.5%.
  • 2015 developing well within initial expectations, release call to be maintained, for the time being, at 20%, but to be reviewed during the first half of 2016.
  • 2016 renewal to feature a 2.5% general increase on expiring estimated total premium for P&I entries.
  • 2016 renewal to feature a zero general increase for FD&D entries.
  • 2016 renewal also to feature increases in, and minimum levels of, certain deductibles, as well as of deductibles for certain P&I risks.

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong and Shanghai, plus a worldwide network of correspondents

The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/

P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations

Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

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American Club announces investment in new Cyprus-based hull insurance company – American Hellenic

New company’s experienced executives, having worked more than twenty years in the hull & machinery insurance market, will now serve customers through an expanded global presence from offices in New York, London, Piraeus, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Dalian.

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2, 2015: The American Club has announced a strategic investment in a new Cyprus-based hull insurance company, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, Ltd. (American Hellenic), as part of its continuing global expansion and diversification initiative. The new company will be managed by an experienced team of executives with over twenty years in the hull & machinery insurance market. The American Club’s investment will allow further expansion into the global hull & machinery segment enabling it to offer high quality insurance services and innovative customer solutions.

A Witte June 15 #

Arnold Witte, Chairman of the American Club’s Board of Directors

American Hellenic will be a Cyprus-based and licensed, Solvency II compliant, wholly-owned American Club subsidiary. It will be managed from Piraeus, Cyprus and New York, utilizing the expertise of long-standing professionals in the marine insurance market and will be serviced through specialists in offices located in seven major global shipping hubs with the ability to provide local market know-how and service to its customers, and to communicate in no less than eleven languages.

The American Club will now not only be able to continue offering first class marine protection and indemnity cover, but also, through its new subsidiary American Hellenic, will provide an expanded product line of marine insurance including hull & machinery, war risk, and mortgagee interest insurance.

Chairman of the American Club’s Board of Directors, Arnold Witte, in highlighting the significance of this strategic investment, said: “The Board of Directors carefully assessed the value of this business opportunity and voted unanimously in favor of supporting the American Hellenic hull insurance initiative. This is an historic moment in the Club’s long history and, through the dedication and ingenuity of the Club’s Managers and Board Directors, sparked by the idea of Board member Angelos Kostakos, represents a unique opportunity to prudently expand our market footprint, and bodes well for the future of the American Club.”

Vincent Solarino, President and COO of Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., Managers of the American Club also stated: “American Hellenic is an investment in the American Club’s future and is yet a further step in expanding and diversifying the Club’s product line. It is part of the Club’s overarching plan to significantly increase its revenue across a growing range of product lines, its tonnage across all lines, expand its market presence, while increasing its S&P rating. This is possible because the Club’s Directors and Managers have the grit, determination and initiative to make it happen”.

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s Managers, concluded his colleagues’ remarks in saying: “This is one of the most significant developments in the American Club’s recent history. The transaction proceeded with the close and active cooperation of the Board of Directors of the American Club. I am certain that American Hellenic will prove to be a powerful force of growing energy within the international marine insurance industry. 

Notes to Editors

The American Club was founded in February 1917. In addition to its US headquarters in New York, the club is able to provide local service across all time zones, communicating in 11 languages, with subsidiary offices in London, Piraeus, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dalian, and a worldwide network of correspondents. 

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