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The American Club concludes 2017 Centennial Year with growth in tonnage and surplus despite a challenging business climate

George D. Gourdomichalis

George Gourdomichalis, new Chairman of the American Club, of Phoenix Shipping & Trading S.A.

Positive trends of recent years continue into 2018

  • P & I and FD & D entries grow by 8% and 6% respectively during 2017.
  • Headline premium declines by 5% to $98.7 million, but incurred losses fall by nearly 50% to $36.3 million.
  • 2017 policy year claims emerging more favorably than previous year.
  • Pool exposures continue at moderate levels.
  • Investment portfolio generates an 8.1% return, best in nearly a decade.
  • GAAP and statutory surpluses increase year-on-year, by 12% and 13% respectively.
  • New reinsurance program affords Club excellent net loss protection.
  • 2018 policy year claims developing very modestly at early stage.
  • 2015 policy year closed and $12 million surplus transferred to contingency account.
  • 2016 policy year release call margin reduced from 15% to 10%.
  • Eagle Ocean Marine maintains steady growth with excellent profitability.
  • American Hellenic Hull continues to expand its market footprint.
  • Safety and loss prevention initiatives gain further momentum.
  • Arnold Witte and Markos Marinakis retire as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Club’s Board. 
  • George D. Gourdomichalis of Phoenix Shipping& Trading S.A. elected as new Chairman, with Robert D. Bondurant of Martin Resource Mgmt. Corp. as Deputy Chairman.

NEW YORK, JUNE 25, 2018: Despite a challenging trading climate, the American Club made excellent progress during its 2017 centennial year.  Members attending the one hundred and first Annual Meeting of the Club in New York last Thursday heard that its business had developed positively over the previous twelve months, and 2018 had started on an encouraging note.

Following vigorous tonnage growth in 2016, the Club had experienced a further uplift of 8% in P&I entries and a 6% increase in FD & D business during 2017.  Moreover,  the portfolio renewed at February 20, 2018 continued to enjoy an outstanding profile, with a trailing five-year gross loss ratio of only 48%.

The Club recorded a net operating surplus of $5.7 million for the financial year to December 31, 2017 compared with a loss of just under $2 million in 2016.  With unrealized gains on investments taken into account, the Club’s bottom line earnings were $6.2 million for the year, a turn around of more than $11 million by comparison with 2016.These positive results led to increases in both GAAP and statutory surpluses at year-end 2017 of over 12% (to $57.6 million) and about 13% (to $74.8 million) respectively.

Incurred losses were significantly lower during the year to December 31, 2017 ($36.3 million) by comparison with the figure twelve months earlier ($70.8 million), a reduction of nearly 50%.  Although reinsurance costs grew during the year, having an impact on net premium earned over the period, management allowances declined by more than 5%.  Part of the increased reinsurance expense related to a new program covering the Club’s retained exposures, affording it excellent net claims protection for the current and future years.

As to policy year development generally, the favorable trends of the recent past had continued into 2017.  In particular, attritional claims for 2015 had been modest and had contributed to the substantial surplus for the year.  Retained exposures for 2016 were holding steady, while those for the 2017 policy year were following a similar direction.  Although not as favorable as they had been in earlier years, losses within the International Group’s Pool also continued to develop at a moderate pace.

Initial claims indications for the 2018 policy year were very favorable, with losses for the Club’s own account after the first four months emerging at a level some 35% better than the previous year at the same stage.

The Club’s investments had generated an overall return of 8.1% during 2017, the best result in nearly a decade.  This was a substantial improvement onthe return of 2.4% during 2016.

The Club’s Eagle Ocean Marine (EOM) fixed premium facility had performed strongly in 2017, and into the early part of 2018.  Annual compound premium growth had been in excess of 20% since 2015.  Gross income for the latest facility year, which was to conclude on June 30, was in excess of $10 million.  Since inception, EOM had enjoyed a cumulative combined ratio of about 70%, inuring to the benefit of both the Club and its co-venturers at Lloyd’s.

In consequence of these trends, and reviewing the results of the 2015 policy year specifically, the Club’s Board resolved formally to close the year without call in excess of the original forecast.  The surplus on closure, of approximately $12 million, would be transferred to the Club’s contingency account.  At the same time, in view of its improving development, it was decided to reduce the release call margin for the 2016 policy year from 15% to 10%.

The fortunes of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Co., Ltd. – the Solvency II–accredited investment of the American Club domiciled in Cyprus – had enjoyed a positive trajectory during 2017.  The company had largely exceeded its commercial targets during the period, being ahead of plan in relation both to gross premium written and to the number of vessels insured.  The Club also continued to benefit from the cross-selling opportunities for its P&I business which had arisen from its involvement with this internationally respected insurer of hull and war risks.

In July 2017, the American Club won the Seatrade Investment in People Award.  In September, Ms. Dorothea Ioannou, the Managers’ Chief Commercial Officer, won the Lloyd’s List Global Next Generation in Shipping Award, a testament to the Club’s current service reputation and the market’s expectations of an equally illustrious future       .

The implementation of new safety initiatives continued during 2017. They included two pocket guides – Good Housekeeping and Signing Bills of Lading; and guidance on seafarer mental health – What’s on your Mind?  In addition to publishing other loss prevention material, the Club had recently initiated a joint venture with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Lamar University of Texas to identify, assess and disseminate near-miss and casualty information relevant to the human element in maritime transportation.

At the Annual meeting of the Club’s Directors, which took place immediately after that of the Members, Mr. J. Arnold Witte of Donjon Marine Co., Inc. and Mr. Markos Marinakis of Marinakis Chartering, Inc. retired from their positions as, respectively, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board.

Mr. George D. Gourdomichalis of Phoenix Shipping & Trading S.A. was subsequently elected as the new Chairman of the Board and Mr. Robert D. Bondurant of Martin Resource Mgmt. Corp. was elected as Deputy Chairman.  In recognition of their service over a period of great change and exceptional progress in the affairs of the Club, Messrs. Witte and Marinarkis were accorded the honor of continuing to hold their former offices emeritus on a special vote of thanks of their fellow directors.

In reviewing the results of the Club’s centennial year, Mr. Witte, the retiring Chairman, said: “I am pleased to have concluded my tenure as Club Chairman in celebrating its centennial year and being present to look forward to the Club’s next century of service to the global maritime community.  I have been supported with unwavering commitment by my Deputy, Markos Marinakis, for more than a decade, and most ably assisted by the distinguished professionals who have served with us over the years on the Board.  I have no doubt that the Club will go from strength to strength in the future.”

Mr. Gourdomichalis, the new Chairman, said:  “I am honored to have been elected by my fellow Directors to serve as their Chairman.  I salute Arnold Witte and Markos Marinakis for their exemplary service in the past and look forward to working with my friend and colleague Bob Bondurant in the discharge of our responsibilities in the future.”

Mr. Gourdomichalis continued: “We are all committed to the continuing success of the American Club and, working closely with our Managers, I am certain that we will build on the great progress of recent times to secure yet further achievement over the years ahead.”

In conclusion, Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., the Club’s Managers commented:  “2017 was a year to remember for the American Club.  The celebration of its centennial proved to be an auspicious backdrop to the success it achieved in many areas of its activities.  The Club has commenced its second century of service better placed than ever to exploit the opportunities of the future.”

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 2017 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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American P&I’s Essential Best Practices and Regulatory Guidance for Shipowners and Operators

New York, May 23, 2018

Following its long tradition of advisory service to maritime operators, the American P&I Club has issued two comprehensive shipowners’ guides to regulatory compliance; Welcome to Greater China and Welcome to the USA.  Also published recently is one of the Club’s concise pocket guides for seafarers, Good Housekeeping and another for masters and mates, Signing Bills of Lading.

The American Club sees providing advice on safety, environmental protection, cargo worthiness and regulatory issues as a crucial part of its service to Members and the shipowning community at large.  The complexity of maritime regulation in many countries is widespread and ever-changing.  With the USA and China both being major trading nations, and significant operators in world maritime commerce, knowledge of and adherence to all regulations that apply in either jurisdictions is of great importance.

Dr. William Moore, Senior Vice President and the Club’s Loss Prevention Director, commented, “We’ve introduced this series of ‘Welcome to’ guides to encourage owners and operators to appraise themselves of regulations with which their vessels must abide.  Responsible operation ensures safety and, of course, avoids delays and potential fines.”

Both the USA and China guides are presented in a clear, easy to follow tabular format and broken down into sections relating to Safety, Maritime Security, Environmental Protection and Liability.  Each are fully comprehensive and cover all regulations from crew nationality to spillage response plans, and from ballast water management to garbage disposal. They have been up-dated, with all regulatory changes as of May 2018, and are available via the American Club website at:

http://www.american-club.com/page/USA-regulations

http://www.american-club.com/page/greater-china-regulations

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers highlighted the crucial role of loss preventing advisory services, “We are acutely aware of the need for accurate information to be readily available to operators and crew.  In the case of ships’ masters and mates the format of its presentation should be intensely practical.  So I’m pleased that we have also recently published another of our successful Pocket Guides for handy use by ships’ officers.  This one dealing with the sometimes vexing questions surrounding Signing Bills of Lading.”

The bill of lading pocket guide is once more designed to be comprehensive in covering all possible circumstances where the officer in charge is called upon to sign bills of lading.  It covers aspects of Bills of Lading clauses including accurate description of goods; non-negotiable copies; charter party incorporation and carriage terms. This guide is a reliable manual for crew responsible for making on-the-spot decisions regarding correct bills of lading procedures.

Also in the Pocket Guide series and published late last year is Good Housekeeping which focuses upon ensuring the appearance of ships and shipboard equipment.  Such outward appearances rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys.

As the series’ name suggests, the guides fold down to a size easily kept in a jacket or shirt pocket.  Access to and more information about the American Club’s loss prevention services and publications is available at http://american-club.com/page/loss-prevention.

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/

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ABS, the American Club and Lamar University Join Forces to Improve Maritime Workforce Safety

Joint Initiative Tackles Common Causes of Maritime Accidents

New York, May 10, 2018

ABS, the American Club and Lamar University are launching a new initiative aimed at reducing maritime-related safety incidents. The initial focus of the partnership’s analysis and industry guidance will be on slips, trips and falls, a significant cause of maritime injuries.

Commenting for ABS, Manager of Human Factors, Dr. Kevin McSweeney said, “We are excited to work with our partners to develop pragmatic guidance for some of the most common hazards and behaviors affecting maritime personnel. Much still remains to be done in reducing these incidents.” McSweeney provides more detail, “Slips, trips and falls have received a lot of attention over the years but remain a leading cause of incidents aboard ship. This initiative will identify, prepare and share actionable safety-related guidance to help organizations better prioritize resources and measure progress to improve seafarer safety and health.”

According to the ABS Mariner Safety Research Initiative, the commonly reported causes of slips, trips, and falls are situational awareness (40%) and poor housekeeping (29%). The American Club’s Senior Vice President William Moore emphasized the collaborative nature of the initiative, “The specific talents of all three partners have come together in identifying common behaviors and hazards impacting maritime personnel; developing recommendations for interventions that can improve safety, as well as presenting guidance to marine owners and operators in understanding key causes, with the ultimate aim of implementing onboard strategies to mitigate these incidents.”

“Our goal with this initiative is developing practical industry recommendations that can be applied to improve the day-to-day safety of maritime crews and staff,” said American Club’s Moore. “By working with ABS, a recognized leader in maritime safety, and Lamar University, this effort will move the ball towards the ultimate objective of reducing work-related incidents; we all fully appreciate what impact fatalities and serious debilitating injuries will have on associated costs to marine liability insurers – let alone the abject misery caused to the families of affected seafarers.”

“Through the ABS/Lamar University Mariner Safety Research initiative, we have a long history of providing solutions to help prevent maritime injuries”, stated Lamar University Professor and Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Director of the Mariner Safety Research Initiative, Dr. Brian Craig. “By collecting and analyzing injury and incident data we can identify lessons learned and corrective actions to aid in preventing the occurrence and reoccurrence of maritime injuries. We all believe that this partnership will help improve the welfare of the maritime industry’s most valuable asset; its seafarers.”

ENDS

About ABS

ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design, and construction. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop accurate and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets.

About 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/.

About Lamar University

Home to more than 15,000 students, Lamar University, near Houston in Beaumont, Texas, is among the state’s fastest growing colleges and universities, and is a member of The Texas State University System. LU offers more than 100 programs of study leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

The university has been nationally recognized for the quality of its core curriculum and the diversity of its student body. LU stresses academic achievement by emphasizing hands-on learning at all levels, providing ample opportunities for undergraduate research and supporting an excellent Honors Program. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Several LU colleges and programs hold additional specialized accreditations, including the five undergraduate engineering programs in the College of Engineering. LU also is home to the many unique programs including the Center for Advancements in Port Management, the Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, and the Mariner Safety Research Initiative.

For more information, please visit Lamar University website https://www.lamar.edu/, the Department of Industrial Engineering website https://www.lamar.edu/engineering/industrial/index.html, and the Mariner Safety Research Initiative website http://maritime.lamar.edu/.

 

 

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Good Housekeeping Essential to keep a Vessel Ship-Shape

The American club launches free pocket guide to maintaining a safe working environment on board

william_moore

Dr William Moore, Head of Loss Prevention and Senior Vice-President, The American Club

New York, November 30, 2017

Daily maintenance and cleaning tasks are essential to supporting a safe working environment on-board a ship, but the importance of these simple actions can also often be overlooked.

The latest in The American Club’s Pocket Guides, which contain valuable loss prevention advice for its Members and the industry at large, has just been published, titled Good Housekeeping. The guide underlines how essential a well maintained and uncluttered work environment is to the health and safety of the ship’s crew and the efficient and secure operation of the vessel.

While the phrase ‘ship-shape’, meaning in good order, neat and trim has been borrowed from the days of sail, The American Club has reverted to the more modern idiom, which refers to a well-run home to emphasise the importance of a safe working environment on-board ship.

Announcing the publication of the Pocket Guide, the Club’s Head of Loss Prevention and Senior Vice-President Dr William Moore commented, “We have previously reported that the overall cleanliness and general housekeeping of ships revealed during surveys have in some cases become a cause for concern. The appearance of ships and shipboard equipment on the outside suggests how well things are operating on the inside.”

As a consequence of these observations the Club felt it was important to stress certain common-sense practices in an easily understood and convenient format; the Guide quite literary folds-up to be carried in crew members’ pockets. The guidelines are ordered according to areas of the ship – deck, engine room, galley, stairs and ladders – as well as drawing attention to commonplace hazards – oily rags, paint lockers, acetylene cylinders.

Each section itemises ‘what to look for’ and outlines the tasks to be carried out to minimise risk.  As ever the Club’s advice is intended to assist Members and their crews in ensuring that ships are maintained to the highest standards. Good Housekeeping-A Pocket Guide can be accessed in English, and in new and traditional Mandarin, on the Club’s website:

http://american-club.com/page/good-housekeeping

In conclusion Dr Moore emphasised, “A ship’s cleanliness and neatness contribute to the health, safety and happiness of the crew.  Furthermore, housekeeping oversights rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys. A well-kept vessel is sure to make a good first impression.”

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/

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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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