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P&I Club bosses serve up recipe for success at London forum.

Press release   •   May 14, 2012 14:54 UTC

Norwegian marine insurer Skuld is aiming to provide Michelin starred service to shipowners.

Skuld chief Douglas Jacobsohn compared protection and indemnity clubs to restaurants with the reserves the ingredients, coverage the recipe, underwriting the main course and claims the pudding.

Supplementary calls were the tips but at “Chez Skuld no tips are required” Jacobsohn told TradeWinds Marine Risk Forum.

Skuld has been making big strides in diversifying from its P&I club roots with Jacobsohn saying that if his shipowner guests wanted something that was not on the menu he would strive to make it.

So how many Michelin stars should Skuld get? Jacobsohn says he is striving for the full three stars.

The Skuld chief says it is evident that others should be following Skuld’s diversification strategy that has seen it move into the offshore market and launch a Lloyd’s of London syndicate.

But whether others will do so is another issue, he added.

There were allegations at the forum that the clubs tended to favour big shipowners over smaller owner or those who had smaller vessels but Jacobsohn said this was based on a misconception.

There is no reason to discriminate on size grounds, he said.

American Club chief executive Joe Hughes, speaking to TradeWinds Web TV said the major casualties of recent months have demonstrated the strength of the International Group protection and indemnity clubs their claims handling abilities and financial integrity.

Hughes doubts losses that include the Costa Concordia and Rena will have a big impact on the clubs as claims pooling and reinsurance dilutes the impact of even major disasters.

Hughes says his New York based P&I club is faring well with claims over the last year at relatively low levels and the February renewal of fleets producing a stable result.

 “We began 2012 in a strong position,” said Hughes although he also voiced concern about the impact of churn – the replacement of high paying older vessels with newer ships on lower rates – on premium level.

The American Club linked fixed premium P&I facility, Eagle Ocean Marine, is meanwhile meeting its premium expectations although it has adopted a prudent posture in terms of rating and the risks accepted, said Hughes.

 Reporting by Jim Mulrenan for TradeWinds

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