In its 2017 report on the P&I Clubs, broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson asked all of the clubs a list of questions. Here are the responses of American Club, Britannia and Gard to the final question, asking how the IG is currently most effective and relevant.
Q In your view in what area of its activities is the IG at its most effective and relevant?
American Club said that the International Group was at its most effective in creating a system of liability insurance which provided the maximum cover and service capabilities at the minimum price for the broadest constituencies of the global shipowning community – particularly in the blue water sector.
The Club said that it was also highly effective as a “brains trust”, able collectively to deal with any subject placed before it, and to speak with a very persuasive voice in the public spaces of global shipping.
Britannia said that the IG was at its best when it could demonstrate concrete value to owners. There were unrivalled benefits to the pooling of risk and the group reinsurance programme. Individually and collectively the clubs were able to provide a ticket to trade to owners through the provision of blue cards and certification.
Britannia noted that the Group would often lobby on behalf of owners, representing their interests at legislative level.
“Owners vote with their ships and the most recent data on the undiminished percentage of the world oceangoing fleet currently insured within the Group clubs reflects owners’ views on both the effectiveness of the cover provided and the relevance of the Group in addressing owners’ marine liability insurance requirements”, the Club said, adding that the structure of the Group enabled it to be as responsive as owners required, regardless of whether a given risk would be profitable to insure or otherwise.
Britannia concluded that the Group was able to provide unparalleled service and insurance solutions to an owner in an ever-changing shipping environment.
Gard said that the role of the International Group was a key component to its being able to deliver on its promises. The strength of the Group system lay not only in the unparalleled limits and range of cover that it allowed the clubs to deliver for shipowners and for the benefit of third party victims, but also in delivering a competitive P&I product that enabled the clubs to provide value to their members.
Gard said that it was critical that the value of the IG pooling system, which had served shipowners and society well, continued to be supported by all clubs. The clubs in turn were continually trying to adapt the system to change and continue to deliver the best solutions possible.
Gard felt that the IG Secretariat was also important as a coordination centre with third parties such as the IMO as well as the EU, USA and a host of States when it came to a broad range of issues, “speaking as it does for about 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage”.