North reports solid renewals after P&I’s “challenging” year

Having approached the renewal with what it defined as “the objective of reducing exposure in certain areas”, North’s combined owned and chartered tonnage reduced slightly for the new policy year, but is still projected to be in excess of 245m gt.

North P&I Club reported continuing growth in its diversified business lines and “solid progress” in raising premiums to reflect market conditions

North CEO Paul Jennings describes the period as “a very demanding renewal for our P&I mutual business”, noting that this year’s renewal had been the first in North’s 160-year history to have taken place virtually, without face-to-face discussions.

North said that its attention to risk, revenue and diversification left it “in robust financial shape, despite Covid-19 challenges”.

Jennings said North had secured premium growth across all of its business lines throughout the year, projecting a significant increase over the last 12 months. “This result in a difficult year adds to our financial strength and continues the growth and diversification of our business,” Jennings said.

Chief Underwriting Officer Thya Kathiravel said that “the challenges around securing the increase in P&I premiums that we flagged up as necessary in November should not be underestimated. The market remains competitive, with owners understandably very sensitive to costs. We have tried to recognize this in balancing our renewal outcome.”

He said that the reduction in overall tonnage “was planned and expected as part of our strategy to de-risk.

He acknowledged the trust placed in the Club by the membership during the past year, with a very high retention rate and a number of Members transferring more business to North.

North’s FD&D business was once more strongly supported, with combined owned and chartered tonnage projected to be 185m gt.

The Sunderland Marine and North Hull lines achieved strong premium income growth.

Jennings said that North’s newest business line, North Hull, launched in July 2020, “has had a great start delivering its initial business plan targets”, while the Club’s Owners’ Fixed Premium P&I facility, launched in September 2019, was also well ahead of target.

Also up were revenues from the Fishing, Coastal and other Specialist Vessels product lines. From a smaller base, the Club’s Aquaculture team achieved “impressive” growth.

Jennings concluded that “with staff working from home for 11 of the last 12 months, this year has been as challenging for North as it has been for others in shipping, but it has also been successful for the ongoing strategic development of the North Group”.