Shizuo Takahashi Director General of Japan Club, said in his New Year message that the Covid-19 pandemic continued to be a major factor for the Group P&I Clubs, with severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods having a significant
impact on the shipping industry. Restrictions on crew changes had forced crew to remain on board ships for long periods, threatening their physical and mental well-being.
Takahashi noted that the International Group was working with various industry groups to encourage governments to promote safe and efficient crew changes. In addition, Japan Club offered its ocean-going vessels Special Cover for Carrier’s Liability to Cargo (SOL) in respect of deviations for crew changes caused by the coronavirus, without charging an additional premium.
Takahashi said that Japan Club had received a number of coronavirus-related claims, including for costs of prevention, and medical treatment for onboard infections. He said that the pandemic had assisted in causing a deterioration in the business environment of the shipping industry in general.
In P&I specifically, IG Clubs have had a number of large claims in 2020 policy year, with the trend of IG pool claims the worst for 25 years. Takahashi said that Japan Club had experienced two significantly large claims, and its loss record has worsened.
“For these reasons, on the renewal for the upcoming policy year 2021, we regrettably have to ask for a 10% general increase in ocean-going vessel insurance and an increase in the standard deductible amount”, he said, repeating the Club’s announcement on December 2nd.
“We deeply understand the burden caused by the increase on our Members already in a difficult business environment, and would appreciate their understanding and cooperation in these testing times. For our part, we shall make every effort to improve services and reduce further our operational costs”, Takahashi said.
The Club would continue to provide insurance services which reflected “the new reality of having to live with Covid-19”, said Takahashi.