The Shipowners’ Club, the leading insurer in the smaller and specialist vessel sector, has reported resilient results for the year ending 31 December 2016.
The Club has reported a combined ratio of 98.6%, an increase in gross tonnage of 0.8m to 25.4m and an overall surplus of US$ 14.7m, including a return on the investment portfolio of US$ 11.8m.
- Combined ratio 98.6% (2015: 98.2%)
- Capital and free reserves US$ 294.0m (2015: US$ 279.4m)
- Earned premiums US$ 201.1m
- Incurred claims US$ 149.1m
- Underwriting result US$ 2.8m
- Investment portfolio returned US$ 11.8m
- Entered vessels 32,749 (2015: 32,053)
- Gross tonnage 25.4m (2015: 24.6m)
The Club had a change to its financial year-end during 2015, with the result that the comparative income statement information contained herein relates to the period from 20 February 2015 to 31 December 2015 – a period of 314 days.
The Club has generated a surplus for the year of US$ 14.7m. This surplus is primarily the result of an underwriting surplus of US$ 2.8m and a surplus from the investment portfolio of US$ 11.8m. During the course of the year the Club has seen a like for like reduction in earned income (net of reinsurance costs) of some 5.0%.
This is a result of the continuing difficult market conditions being experienced by many of the Club’s Members as the global shipping market continues to encounter a low oil price, relatively low global growth and oversupply of shipping. These conditions have unfortunately resulted in some Members being unable to continue in business. Other Members have seen the reduced activity resulting in laid-up vessels.
Despite this, the Club has continued its track record of Member support and underwriting discipline. The claims experience has been relatively positive, with a 14% year on year reduction in claims quantum coupled with some US$ 3.7m of prior year claims improvement. This has led to a reduction in the total claims cost of some 5.7%, on a like for like basis.
Operating expenses amounted to US$ 49.2m, which represents a like for like reduction in the year of 0.9%. The overall underwriting surplus of US$ 2.8m results in a combined ratio of 98.6% (prior period: 98.2%). The investment portfolio returned a gain in the year of US$ 11.8m, which compares favourably to the loss seen in the prior period of US$ 22.4m. Investment markets, in both Fixed Income and Equities, were more positive during 2016 and the Club was pleased to note positive returns compared to key benchmarks. The gross return on the portfolio for the year, before fees, was 3.5%.
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