UK Maritime Insurance Services - Maritime London (2024)

The UK’s Maritime Insurance services continue to dominate the international shipping sector

London is the world’s leading centre for marine insurance, including P&I. Physical risk in shipping arises from shipping operations, cargo loss or damage as well as shipbuilding and London provides a solid infrastructure for the insurance of these risks. Whether placed through Lloyd’s of London or company members of the International Underwriting Association (IUA), London insurers are able to handle the insurance needs of the shipping community. Cover provided includes hull insurance, war risk insurance, loss of profit/freight insurance, detention insurance, strike insurance or uninsured legal expenses (defence) cover.

London currently has the largest share – around a third – of the global insurance market, ahead of the USA, Japan, Germany and France. In 2013, it was worth £5.9bn. (Source: London Matters: The competitive position of the London Insurance Market, 2014). P&I clubs continue to provide the majority share of the world’s shipping fleet with insurance cover against legal liabilities to third parties.

Lloyd’s market

Lloyd’s is not an insurance company but a society of members, both corporate and individual, who underwrite in syndicates on whose behalf professional underwriters accept risk. The Lloyd’s market is home to 94 syndicates managed by 56 agents, offering an unrivalled concentration of specialist underwriting expertise and talent. Supporting capital is provided by investment institutions, specialist investors, international insurance companies and individuals. Only 8% of the Lloyd’s market covers marine risk.

Company market

All of the world’s top 20 insurance and reinsurance companies are active in the company market comprised of 65 insurers and reinsurers, a key segment of the London Market, and many of these are active in marine insurance. All are members of the International Underwriting Association.

Lloyd’s brokers

Accredited Lloyd’s brokers place risks in the Lloyd’s market on behalf of clients. These brokers use their specialist knowledge to negotiate competitive terms and conditions for clients.

There are over 200firms of brokers working at Lloyd’s, of which about 30 place the bulk of marine business, with business becoming increasingly concentrated in the larger brokers. Most placings are co-ordinated by the brokers with several underwriters, each accepting a percentage of the overall risk. The interests of many of these brokers are represented through the London & International Insurance Brokers Association.

Lloyd’s operates an accreditation process for brokers seeking access to the Lloyd’s Market. All brokers must satisfy all relevant regulatory requirements. Lloyd’s performs a careful assessment of all applicant brokers, affirming their reputation and financial standing and investigating the character and suitability of officers and employees before making the decision to accredit. Firms receive provisional accreditation for three years before becoming entitled to use the term “Lloyd’s broker”.

P&I Clubs

The UK is the world’s leading centre for the management of P&I (Protection & Indemnity) Clubs which provide third party liability and legal expenses insurance on a mutual basis for owners, operators and charterers of ships.

The 13 major international Clubs, insuring about 90% of world merchant tonnage, all maintain management offices in the UK. As insurers of the very wide variety of legal liabilities associated with shipping, including cargo, collision, environmental and personal injury claims, the Clubs manage much of the maritime litigation in London and around the world.

Their trade association, the International Group of P&I Clubs is also based in London. The Group represents ship owners’ marine insurance interests in the development of maritime regulations and legislation through the International Maritime Organisation and other national and international bodies.

It also monitors the operation of the International Group Clubs’ co-operative reinsurance placement, the world’s largest single marine reinsurance placing, a substantial part of which is reinsured through the London market.

Average Adjusters

Average adjusters advise on and adjust marine claims. London is the leading international centre for this profession, which has a small number of practitioners, but handles a huge volume of claims. According to the Association of Average Adjusters, there are some 300 individuals engaged in the profession in the UK.

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As an expert in the field of maritime insurance and the London insurance market, I've amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the intricacies of marine risk management, underwriting, and the global insurance landscape. Allow me to delve into the concepts mentioned in the provided article to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the subject matter:

  1. London's Dominance in Maritime Insurance: The article highlights London's preeminence in the global maritime insurance sector. London serves as the epicenter for marine insurance, encompassing various types of coverage such as hull insurance, war risk insurance, and loss of profit/freight insurance. The city's robust infrastructure, facilitated by institutions like Lloyd's of London and the International Underwriting Association (IUA), solidifies its status as the world's leading center for marine insurance.

  2. Lloyd's Market: Lloyd's of London operates as a unique marketplace rather than a traditional insurance company. It comprises syndicates where members, both corporate and individual, underwrite risks. With 94 syndicates managed by 56 agents, Lloyd's offers specialized underwriting expertise supported by diverse capital sources, including investment institutions and international insurance companies.

  3. Company Market: The company market represents another significant segment of the London insurance market. It includes top insurance and reinsurance companies globally, actively participating in marine insurance through the International Underwriting Association.

  4. Lloyd's Brokers: Accredited Lloyd's brokers play a pivotal role in placing risks within the Lloyd's market on behalf of clients. These brokers possess specialized knowledge to negotiate favorable terms and conditions. Lloyd's brokers adhere to stringent accreditation processes, ensuring regulatory compliance and financial integrity.

  5. P&I Clubs: Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Clubs based in the UK offer liability and legal expenses insurance on a mutual basis for ship owners, operators, and charterers worldwide. The International Group of P&I Clubs, headquartered in London, advocates for ship owners' interests in regulatory frameworks and coordinates cooperative reinsurance placements.

  6. Average Adjusters: London serves as the global hub for average adjusters, who advise and adjust marine claims. Despite their small numbers, these professionals handle a substantial volume of claims, contributing to the efficiency of the maritime insurance sector.

The article references various entities and organizations contributing to London's maritime insurance ecosystem, including insurers, brokers, P&I clubs, and service providers. Each entity plays a distinct role in safeguarding the interests of stakeholders within the maritime industry, thereby reinforcing London's stature as the premier hub for marine insurance services.

UK Maritime Insurance Services - Maritime London (2024)
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