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Members of protection and indemnity insurance providers (P&I) North and Standard Club have “overwhelmingly approved” the plan to combine the two clubs, creating one of the largest providers of marine liability cover to the commercial maritime industry.
The member approval gives the greenlight to establish NorthStandard as a single mutual insurer by February 20, 2023, in time for next year’s renewal. However, the merger remains still subject to regulatory approval.
Both clubs held special general meetings on May 27, during which the merger was approved.
The combination, announced in March, will create one of the largest providers of marine liability cover (P&I) to the maritime industry, with approximately US$750 million in consolidated annual premiums, more than 300 years of combined P&I experience, and cover for vessels equivalent to 400 million GT.
The merger willing provide “increasingly important” scale in order to “navigate disruptive changes within the maritime sector and better anticipate challenges,” the companies said in announcing the merger in March. The merger comes as larger and more complex claims have proved challenging for the maritime sector, pushing up rates and putting capital under pressure.
The new organisation will be jointly led by Jeremy Grose, Standard Club CEO, and Paul Jennings, CEO at North.
“This is an excellent outcome and a huge moment for our industry,” said Grose. “NorthStandard will be a major new force in marine insurance, delivering the resilience members need from their P&I partners to meet the challenges and competitive landscape of a changing shipping world. We are delighted that our proposal has received such strong backing from the members of both clubs.”
“North members expressed overwhelming support for the merger based on the tangible benefits for shipowners that the consolidation will bring,” said Jennings. “Members welcomed the proposal on the grounds that it would reinforce stability and strengthen competition in the P&I sector and encourage innovation and drive further product diversification. A larger organisation will also attract and retain even more of the best talent to ensure that NorthStandard delivers the highest levels of service and support for members.”
As an example of one of the larger claims from recent years, North P&I in 2020 reported the gross claim figure for the Golden Ray wreck was likely to exceed $400 million, making it one of the biggest claims ever handled by the International Group of P&I Clubs. The International Group is made up of thirteen P&I Clubs, inlcuding North and Standard Club, providing marine liability cover for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage.
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