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Maritime insurer North P&I Club breaks 230 million gross tonnage barrier in time for 160th anniversary

Maritime insurer North P&I Club looks set break the 230 million gross tonnage barrier — just in time for their 160th anniversary celebration this year.

Early projections suggest that North P&I Club increased its total entered tonnage to over 230 million gross tonnes, further strengthening its position as a leading member of the International Group of P&I Clubs.

The milestone achievement means that the insurer, which is based in Newcastle with regional offices and subsidiaries across the world, has, in essence, taken on more ships than ever before.

North, which is currently celebrating the 160th anniversary of its foundation in Newcastle upon Tyne, also saw North owned P&I tonnage reach 160 million GT (gross tonnage).

The insurer is a leading member of the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG), with over 12% of the IG’s owned tonnage.

The 13 IG clubs provide liability cover for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage and, as a member of the IG, North protects and promotes the interests of the international shipping industry.

Through its guaranteed subsidiary Sunderland Marine, North is also a leading insurer of fishing vessels, small craft and aquaculture risks.

Paul Jennings, chief executive of North P&I Club, said: “Our 2020 renewal strategy focussed on the need to build the Club’s financial strength and stability in a climate of rising International Group Pool claims and continuing premium erosion.

“To offset the suppression of rates and premium income, we required a 7.5 per cent rating increase from our membership at the February 2020 renewal to maintain the Club’s financial equilibrium.

“This was our first general rating increase since 2016.”

Thya Kathiravel, chief underwriting officer at the company, said: “We are pleased to be projecting that our total entered tonnage will reach 230 million GT and we expect P&I owned gross tonnage to reach 160 million GT, whilst chartered tonnage is expected to exceed 70 million GT.

“Combined owned and chartered tonnage for FD&D reached nearly 180 million GT for the first time in North’s history.

“This is testament to the ongoing support of our international membership, and we would like to thank our Members for their continued commitment to the Club, which is reflective of their trust in our ability to help them trade with confidence.”

Paul Jennings added: “Through the Sunderland Marine offerings of Hull, Liability and Aquaculture together with our new Fixed Premium facility, operating from our newly opened London office, we have seen significant premium growth during the past 12 months, which together with the premium increases for the mutual membership represents solid strategic progress for North.”