As part of its on-going drive to increase both customer focus and operational efficiency, the Shipowners’ Club, which specialises in the provision of P&I insurance cover for small and specialist vessels worldwide, has restructured the key departmental functions at its London branch.
Within each syndicate underwriters and claims handlers will work alongside each other, bringing a greater degree of synergy to the Club’s service delivery to Members.
One syndicate will handle European business; another will manage the “rest of the world” accounts, which fall within the London branch’s realm of responsibility and a third syndicate will focus on the offshore sector. The latter is an area already prominent in the Club’s portfolio and within which Shipowners plans to develop its service offering further.
In announcing the changes Shipowners’ CEO, Charles Hume, said, “We believe that the Club’s new operational approach will provide Members and their brokers with a rounded overall service, more attuned to their needs and will help to develop customers’ relations with a broader range of the Club’s staff, putting a larger degree of their skills at the Members’ disposal.”
The London branch’s loss prevention team will sit alongside the syndicates and continue to assist Members in minimising their exposure to risk. The syndicate concept is one that the Club’s managers believe will ensure that service levels are enhanced and in every case will confirm with Members and their brokers that they are comfortable with the arrangements going forward.
The re-organisation at the London branch of the Club forms part of a continuing programme to re-energise customer relations, stabilise existing business and engender growth through closer links with all its customers, Members and brokers alike. This growth will be underpinned by a systematic, focussed development of simplified insurance products; this process of simplification is in specific response to customer demands.
Announcements by Shipowners covering expansion at its Singapore branch, the details of its new offshore syndicate in London and the terms of a number of simplified forms of cover aimed at specialised small vessel sectors will be made over the coming months.
In addressing potential concerns of Members over the consequences of the changes, Hume concluded, “Inevitably there will be some re-allocation of responsibilities and as such it is possible that an individual underwriter or claims handler, who previously looked after a particular Member’s affairs, may change. We plan to limit this disruption as we recognise the importance of existing relationships. Such potential changes will be discussed individually with Members.”