The London Market’s Joint War Committee, which represents the interests of London underwriters who insure ships sailing into dangerous waters, has appointed Clive Washbourn as its new chairman.
He is currently head of marine at Lloyd’s insurer Beazley, and succeeds Rupert Atkin, director of underwriting at Talbot.
“Marine insurance has traditionally been written across the London market, so the committee is made up of underwriters from both the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA), which represents London’s company market,” the announcement explained. “Together, they work on behalf of the London market on all hull war risk issues.”
Washbourn commented: “Today’s global economy is sustained and fuelled through shipping, and the maritime industry is enjoying a period of unprecedented activity. This leads to increasing challenges for the marine underwriter. The recent initiatives taken by the JWC to address the piracy and terrorism issue, which is a growing maritime risk, is just one example where the initiatives of this committee have proven significant on a global scale.
“The JWC serves a vital function for the London marine market. I look forward to continuing the successes of Rupert’s tenure in what is, undoubtedly, a testing and valuable role.”
In an interview on the Lloyd’s Website (www.lloyds.com) Washbourn stressed that Lloyd’s and the London market continues to take a lead role in the sensitive area of war risk exclusions. “Clearly any country which has been placed on our exclusion list can be frustrated because there is an economic impact in terms of the cost of shipments to and from those countries,” he explained. “However, we as a market, have the choice of making no differential and then charging a higher premium to all, or taking the view that the user pays.”
He added that the London market remains at the heart of insuring marine war risk, pointing out that the Japanese, Norwegian, and Hellenic war risk pools all reinsure into London.
Washbourn, who is also a member of the LMA Board and its Marine Committee, also stands by the JWC’s decision to use external experts as advisors on global security issues. He indicated: “We believe it is important to have an impartial view. As underwriters, we need to know the aggregation of our risks, and as such the JWC plays an important role. Underwriters are free to act as they wish, and there are those who choose not to follow our recommendations, which is the sure sign of a free market.”
Outgoing Chairman Atkin observed: “I am delighted to have such a capable successor. Clive brings with him a wealth of sector knowledge and experience which, combined with his unique drive and passion for the business, will be of enormous benefit to the committee.”
The bulletin also noted that the “JWC is concerned solely with hull war risk issues. Cargo war risk policies are also available in the London market to cover cargoes on vessels from port to port and in storage. Cover is also offered for storage, air and postal risks.”
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