Protection and indemnity (P&I) club Skuld saw its net result deteriorate to USD13.5 million last year, from USD29million in 2013.
The Oslo-based member of the International Group of P&I Clubs said the fall was due to a combination of reduced investment returns and high claims in its charterers’ P&I and its owned tonnage P&I businesses.
While many other P&I clubs, as well as hull and machinery insurers, reported a relatively benign claims environment in 2014, Skuld faced a series of larger casualties on the P&I side. “Normally, we see around 10 such incidents per year; last year we saw just over 20 and these were largely collision and wreck removal claims,” Skuld president Stale Hansen told IHS Maritime.
Also, in the charterers’ P&I segment, the Norwegian club recorded three notable claims over the past year, while premium rates in that segment were under great pressure, Hansen pointed out.
Its Lloyd’s syndicate, Skuld 1897, delivered a slight deficit, too, whereas its freight, demurrage and defence and its offshore P&I activities produced positive results. Overall, its underwriting activities were still marginally profitable, with a combined ratio (claims and operating costs against premium income) of 99% across all segments, as in 2013.
Its investment portfolio, dominated by bonds, could not maintain the high performance of previous years because of prolonged low interest rates. Hansen said the portfolio delivered a return of 2% compared with more than 5% in the previous year.