Proposed transfer of the insurance and reinsurance business of
The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association London Ltd (in run-off) (‘WoE London’)
The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association Luxembourg (‘WoE Luxembourg’)
The information on this page was last updated on 09/12/2016.
Simplifying our business
This page contains information about our plans to simplify the internal structure of our business though an insurance business transfer and provides further information, documents and contact details relating to the proposed transfer.
What is happening?
We are proposing to reorganise the business of The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association London Ltd (in run-off) (‘WoE London’) and The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association Luxembourg (‘WoE Luxembourg’) to create a more efficient operational and financial business structure.
We are proposing to transfer the whole of the insurance and reinsurance business of WoE London to WoE Luxembourg with a view to then winding-up WoE London. WoE London has been in run-off for many years, is already wholly reinsured and administered by WoE Luxembourg and has no financial resources of its own other than its ability to recover from WoE Luxembourg under that reinsurance.
WoE Luxembourg has significant financial resources and received a rating upgrade to 'A-' (outlook stable with immediate effect) by Standard & Poor’s rating agency on 18th November 2016. It has wholly reinsured WoE London’s P&I business since 1970 and its other business since either 1986 or 1987 depending on class of business. WoE Luxembourg has administered and ensured payment of WoE London’s claims through its management company, which since 2005 has been West of England Insurance Services (Luxembourg) S.A. (‘WoE Services S.A.’), and there will be no change to this arrangement following the transfer.
If the transfer is approved then any policy that you have which is insured by WoE London (including any expired policy under which you may still have rights) will transfer to WoE Luxembourg at noon UK time on 20 February 2017 and you will become a direct policyholder of WoE Luxembourg. The transfer will not change the terms or benefits of your policy and all rights and liabilities which policyholders and other parties currently have against WoE London will become enforceable against WoE Luxembourg. There are not believed to be any significant changes which are to the disadvantage of policyholders or other third parties of either WoE London or WoE Luxembourg.
Why do this?
The purpose of the transfer is to reduce the number of separately regulated entities from two to one. This will reduce the future compliance and administrative costs of operating and maintaining two separate and separately regulated legal entities.
What is the transfer process?
The transfer will take place through an insurance business transfer Scheme under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), and is subject to approval by the High Court of Justice in London, United Kingdom.
Under FSMA, we are required to make an application to the High Court for the proposals to be considered. This application has been made and the High Court will consider the proposals at a final hearing. The High Court will only approve the changes if it is satisfied that they are appropriate, fair to policyholders and meet all necessary legal requirements. The High Court will take into account the views of the Independent Expert, the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (‘PRA’), as well as any objections raised by policyholders or other interested parties.
The High Court hearing is currently scheduled for 17 February 2017.
If the transfer is approved by the High Court, it will take place at noon UK time on 20 February 2017.
Please check this website for any changes to the court hearing dates or further information updates.
Information about the transfer is set out in the documents below which are available to download. If you are unable to access any of the documents or would like further information please call our helpline on the number below.
If you have any questions about the transfer, or would like to request copies of any of the documents available, please contact WoE London by any of the following :-
- in writing to ‘Part VII Transfer’ at West of England Insurance Services (Luxembourg) S.A., Tower Bridge Court, 226 Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP or
- by calling +44 (0) 20 7716 6078 between 10am and 4pm UK time until 16 February 2017.
These methods are for enquiries about the transfer only. For specific queries about your policy, please contact us in the way you normally would.