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 21/02/2017.
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 transfer.
What has happened?
On 17 February 2017, the High Court of Justice in London, United Kingdom, sanctioned the transfer of the whole of the insurance and reinsurance business of The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association London Ltd (in run-off) (‘WoE London’) to The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association Luxembourg (‘WoE Luxembourg’).
The transfer became effective at noon UK time on 20 February 2017.
This reorganisation will allow us to create a more efficient operational and financial business structure and to close the regulated entity of WoE London (there will be no change to the UK branch of WoE Luxembourg and its management company which will continue to operate from London in exactly the same way following the transfer as before the transfer). WoE London was in run-off for many years and was wholly reinsured and administered by WoE Luxembourg and had 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 had 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 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 will continue to pay former WoE London claims on behalf of WoE Luxembourg following the transfer in exactly the same manner.
Any policy that you have which was insured by WoE London (including any expired policy under which you may still have rights) was transferred to WoE Luxembourg at noon UK time on 20 February 2017 and you are now a direct policyholder of WoE Luxembourg. The transfer has not changed the terms or benefits of your policy and all rights and liabilities which policyholders and other parties had 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 was 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 was the transfer process?
The transfer took place through an insurance business transfer Scheme under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), and was subject to approval by the High Court of Justice in London, United Kingdom.
The High Court only approves the changes if it is satisfied that they are appropriate, fair to policyholders and meet all necessary legal requirements. The High Court took 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. No objections to the transfer were raised by the Independent Expert, the PRA, the FCA, policyholders or other interested parties.
Information about the transfer is set out in the documents below which are available to download.