Press Releases 14 May, 2021

West P&I Club announces robust 2020/21 annual result

London, 14 May 2021 – West of England P&I Club, a leading insurance provider to the global maritime and offshore industries, has today announced a robust performance in its 2020/21 annual result despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic providing a challenging year on many fronts for the Club, and its Members and their crews.

  • Despite Covid-19, the West’s capital position remains strong; in excess of S&P’s ‘AAA’ benchmark
  • The West’s reputation continues to grow with excellent Member retention
  • The West recorded a positive investment performance (4.6%) in a very volatile market
The West’s capital position remains in excess of S&P’s AAA benchmark, despite the financial challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Club’s conservative investment strategy returned USD 33.3m (4.6%) over the last 12 months.

However, the West has faced a number of challenges over the last year, including increased contributions to unprecedented levels of high-value claims in the International Group Pool, its Members’ own claims for Policy Year 2020 higher at this point than in any preceding year including Covid-19 related claims in excess of USD 10m, and the continuing underrating of risk across the whole market. The cumulative effect of this unprecedented combination of circumstances is a combined ratio of 139.8% and a reduction in the free reserve to USD 291.1m.

Nevertheless, the West has maintained its overall A- rating from S&P, and is well positioned to emerge strongly from these unprecedented times. The West’s service levels remain as high as ever, and its conservative investment strategy protects the Club’s capital in uncertain and volatile market conditions.

Significant progress was also made in addressing the underwriting deficit at this year’s renewal, in line with the Club’s disciplined underwriting policy, with strategic de-risking of a number of underperforming fleets across all regions. The West also achieved premium increases in line with the general surcharge set by the Board that had become necessary after years of premium erosion, although Member retention continued to be extremely high reflecting the Club’s service levels.

Tom Bowsher, CEO of West of England P&I Club, commented, “This has been an extremely difficult year for our Members and the Club alike and the pandemic has imposed some unique strains on the industry. However, our staff have responded magnificently in maintaining our very high service levels despite these challenging market conditions. I am also pleased that West’s strong capital base and positive investment performance mean that we are well placed to continue supporting our Members as we hopefully begin to return to normality.”