In the same way that the shipowners grouped together to create the P&I clubs, six of the largest English clubs joined efforts and established the London Group of Clubs with the main purpose of sharing common risks amongst them. It was formed in 1899 with the entering into force of the first Pooling Agreement, whereby the Group clubs set out the terms and conditions for their arranging at cost collective insurance and reinsurance on a not for profit basis just like the mutual clubs. Many other clubs joined the Group, known as from 1982 as the International Group of P&I Clubs.
Insuring more than 90% of world’s deep-sea merchant fleet, the Group currently comprises thirteen clubs, which are listed below along with affiliated associations and reinsured subsidiary:
● American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc
● Assuranceforeningen Skuld
(Skuld Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association (Bermuda) Ltd.)
● Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd.
● The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited
● The Japan Ship Owners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association
● The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Limited
● The North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association Limited
● The Shipowners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (Luxembourg)
● The Standard Club Ltd.
(The Standard Club Europe Ltd.)
(The Standard Club Asia Ltd.)
● The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Limited
(The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Ltd.)
● Sveriges Ångfartygs Assurans Förening (The Swedish Club)
● United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Limited
(United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Europe) Ltd.
● The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association (Luxembourg)
The Group is an unincorporated association and is chaired by a representative, elected on a three-year rotation, from one of the Group clubs. Its internal administration and external representation are co-ordinated by the Group Secretariat, based in London and headed by the Secretary and Executive Officer. The Group has a number of Subcommittees and Working Groups to deal with a broad range of legal, regulatory and insurance issues impacting on shipowners, operators and charterers.
The Pooling Agreement is constantly renewed to reflect changes in the market and legislation. For the policy year 2017/2018, the parties to the Agreement has a collective insurance of US$ 10 million up to approximately US$ 7.75 billion – the individual clubs’ retention remains at US$ 10 million.
Under the Group clubs policies, oil pollution cover is limited to US$ 1 billion and charterers are subject to a single combined P&I and oil pollution cover limit of US$ 350 million.
Like the P&I clubs, the Group does not only deal with payment of claims. It is also a very important representative of the membership in organisations such as International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and international governments and, through its various sub-committees, deals with a number of issues affecting its clubs’ membership.
There are respectable P&I clubs that are not part of the Group because of their domestic policy or because the type of cover needed by their members does not need to be as high as those made available by the so-called Group clubs.