Protection and Indemnity

A few weeks after repairs are completed the Salvage Association surveyor will submit his detailed Report, a copy of which will be passed to the ship manager.  His report will usually include an opinion on the cause of the casualty.  This report, together with copies of accounts covering repairs and other relevant expenses, will be sent by the ship manager to the average adjuster.  Although appointed by the shipowner, the average adjuster is strictly neutral and his job is to prepare a statement of claim in an impartial manner and in accordance with customary practice. The average adjuster will probably request sight of log books, reports and any other relevant documents, which should be provided by the ship manager who has a duty to disclose all the pertinent facts. The claim statement, or adjustment, when completed will probably run to several, even hundreds, of pages.  It will include a narrative, copies of S.A. and other reports, summaries of all expenditure showing average and other costs, details of policy conditions showing that the casualty was the consequence of an insured peril, and finally a calculation of the amount to be recovered from insurers less the owners’ deductible.  This statement is sent to the brokers who arrange collection from the underwriters.  In the case of a large claim, in order to assist the owners, a payment on account may be arranged at underwriters’ discretion of, say, 80% of the estimated total, since the finalisation of a major claim adjustment can take several months to complete.  The London Market does not allow interest payments on PA claims although Scandinavian Conditions do.  London does, however, pay interest on GA payments. Earlier it was explained how, in the middle of the nineteenth century, British steamship owners clubbed together to form mutual Protection and Indemnity Associations principally to provide the one fourth Third Party collision liability cover which the London Hull underwriters had refused to offer. These mutual associations, or “Clubs”, soon started to assume wider liabilities on behalf of their members, including personal injury claims from crews and in particular, claims for loss of or damage to cargo.  This was at a time when the laws relating to the carriage of goods by sea were gradually being codified and placed on a more equitable basis as between shipping companies and their customers.  Over the years the modern Protection & Indemnity insurance industry has built up which, alongside hull insurance, now constitute the two main areas of marine underwriting activity.