The Shipowners’ Club Spots Superyacht Trend


The Shipowners’ Club is a mutual provider of P&I insurance that has throughout its 160 year history been dedicated to serving owners of small and specialist ships.

Providing Protection & Indemnity insurance to small and specialist vessels since 1855, the Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs and works with more than 600 broking companies globally to insure over 33,000 vessels across a range of operating sectors and geographical areas.

In a recent blog, the Club’s Underwriting Director, Ian Edwards has outlined more detail of the trend and explains how the Club has responded to its Members’ needs.

This includes handling the insurance for an increasingly large fleet of superyachts.

Some 20 years ago 12,655 of these vessels were covered by the Club and had an average size of 297GT. In the intervening period numbers have increased nearly threefold and the average size of an entered vessel has more than doubled to 672GT.

An analysis of the various sectors in which the Club’s vessels operate puts meat on the bones of the growth trend. Coastal tankers have increased in size by 90%; those in dry cargo trades by 50%, while offshore vessels have similarly grown by 50% and dumb barges by 269%.

The superyacht fleet is of particular interest, as it is one of the sectors which bucks the trend. Shipowners’ was the first P&I Club to offer full cover to the owners of such vessels. Twenty years ago there were just 37 yachts entered; now the number has now grown to over 2,200 (as at 20 February 2014). In 1994 it was only the largest and widest trading yachts that required the most comprehensive P&I cover available but over time smaller yachts switched from the restricted cover provided by the commercial markets.

As a consequence, while large superyachts have grown in size (the largest entered in the Club is some 13,000GT), the average size of yachts covered by Shipowners’ has actually reduced.