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OIL may increase limits for some risks


HAMILTON, Bermuda--Members of energy industry mutual Oil Insurance Ltd. may see aggregate limits for losses for nonwindstorm exposures lifted to $750 million from $500 million by the beginning of 2007, OIL said Friday.

At a special meeting of the mutual's shareholders held this week, members considered new ways to cover Atlantic windstorm risks within the mutual pool--including a proposal to shift a higher percentage of risk premium burden to those shareholders who bring hurricane exposures to the pool.

While the members agreed to allow OIL's management additional time to implement any changes to the mutual's rating and premium plan, the mutual disclosed in a statement that the company's board of directors is mulling a boost in aggregate limits for its members without Atlantic hurricane exposures.

"There will be no immediate change to the current aggregation limit of $500 million for all losses incurred by OIL shareholders for a single event," OIL said in the statement. "However, shareholders may reasonably expect that the board will consider increasing the aggregation limit to $750 million as of Jan. 1, 2007, for nonwindstorm exposures when it next meets in December 2006."

Hamilton, Bermuda-based OIL, which was downgraded last year to A- from A+ by New York-based Standard & Poor's Corp., in June cut its aggregate limit to $500 million from $1 billion in the wake of the devastating 2005 storm season.

OIL has approximately $1.8 billion in shareholders equity and 83 energy industry members.