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U.K. P&I Club to open European base


HAMILTON, Bermuda—The Hamilton Bermuda-based protection and indemnity shipping mutual, The United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd., will launch a new European subsidiary in February next year.

The UK Club said that the new London-based operation is being created to help certain of its members meet their local European regulatory requirements.

The United Kingdom Steam Ship Assurance Association (Europe) Ltd. will operate as a subsidiary of the Bermuda-based U.K. P&I Club. The club said that U.K. (Europe) will allow the U.K. Club to continue to insure members whose ships fly the flags of certain states, such as Spain and Italy, where local insurance regulations require the insurer to possess an European Economic Area regulatory "passport".

The U.K. Club said that it will create the new subsidiary by reinstating the underwriting license of the Sunderland P&I Club which it took over in February 1991. The new arrangement has been approved by the U.K. Financial Services Authority and is able to begin trading within relevant European countries in the 2007 policy year.

The U.K. P&I Club and U.K. (Europe) will be run on a "unified" basis which means that the rules and cover will be identical for both associations. Thomas Miller P&I Ltd., the company that manages the existing U.K. Club will also manage the news subsidiary.

Charles Fenton, chief operating officer of Thomas Miller P&I Ltd., said: "All assureds will become full members of the main U.K. P&I Club in Bermuda, regardless of whether they are routed via U.K. (Europe) or directly to Bermuda. The only material difference will be whether their policy is issued by Europe or Bermuda."

"As members of the U.K. P&I Club, their rights will be identical to those of other members. The general increase levied will be the same for all members. They will have the same rights to share in a distribution of funds and the same obligations to contribute to a call for further funds," he said.