Although the Clubs compete with each other for business, they have found it beneficial to pool their larger risks under the auspices of the International Group. This pooling is regulated by a contractual agreement which defines the risks that are to be pooled and exactly how these are to be shared between the participating Clubs. The Pool provides a mechanism for sharing all claims in excess of US$10 million up to a limit of about US$4.5 billion. For a layer of claims between US$80 million and US$3.1 billion the Group Clubs purchase reinsurance from the commercial market (see below). The Pooling system provides participating Clubs with reinsurance protection at cost to much higher levels than would normally be available in the commercial reinsurance market.
Reinsurance of the Pool
The International Group arranges a market reinsurance contract to help the Pool deal with claims which exceed $80 million. This is the largest single contract in the world's marine insurance market. It currently extends for claims against shipowners to a little over $3.080 billion per claim save that in respect of oil pollution the maximum is $1bn ($1000m), which is the limit on the oil pollution cover given by the Clubs; there are lower limits for claims against charterers. By bringing together in this way the risks of the great majority of the world's tonnage, the International Group is able to obtain for the pooling Clubs the maximum reinsurance capacity on the best terms available worldwide.
Because International Group Clubs share their claims through the Pooling system, they have a common interest in loss prevention and control, and in the maintenance of quality standards throughout the membership.
Pool Reinsurance Programme 2017/18
Club retention/pool attachment
The individual club retention and the attachment point for the pool remain unchanged at US $10 million.
The Lower Pool layer stretches from US $10 million to US $45 million, and the Upper Pool layer from US $45 million to US $80 million.
The attachment point on the Group GXL reinsurance programme has been increased to US $100 million from 20 February 2017.
- The first GXL layer (US $100 million-US $600 million) is reinsured 55% under the main GXL placement, 30% by Hydra, and 15% by private placements.
- The second GXL layer (US $600 million-US $1.1 billion) is reinsured 85% under the main GXL placement, and 15% by private placements.
- The third GXL layer (US $1.1 billion-US $2.1 billion is 100% reinsured under the main GXL placement.
The Collective Overspill reinsurance layer which attaches excess of the GXL limit adds a further US $1 billion of protection (US $2.1 billion-US $3.1 billion) Hydra pool/GXL reinsurance participation.
Hydra reinsures 100% of the Lower Pool layer between US $30 million and US $45 million.Hydra also reinsures 92.5% of the Upper Pool layer (US $45 million – US $80 million). The remaining 7.5% of exposure within this layer remains with the club incurring the claim.
The layer from US $80 million to US $100 million is reinsured 100% by Hydra. Hydra also reinsures 30% of the layer US $100 million to US $600 million.
The three 5% multi-year private placements cover the first and second layers of the GXL placement (US $1 billion excess of US $100 million).
The pool and GXL layer and participation structures for the separate Oil Pollution cover mirrors the main (P&I) placement up to the Oil Pollution cover limit (US $1 billion).
For Chartered Entries, there is a single combined P & I and Oil Pollution cover limit of US $350 million. The pool and GXL/Hydra/Private Placement structures under this cover replicate the main placement up to the cover limit.
International Group Agreement
The International Group Agreement (IGA) is the underpinning of the mutual system ensuring co-operation between clubs in the operation of the Pooling Agreement. A copy of the agreement and commentary can be found on the IG website.