West of England P&I Club is pleased to announce that the Club has returned an underwriting surplus for the first time in five years in its 20 August financial results, with a combined ratio of 97.9% at the mid-year point.
The Club’s claims for the current Policy Year were substantially lower than forecast due primarily to an exceptional six months for the International Group Pool with no claims notified across the whole Group. Additionally, the claims for prior years have developed more favourably than expected notwithstanding latent Pool claim development from other Clubs.
West’s reported investment return was minus 2.9% as the actions of Central Banks to moderate inflation caused fixed income and equities to post negative returns for the first half of the year. The Club’s asset-liability matching strategy protected the Club’s solvency position from these turbulent market conditions. The solvency coverage remains around 165% and the Club’s capital strength was again re-affirmed by Standard & Poor’s A- rating in August.
Francis Corrigan, CFO at West, commented: “There is no doubt that the robust and decisive action taken at the 2022 renewal has had the desired effect on the Club’s operating performance and we are pleased to report a combined ratio of 97.9%. It is not a time for complacency, however. Inflationary pressures are growing and West’s result, like all Clubs, benefits from what is an exceptional Pool year so far. While this is welcome for the industry, it cannot be expected to be repeated.”
Tom Bowsher, Group CEO at West, commented: “The decisions taken at the 2022 renewal were extremely difficult for a Club that prides itself on the strength of its relationships but our Members understood the reasons. This has been backed by strong support in the current Policy Year with our gross premium increasing to its highest ever level at around US$285 million. Our diversified product lines continue to grow and contribute to the Club’s surplus and our global team works seamlessly to ensure we are well positioned to support our Members’ needs.”