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The team of American Hellenic Hull
IUMI confirms American Hellenic Hull CEO’s recent predictions of a firmer market ahead
International Union of Marine Insurance Chairman Dieter Berg recently offered a positive outlook for the marine insurance business in 2018. “During the latest round of renewals,” wrote the IUMI chief, “premiums rose in marine lines affected by losses as well as those unaffected – signaling that the soft market has definitely come to an end.”
Mr. Berg’s statement confirms American Hellenic Hull’s earlier market predictions for this year. Notably, Ilias Tsakiris, American Hellenic’s Chief Executive, said in a February 2018 speech at the Capital Link Forum in Cyprus that “…the days of a soft marine market may be over.” In his talk Mr. Tsakiris commented on the effect of recent extreme weather events on pricing by marine underwriters, and asked if storms such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria had been a blessing in disguise for insurers, allowing underwriters at last to stop the downward spiral of marine premiums.
The insurance industry has emerged from 2017 with massive losses, driven mainly by natural catastrophes. The hurricane season resulted in up to US$100bn in damage. Multiple lines of marine insurance business were affected, including yachts and cargo, as well as ports and terminals.
AHHIC expects an improved market environment for 2018. This assessment is backed by encouraging prospects for the global economy and our own portfolio and renewals’ increase. We see growth for marine insurance, as premium income correlates with growth in trade volumes and global market value.
Recently asked for market and growth parameters, Mr. Tsakiris stated: “Market growth is always a mix of various parameters coming together: the global economy, talent, service differentiation, and customer value. We at American Hellenic can’t influence global risks, but we have in place the right talent, a bespoke service and measurable customer value in every single interaction we have with our customers in the US, Europe and Asia”.
In February Capital Link organized its second annual Capital Link Cyprus Shipping Forum at the Columbia Plaza in Limassol. The event, held under the auspices of the Republic of Cyprus, was a huge success drawing delegates from abroad as well as from the local Cyprus shipping community, including major shipowners, government officials, shipmanagers, financiers and other leading industry participants.
The Forum highlighted the Cyprus maritime industry, and the Cyprus flag which has been recognized internationally as a quality flag. It also focused on the island’s significant role as a maritime, energy and logistics hub and more generally as an attractive investment and business destination.
Sponsorship of the event was led by Bank of Cyprus and included support from the Cyprus Union of Shipowners and a number of leading companies, drawn from various sectors. Sponsors included the American P&I Club, represented by Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company.
Participating as a conference panelist, Mr. Tsakiris analysed the current state of the marine insurance market and looked at where it is heading. He cautiously concluded that the days of a soft marine market may be over – at least temporarily. Specifically, he commented on the effect of recent extreme weather events on the pricing models of marine underwriters, asking if storms such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria had been a blessing in disguise, allowing underwriters at last to stop the downward spiral of marine premiums.
Accessing cyber risks and security was becoming an increasingly serious issue for marine underwriters and could not be ignored, said Mr. Tsakiris. “Cyber risks are real and are far from being remote,” he told the conference. “As cyber risks are new and there is very little historical data, evaluating and pricing such risks is one of the biggest challenges facing the insurance industry today”.
Please read Press Release or visit http://forums.capitallink.com/shipping/2018cyprus/
High-flying new marine insurer American Hellenic Hull picks Cyprus as a base
by Nigel Lowry
This year, the American P&I Club celebrated its centenary. But it is one of the mutual’s freshest initiatives that has added a new dimension to Cyprus’ maritime services cluster.
In 2015, the club branched into hull and machinery underwriting for the first time, launching American Hellenic Hull Insurance in conjunction with Hellenic Hull Management.
Until last year, this group was focused on managing the Hellenic Hull Mutual Association, which insured about one quarter of all Greek-owned fleets.
The new hull insurer is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Club and based in Cyprus. Receiving its operating licence last year, it became the first marine hull insurer in Cyprus — and in the wider region — to comply with the European Union’s stringent Solvency II directive.
By mid-2017, American Hellenic Hull had already soared beyond most of its key targets for the first year of operations, with premium income of more than $10m and a fleet of 1,900 insured vessels.
For the opening chapter in its existence, AHHIC has been insuring 10% lines and following traditional underwriters. On a 100% basis, the tonnage currently covered amounts to 35m gt.
But it has sought its own rating from specialist ratings agency AM Best and thereafter it expects to start leading business itself.
The company has set itself an ambitious “indicative” goal of insuring 4,000 vessels by 2020. About half the current insured fleet is owned by Greek and Cypriot owners.
AHHIC is doing business across the globe and has offices sprinkled across main European, Asian and American markets.
But the Limassol office is the company’s headquarters. It is staffed by 20 highly trained executives from Cyprus and Greece, who are responsible for delivering customer service across the company’s international network.
AHHIC chief executive Ilias Tsakiris sees great potential for Cyprus to become a leading marine insurance hub.
“The shareholders and the board of directors evaluated Cyprus as the best destination for the company’s operations,” he tells Lloyd’s List.
Its credentials include practical company legislation that eases the path for international companies to transfer their business headquarters to the island.
It also offers a growing home-based maritime community, a high level of marine insurance expertise and an educated workforce.
“It is an inviting climate in all senses,” says Mr. Tsakiris. “But, at the same time, the review process for us to gain approval was a very thorough one. It took the time necessary to evaluate such a big project, including subjecting it to many financial stress tests.
“The approval procedure favourably demonstrated Cyprus’ seriousness as a marine insurance sector,” he says.
“We are convinced that many insurance entities present in the UK will look hard at Cyprus as an option for mitigating the fallout from Brexit.”
Its horizons are global, but American Hellenic Hull is already a well-integrated member of the island’s maritime community.
Indicative of that, the company is a Gold Sponsor of this year’s Maritime Cyprus conference, as well as sponsoring the event’s opening reception.
Read Lloyd’s List article here