Posts

Outstanding underwriting performance in first half of 2020

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Ltd (AHHIC) recorded outstanding underwriting performance during the first half of 2020, amidst a challenging global environment mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s success derives from the timely and well executed implementation of its Business Continuity Plan, as well as the recognition of AHHIC as one of the leading players in the Marine Insurance industry.

Exceeding all projections, AHHIC managed to surpass the milestone of a 3,000 vessels strong hull portfolio, with 3,060 insured fleet for hull and machinery on 30 June 2020. With a record breaking first half year, the company showed a year on year increase of 52% in the gross written premium.

We wish to thank all our clients for their trust during these challenging times and to welcome the new additions to our portfolio, which include, among others, Starbulk Group, TMS Group, Diamond S, Chartworld and Interorient.

“Looking ahead, our three-year business plan is expected to remain unaltered as we focus on becoming the leading company in the international hull and machinery market”, said Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

AHHIC pioneers in sustainable underwriting

World’s insurers and UN Environment Programme launched the first global insurance industry guide to tackle sustainability risks, co-led by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Allianz and involved other leading insurers, insurance associations, and academic institutions from across the globe. The members of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance project team that developed the guide include American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, AXA, Generali, MAPFRE, Munich Re, QBE, RSA, Santam, Swiss Re, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, University of Technology Sydney, West Chester University, and Zurich.

“AHHIC is the exclusive marine insurance company, among world’s insurers and institutions, participating in the development of the first global guide, which provides the framework for the insurance industry to manage Environmental, Social and Governance issues”, underlined Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

Following a comprehensive global consultation process, leading insurers from around the world and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the first global insurance industry guide to tackle a wide range of sustainability risks—from climate change, ecosystem degradation, pollution and animal welfare and testing; to child labour, controversial weapons, and bribery and corruption.

The guide, Managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in non-life insurance business, outlines 8 areas comprising possible actions for insurers to manage ESG risks—also known as sustainability risks—in non-life insurance transactions, focussing on risk assessment and insurance underwriting. These areas include developing a company’s ESG approach and risk appetite, integrating ESG issues into the organisation, establishing roles and responsibilities for ESG issues, escalating ESG risks to decision-makers, detecting and analysing ESG risks, and decision-making and reporting on ESG risks.

“We are proud to be the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda, supporting the United Nations Environment Programme Finance initiative, Principles for Sustainable insurance since June 2019. As members of the global community of banks, investors and insurers of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, we encourage the insurance industry to endorse ESG issues in underwriting, risk assessment and investments, and support the United Nations initiative. It’s time for action and as underwriters we need to fully embrace sustainability in all aspects of our business activity.”, stressed Mr. Ilias Tsakiris.

 

AHHIC: Positive first quarter of 2020

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Ltd (AHHIC) can report a positive first quarter of 2020 in terms of growth and operating performance.

  • A 206% year-on-year increase of underwriting profit margin and a loss ratio of 64% as AHHIC successfully implements its business continuity plan in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

In early March, AHHIC activated its business continuity plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, all company activities have been conducted off-site, with staff working remotely. AHHIC’s utmost priorities are to protect the health and well-being of its employees, combined with maintaining undisrupted its clients’ interests.

At 31 March 2020, the insured fleet stood at 2,637 vessels, showing a year-on-year increase of 15%. At the same time, the company’s gross earned premium for the quarter was increased by 82%.

The underwriting result (earned premium net of reinsurance cost minus claims after reinsurance recoveries) for the three-month period showed a profit margin of 26.1% compared with 15.5% in the first quarter last year. In absolute values the underwriting profit jumped by 206.1% thanks to a significant increase of premium income and the reduction of the loss ratio to 64.4%. All the company’s key performance indicators were improved.

  • Nearly 50% of company’s assets held in bank accounts and bonds, liquidity ratio increase to 625% provides protection against Covid-19 effects

The company holds 46% of its total balance sheet assets in cash and bond investments. This equates to 1.43 times the company’s premium receivables and 1.38 times open claims (before deduction of reinsurers’ share). The key liquidity ratio (current assets to current liabilities) increased to 625% from 490% at the end of 2019 and from 389% at the end of the first quarter 2019. This means that current assets are sufficient to meet the company’s short-term liabilities by 6.25 times. The company’s cash flow has been significantly strengthened amidst the Covid-19 crisis.

  • Minimal expected impact on the company’s assets from the Covid-19 pandemic – AHHIC stands ready for any catastrophic event outbreak amidst the Coronavirus pandemic

According to stress tests currently carried out by the company, negative developments in global trade and transportation during the pandemic are not expected to affect AHHIC’s financial status or growth. Some vessels are likely to be laid-up in ports and anchorages worldwide due to the pandemic’s impact on trade and as a result navigation risks and hull and machinery casualties are likely to be diminished.

Under AHHIC’s business continuity and operations plan, which is based on a hybrid structure of remote and cloud servers, the pandemic does not pose any threat to the company’s ongoing preparedness to face even another catastrophic event.

AHHIC and WMU striving for quality in education

At American Hellenic Hull, we are striving to serve the Sustainable Development Goal No 4, aiming to advance quality in education, by sharing our knowledge and expertise in the field of marine insurance and achieving the interconnection between the educational institutions and the shipping industry.

Following the first of its kind Memorandum of Understanding signed by the World Maritime University (WMU) and American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) on cooperation in the field of marine insurance, American Hellenic Hull and its CEO, Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, welcomed WMU’s students visiting Greece for their field study program, in a reception that took place on February, Tuesday the 27th at Hellas Liberty Museum.

At the event, Mr. Ilias Tsakiris shared his knowledge and experience in marine insurance with WMU students, who are seen as the future key maritime decision – makers in numerous countries across the world. Mr. Tsakiris’ presentation followed a fruitful debate, during which the students raised questions on the future of the marine insurance market and the emerging issues related to IMO’s new regulations.

Furthermore, during the reception WMU’s Professor Mr. George Theocharidis provided a keynote speech, presenting WMU’s students, while Ms. Elina Souli, Regional Business Development Director of the Shipowners Claims Bureau, managers of The American P&I Club, shared her expertise on the P&I perspective with regards to marine insurance.

AHHIC will continue to invest in education, as among the areas of agreement of the MoU between AHHIC and WMU, are a marine insurance postgraduate diploma, professional development courses, and marine insurance related events.

The World Maritime University is established within the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. As IMO’s premier centre of excellence for maritime postgraduate education, research, and capacity building, the University offers unique postgraduate educational programmes, undertakes wide-ranging research in maritime and ocean-related studies, and continues maritime capacity building in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

 

AHHIC’s 2019 Sustainability Report

As a marine insurer, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) provides hull and machinery services to the international shipping industry that is currently called upon to adapt to a wide range of challenges. Not least among these are new requirements deriving from the International Maritime Organization ’s regulations aimed at reducing industry’s impact on the environment and new risks related to sustainability.

Since June 2019, American Hellenic Hull supports the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, Principles for Sustainable Insurance (UNEPFI – PSI), being among the leading signatory companies of the initiative and a member of the global community of banks, investors and insurers of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

As the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda, American Hellenic Hull, adopts all four of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance, as mentioned in the company’s “2019 Sustainability Report” which provides an overview on the key facts and figures.

“Looking ahead, the coming decade is the decade of sustainability and as a maritime community we should all do our utmost to successfully confront the challenges involved”, commented Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

See the 2019 AHHIC’s Sustainability Report: AHHIC_Progress Report 2019

 

AHHIC’s Business Continuity Plan in response

Due to the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19), we have activated our Business Continuity Plan in response.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed Covid–19 as a pandemic and this underlines the need for all parts of the value chain to react in a responsible way to address the risks and consequences of this contagious disease.

As marine underwriters, we commit ourselves to closely monitor and assess the risks and diminish high-risk behavior.

The health and wellbeing of our employees is our utmost priority. Therefore, all functions of Hellenic Hull Management and American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Ltd with immediate effect will be conducted off-site, operating with a remote workforce.

Our management and employees all share the same dedication and loyalty, as well as the readiness to embrace innovation and respond to challenges.

They, together with our state-of-the-art information technology, enable us prevent disruptions to our business and to continue to securely provide premium, bespoke services to our clients.

As there is currently no vaccine to prevent Covid-19 infection, we will continue to remind our employees of the recommendations of public health authorities for everyday actions to avoid getting ill and help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

We will continuously monitor our employees to identify any cases requiring testing or treatment and we are closely monitoring the WHO and local health authorities for updates.

Our goal is that through being prepared and working together we can minimize the impact of Covid-19 on our staff, our clients and the public.

Reinventing the maritime business for a sustainable future

Sustainability is not different than reinventing the wheel, as we are asked to do the same things in a different way. So, we need to re-use, re-evaluate, re-assess the impact, re-act in a responsible way. However, how responsible are we at the end of the day?

How committed are we to meet the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs?

In other words, how do we embrace sustainability in economy, society, environment and Re-jig our maritime industries to align them with these goals?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), as part of the United Nations (UN) family has adopted the Sustainability Strategy and is actively working towards the 2030 target. The IMO has made the World Maritime theme for 2020 “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet“.

Shipping plays a pivotal role in the global economy as 90% of world trade is carried by sea. We cannot consider a sustainable future without a sustainable maritime industry.

Supporting the maritime adventure as a whole is a wider maritime cluster in which every participant, from shipowners to marine insurers, has responsibility for its continuity.

All decisions made by UN bodies affect member states, but the IMO is the only organization that through its guidelines and regulations has a direct effect on the shipping industry.

We all embrace the sustainability.  However, the IMO should seek closer dialogue with the global shipping community, as regulations should be decided and implemented on a more realistic basis aiming to protect the marine environment and contribute to the battle against climate change.

How do the IMO’s regulations and guidelines affect the marine insurance industry?

Low Sulphur Cap Limit – IMO 2020

IMO 2020 is old news for the sustainable planning of the IMO, but uncharted waters for the marine insurance industry.

We have seen many claims arising out of the IMO 2020, which are related to scrubbers and non-compliant fuels.

Already two months since IMO 2020 came into force and we do face a wide variety of problems in terms of delays in bunkering and cases of possible engine damages due to low quality of compliant fuel.

The marine insurance industry relies on Classification Societies. What happens if the vessel breaches its warranty due to non-compliance with Low Sulphur Fossil Oil fuels? Most probably the shipowners in its effort to comply will be rendered uninsured.

Reduction of Green House Gas Emissions by 50% by 2050

The next big challenge for the shipping industry is halving GHG emissions by 2050.

Until now, we have no clear path as to how this will be achieved. LNG technology can make a major contribution to the energy system of the future and to play a key role in seaborne transportation, but still this is not enough.

We may agree to introduce alternatives to fossil fuels, such as biofuels, biogas and other renewables such as electricity, as well as

cold-ironing.

As marine insurers, however, we are not able to insure vessels using fuels that have not been tested. We do not insure certainties. Engine damages arising from non-tested fuels are risks that we cannot undertake.

Another question is: How responsible and sustainable shall we be if we choose to use biofuels that consume more energy to produce than the fossil fuels they will replace? Who are we to decide to sacrifice sustainable practices ashore in the cause of sustainability at sea?

A truly sustainable culture is based on a holistic approach spanning environment, society and economy.

We believe in a strategic Re-approach where all activities in the insurance value chain, including interactions with stakeholders, are carried out in a responsible and forward-looking way by identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring risks and opportunities, associated with environmental, social and governance issues.

It is time for action

Building a resilient future for all should not only be focused on implementation of regulations developed by international or national organizations.

We need to fully embrace sustainability and this will occur only if all stakeholders related to the maritime adventure – the Organizations and Regulators, the shipping industry, and the services related to the maritime industry such as the marine insurance community – all sit at the same table and enhance the dialogue that will lead to regulations, targets and best practices that can actually be implemented by the industry.

Looking ahead, the coming decade is the decade of sustainability and as a maritime community we should all do our utmost to successfully confront the challenges involved.

Striving for a more sustainable future

The world around us is changing and at American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) we believe in being proactive to achieve a more sustainable future. This is particularly important in our sector, given the essential role of insurance in the maritime adventure. Thus, AHHIC is the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda and support the UNEPFI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) prioritizing at the same time the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the UN at all levels of the company activity.

The SDGs lay out a clear vision for a sustainable future, representing an opportunity to shape a new era for responsible business. Insurance is a vital commodity for the maritime community and we stand ready to respond to all unexpected risks, not least those related to sustainability issues.

We align with the 2030 United Nations Agenda, as we believe that the SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. For this reason, we have joined the United Nations Global Compact community adopting the SDG Action Manager. The SDG Action Manager is a tool that helps organisations assess their impact relative to the various SDGs and to help them improve.

American Hellenic Hull’s global impact assessment shows an outstanding sustainability performance according to the SDG Action Manager, with significant progress towards 12 out of 16 goals. As for the 17th, related to the partnerships for the goals, we have launched institutional partnerships and co-operations with the World Maritime University and the UNEPFI PSI.

AHHIC’s official Impact assessment is as follows:

AHHIC’s outstanding performance continues

“Combined ratio in January 2020 stood at 88.6%”

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) is continuing its remarkable growth. January 2020 was the third best month in AHHIC’s history in terms of gross earned premium. From May 2019 onwards, the monthly results have consistently been among the best since the company’s inception.

AHHIC’s insured fleet stood at 2,636 vessels, a year-on-year increase of 16%. Furthermore, the underwriting profit for the three-month period November 2019 to January 2020 jumped to 45%, not including an additional 14% benefit from release of technical provisions at end of year. The gross loss ratio fell to 48.9% in January and the combined ratio decreased to 88.6%.

During January, the company’s assets increased by 6%. Current assets are 4.85 times current liabilities and represent 3.4 times the total amount of open claims, including all technical reserves.  Of AHHIC’s total liabilities, 52% is covered with cash and short- to medium-term investments in US Treasury bills.

“The new year begins with a record-breaking January in terms premium. As we charge full steam ahead into the new decade, we stand ready to face a wide range of challenges in the marine insurance industry. AHHIC’s upward trend will continue and our vision is to turn the fastest growing hull and machinery insurance company into the market’s global leader”, stated Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

American Hellenic Hull represents the fastest-growing, dynamic force in marine insurance markets across the world aiming to provide more commitment, reassurance, consistency, proactivity and adaptability.

Circular_AHHIC_Its outstanding performance continues

Global challenges in the maritime industry

The Global Maritime Forum conducted its first Future Maritime Leaders Essay Competition, which gave young people (aged 18-30) a chance for their voice to be heard in the debate about the future – and companies a chance to listen.

Eirini Gerani, Account Executive at American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Ltd, participated in the competition stating the global challenges facing the maritime industry.

The global maritime industry is currently facing a wide range of challenges stemming from geopolitical changes, the new IMO regulations, technological evolution including Artificial Intelligence, threats to global trade growth and the need for greater sustainability. While the world is undergoing profound transformation, we consider these changes as bringing opportunity, especially from the perspective of sustainability.

Geopolitical changes that must be navigated by the maritime industry are many and various. They include the crisis in the Persian Gulf, instability in the Middle East, the widening of the Suez canal, the situation of states in Latin America, the trade war between USA and China, the rise of extremists in countries important for shipping such as Nigeria, the emergence of new maritime centers such us Singapore with the EU trying to upgrade its presence as a single maritime cluster. These are only some of the developments we currently have to deal with.

In addition, the new regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organization aim to make the shipping industry a sustainable conduit for global trade. The regulations imposing a low sulphur cap for fuel emissions from 01/01/2020, the 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050, proposals for slow steaming that are being discussed in the IMO’s working groups, and growing interest in cleaner fuels such as LNG, LPG, MGO and biofuels constitute a historic challenge for the maritime adventure. The transformation of the maritime industry towards a more eco-friendly environment is a path we all must walk.

Meanwhile, it is a fact that the shipping industry is one of the most proactive industries, investing more in new technologies than any other market. Smart technologies are central to many discussions. The maritime industry focuses on investments in technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and the new unmanned vessels being trialled in the North Sea, big data analytics and cloud services. Such investments aim to modernize the industry increasing efficiencies and sustainability.

“Facing the 21st century as a “millennial”, it is a fact that our generation wishes to bring innovation that will drive the shipping industry forward. In terms of globalization, we also declare that we need a more sustainable environment. We bet on inclusive growth with a more holistic perspective on the industry and the human well-being. We have the opportunity to set a long – term sustainable economic environment, but hard work globally will be required to achieve and maintain such a goal. The investment in new talent and the safety and protection of the staff is another crucial issue we have to deal with, if we aim to consider ourselves as pioneers in the industry. To gain a more sustainable environment we shall all strengthen the pillars of Environment, Society and Economy”,  mentioned Eirini Gerani.

Furthermore, she underlined: “Personally, I am working in the marine insurance industry, one of the most sustainable industries in the entire maritime adventure. The marine insurance services shall be considered as a commodity serving the maritime industry. American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company provides hull and machinery services to the international maritime industry. My colleagues and I are committed to incorporate social, environmental and business issues into a sustainable holistic strategy towards our insurance business. Working closely and transparently with our clients, we intend to serve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to achieve inclusive growth in our business, and promote at the same time human well-being and talent”.

Read more: The global challenges facing the maritime industry