The emergence of so-called "fixed premium insurers" for marine insurance is a warning to mutuals against complacency, the Protection & Indemnity 2000 conference heard this week.

Fixed premium providers, such as Lloyd's, cover ship owners against both liability and physical risk, while mutual providers, made up mainly of 15 international clubs, insure against liabilities only.

Swedish Club UK general manager Frederick Kruse said providers' lack of sophisticated claims handling infrastructures, limited cover and drive for profits would hold them back.

But he warned mutuals against ignoring the climate of greater competition and called on International Group clubs to produce innovative new concepts.