New guidelines ‘will result in clearer lines of communication and will assist in the efficient management of claims’, says JMCC chair

London market representatives from the Joint Marine Claims Committee (JMCC) and the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) agreed on new guidelines for casualty liaison between London market marine insurers last week (17 March 2023).

The new guidelines aim to ensure that parties involved in a casualty are informed and that there is collaborative decision-making to avoid delays and provide the best possible response to a casualty in cases where there is a risk to life, property or the environment.

The JMCC – which draws its membership from members of the London Market Association (LMA) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA) – and IG drafted the protocol document with input from across the market in an effort to promote more effective communication between different parties involved in responding to claims. 

Many of the organisations that would be expected to adopt the guidelines had direct involvement in shaping the guidelines, explained a statement.

The IUA told Insurance Times that the guidelines would be made freely available to all market participants and while not compulsory, the association said it hoped there would be widespread adoption.

A step forward

The new guidelines establish a high-level structure to facilitate initial contact between London market underwriters and individual P&I clubs at an early point in a marine casualty claim to better manage an active casualty situation 

The guidelines recommend that, in the event of a claim, London market underwriters approach the relevant P&I club through one of the IG secretariat, chair of the salvage committee or chair of the large casualty committee.

P&I clubs, on the other hand, are advised to approach one of the JMCC chair, deputy chair or joint hull committee claims representative.

The guidelines lay out the different insurance products market underwriters may share an interest in and the benefits of direct liason between marine market counterparts.

They also lay out minimum details of the casualty that should be sought in each claim. 

Ben Harris, chair of the IG Salvage Committee, commented: “The guidelines are an important step forward, providing a clear framework for property underwriters and IG to work closely together in the interest of the assured in a casualty situation.

”By sharing information and knowledge we can ensure that all stakeholders are aware of what is happening and, to the extent possible, there is joined up decision making that avoids delays.”

Amy Dallaway, chair of the JMCC, added: “There is clearly a huge benefit to all parties by having effective early engagement between insurers and shipowners involved in major casualties, particularly where pressing decisions are required.”

“There are many advantages in understanding the concerns of all interested parties and this collaborative approach will result in clearer lines of communication and will assist in the efficient management of claims.”