The London marine market is looking for wider consultation with shipowners and brokers to produce wordings "with no surprises", according to the Joint Hull Committee (JHC).

JHC permanent secretary David Taylor said the hull market results since 1998 are poor and even now premiums are not expected to reach the level of claims until 2003.

He said the market wanted to introduce improved hull clauses by 1 November 2002 to increase the market's attractiveness in time for year end fleet renewals.

"Underwriters need to offer reasons for business to come to London if they are to correct inadequate rates," he said.

The marine market is gripped in a war of words over the possible revision of the Marine Insurance Act [1906]. Most of the market thinks revisions are not necessary.

"We have no great enthusiasm for changing the Marine Insurance Act and believe we can deal with the necessary changes by market wordings," Taylor told delegates at a forum organised by the London Shipping Law Centre.

One issue under review is the use of warranties. The JHC may avoid using warranties, substituting a form of express conditions that would not attract the same harsh penalties as breach of warranty does under the Marine Insurance Act.