The February round of P&I club renewals will see shipowners facing substantial premium increases.

Marsh managing director, marine hull and liability, Marcus Baker said there would be average increases of 20% across the market. These increases come despite improvements in 2002/2003 underwriting results.

Rising reinsurance premiums played a part in these hikes, following the renegotiation of the International Group of P&I clubs' reinsurance deal. Baker said passenger vessels had been hit hardest, with renewal premiums rising by more than 80%.