|This article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2011)|
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (December 2012)|
|Area served||World wide|
|Key people||Svein Buvik Temporary (CEO)|
|Products||P&I, Marine and Energy insurance|
|Revenue||USD 884 million (2012)|
Assuranceforeningen Gard is the largest Protection & Indemnity insurer among the thirteen members of the International Group of P&I Clubs, and ranks second in the marine insurance industry behind Allianz. Its clients include shipowners and operators, shipyards, and companies involved in the upstream oil and gas markets. The group employs more than 450 people in 13 offices in Arendal, Athens, Bergen, Bermuda, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Imabari, London, New York, Oslo, Rio and Tokyo.
Assuranceforeningen Gard was founded in 1907. The establishment of this new marine mutual reflected the historical importance of Arendal as a shipping centre, but it was also driven by owners of sailing ships’ reluctance to subsidise the liabilities arising from steam operations. Although Gard’s P&I business has its origins from this period, its marine activities can be traced back to as far as 1867 with the establishment of Æolus, which later became part of the Storebrand group.
With time, the importance of Arendal as a major Norwegian shipping-hub began to wane and also the Second World War took a heavy toll on the Association’s owners. As a result, by 1945, the Gard’s membership had shrunk severely.
In the post-war period, Gard progressively regained its position as a major P&I Club. This development was characterised by two factors, the substantial growth of the Norwegian national fleet between 1950 and 1970, and the increasingly international nature of the membership. While the Association retains its Norwegian identity, it has become a global P&I club, where less than 30% of the current entered tonnage is Norwegian owned or -controlled.
After having managed If’s marine and energy book for more than three years, the Committee of Assuranceforeningen Gard resolved in October 2003 to purchase this portfolio.
The group’s business evolves around five client segments, full details are available at:
Shipowners, operators and charterers
The business unit, which is the largest source of premium volume, provides liability-, property- and income insurances to shipowners and operators. Offering tailor-made covers to suit individual operators, as well as many non-standard P&I shipping covers.
Liability insurance, known as P&I insurance, protects the shipowner against third-party liabilities and expenses arising from the ownership and operation of ships. The insurance is provided through a mutual structure which means that the buyers of the insurance are effectively the insurer.
One of the particularities of the P&I clubs, is that they participate in a claims sharing and collective reinsurance purchasing arrangement through the International Group. The reinsurance programme is the largest in the world and has a capacity exceeding USD 5.5 billion. The arrangement, due to its size and structure, enables the clubs to significantly reduce their risk capital requirements in a cost-effective way. The resulting savings should hence over time be reflected in the premium levels shipowners pay for their P&I cover.
Property insurance covers the assured against losses that may occur to the vessel and her equipment as a result of an accident, while income insurance protects against losses where the ship is wholly or partially deprived of income as a result of it being out of operation. These insurances are provided by Gard on a commercial basis rather than through the mutual organisation. The earnings from this business are therefore retained for the benefit of the mutual members (the buyers of mutual P&I cover).
Marine builders risk
The Gard group also provides covers for Marine Builder’s Risks. This provides cover for the shipbuilding industry against the risks of building vessels (from “keel laying” to delivery) and for conversion projects. A range of covers related to the newbuilding process, such as towage, delay in delivery, non-delivery also fall under this business unit. Mortgage covers are also written for banks and financial institutions. These covers protect policyholder against the perils of non-payment of outstanding loans and interests in “sailing” vessels, i.e., they are not linked to newbuilding projects.
Upstream oil and gas markets
Gard’s third business unit provides insurance solutions for companies in the upstream oil and gas markets, these include large oil producers, as well as contractors operating mobile offshore units, such as accommodation units and FPSOs. Cover ranges from traditional property and casualty to liability insurances.
For operators and owners of small crafts such as passenger and local ferries, fishing vessels, tugs, dredgers, coastal cargo carriers, pushers, pontoons, barges and more.
Insurance against legal and other costs incurred in establishing and defending claims from business operations.
Product: Defence cover