Gard – global leader of P&I
The Norwegian mutual insurer Gard, established in 1907, is the world’s largest marine insurance organization today. Of the world’s 13 P&I clubs, Gard is significantly the largest in terms of gross tonnage entered. Providing the modern shipowner with trustworthy insurance solutions, Gard is an important partner covering liabilities in all areas like pollution, cargo, passengers and crew.
Gard offers advanced and modern insurance products divided over three business areas; P&I (Protection and Indemnity), Marine (hull, physical damage to the ship and related interests), and Energy (focusing on physical damage to offshore establishments producing raw oil and fuels for example).
Gard is today the leading P&I insurer within the International Group of P&I Clubs. The International Group of P&I Clubs serves as a forum for cooperation in various respects between the insurers for the ultimate benefit of the ship owner community.
Part of the cooperation is manifested by a claims pooling agreement, according to which the members are entitled to proportionally spread the costs for large claims. Accordingly, the risk- spreading element is one of the cornerstones of the international cooperation.
Specialty: product development and extended covers
All P&I Clubs have their own product development, why the P&I products are slightly differently presented to the market. Thomas Nordberg, Managing Director of the Swedish branch of Gard, outlines the most important features of Gard’s unique products;
“We provide extended covers for all our categories of shipowner members, charterers and other clients. One of the most outstanding products is the Comprehensive Charterers Liability Cover, providing an extended insurance cover to charterers. Other important additional covers are our Extended Cargo Carrier’s Liability Cover and our Extended Crew Cover. The first one offers cover for cargo-related liabilities beyond ordinary P&I limits. This may include cover for multi- modal transports, i.e. for cargo-related liabilities during the whole process of transport, including for example transport by truck, train or bus, as well as over sea. The Extended Crew Cover is, as the name suggests, a more comprehensive policy concerned with crew related liabilities”.
There are other important so called bolt on covers available in the P&I product store and product development is an ongoing process responding to specific cover needs picked up in the market. The club is very advanced in offering tailored solutions to suit each ship owner’s needs.
Further, Gard offers the widest spectra of covers and products available in the market concerning the Marine and Energy business areas, including Builders risk. In the Energy field, Gard provides specialized insurance policies to suit the offshore applications worldwide. This unit is managed by a specialist team in Oslo.
Providing expertise close at hand
Gard Sweden AB was established in 1996, inititally with 4 members of staff focusing on the Swedish P&I market. Today, fifteen years later, Gard Sweden represents P&I and the Marine field with 16 team members, serving both the Swedish and Northern European market. This leap has been possible through a buy out of the If M&E portfolio some years back combined with a continued growing interest from ship owners and charterers.
The Swedish unit was founded by Claes Isacson, today CEO of the Gard Group. The Swedish operations have been headed by Thomas Nordberg since 1999. By establishing local branches, Gard can provide large markets with the expertise and knowledge that is needed close at hand. At the same time, all subsidiaries have the advantages of being part of a large, global insurer. In worst-case-scenarios, the company can rely on support from the mothership, the Gard Group.