The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association is considered to be the oldest Protection & Indemnity Club in the world. Since the time of its earliest antecedent - the Shipowners' Mutual Protection Society - it has been closely connected with Tindall Riley.
On 1 May 1855, the day the UK Merchant Shipping Act 1854 came into force, the Shipowners' Mutual Protection Society commenced business in London as the first shipowners' Protection Association. Whilst the 1854 Act provided shipowners with a measure of limitation of liability for loss of life and personal injury - it stipulated that the value of the ship for limitation purposes should be assessed at not less than £15 per ton - many ships in fact had a lower value and the shipowner's liabilities potentially exceeded the value of his ship. It was such liabilities, not covered by the conventional marine market, which the Protection Society met. It is interesting to note that no call was made on the members of the Shipowners' Mutual Protection Society for nearly 11 years after its formation. (See PDF link right -->)
The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association was formed in 1871 as a mutual Hull Club for steamships only, with Classes 1 and 2 covering hull and machinery risks and freight risks respectively. After 6 months operation the Association mutually insured nearly 70 steamers " for about £90,000". (See PDF link right -->)
Five years later, on 19 February 1876, both the Shipowners' Mutual and Britannia were incorporated under the Companies Acts 1862 and 1867 as companies limited by guarantee. In that same year Britannia took over the protection risks - Class 3 - which had until then been covered by the Shipowners' Mutual Protection Society Limited.
Cover provided under Classes 1 and 2 was subsequently wound-up (in fact Class 2 - freight risks - never came into operation) but Class 3 has continued to the present day to cover the protection risks of shipowners.
On 20 February 1886 Britannia became a Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Club with the introduction of indemnity risk cover i.e. cargo claims and cargo's proportion of general average, in addition to other "protection" risks.
The growth of mutual P&I business and development of other clubs led to the establishment of a pooling agreement in April 1899. The six clubs involved, including Britannia, shared amongst themselves any covered claim in excess of £10,000. Individual shares were based on each club's share of the total entered tonnage of the group subject to a maximum tonnage of 3,000 tons per ship. Tonnage was calculated at the date of the incident. The "suffering Association" retained the first £10,000 of the claim.
Prior to 1914 Britannia added Class 4 - War Risks - to its cover. Class 5 - Strike Risks - was included in 1968 and in 1973 Class 6 covering Freight, Demurrage & Defence was added. (Class 5 ceased trading in 1988 and was finally wound up in 1996 and Class 4 ceased underwriting on 20 February 2007 and was wound up in 2009).
Today the Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited provides the following cover; Protection & Indemnity (Class 3) and Freight, Demurrage & Defence (Class 6).
For further information on Britannia and the Managers please go to "What we do".