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International marine insurers converge on Tokyo for IUMI meet

International marine insurers converge on Tokyo for IUMI meet

Tokyo: Marine underwriters from across the globe are heading to Japan this weekend to attend the annual conference of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), which opens in Tokyo next Monday (September 18). Nearly 370 underwriters from more than 40 countries are registered to attend.  

It is only appropriate that the meeting is being held in Asia since it is 'the buoyant economy in many Asian countries' that is fuelling the sustained growth in international trade, in turn leading to 'a huge demand worldwide for energy insurance, cargo insurance and hull insurance, including shipbuilding cover,' says IUMI president Patrick de la Morinerie. This in turn has led to 'a tide of costly claims' meaning underwriters must undertake 'a dramatic reappraisal of risks... with an emphasis on increased risk management and loss prevention measures,' he adds.

Japan's marine insurance market, number two in the world after the UK in terms of written premiums, is the pivot of Asian marine insurance, with Singapore coming up strongly. IUMI has met three times before in Tokyo, in 1995, 1985 and 1975.

But de la Morinerie, will tell next week's conference that the organisation is actively trying to increase its Asian membership, which is why two guest observers will observe from the People's Republic of China, which IUMI wants to sign up.

Not surprisingly, there will be a noticeable Japanese flavour to the conference subjects and speakers. Keynote speakers on the opening day will be Koji Yoshida, managing director of the General Insurance Association of Japan, the hosts, who will provide an insight into the Japanese non-life insurance market, and Dr Takeo Koyama, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, who will discuss the interdependence of marine insurance and quality shipping.

And in the energy and offshore workshop on Tuesday there should be particular interest in a presentation by Tatsuya Takaoki, general manager - natural gas hydrate project department of Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding, on the company's 'new gas transportation system'.  [15/09/06]