The Importance of Correspondents to Steamship Mutual


Comprehensive Cover. Exceptional Service. This is Steamship Mutual’s proud slogan. The Club is dedicated to providing its Members with the best possible cover and the greatest level of service and expertise available. Correspondents are a vital part of this service and indeed without correspondents, we could not provide the level of service we do.

The Club lists correspondents in all the major ports and jurisdictions of the world, and they are listed on the Steamship website and on the Steamship App. These correspondents may be either commercial correspondents or legal correspondents so that whatever the nature of the event, there are organisations we can call on to help members. Commercial correspondents are often the first contact for the Club’s claim handlers, but in ports where only legal correspondents are listed, legal correspondents will also be able to deal with the same issues as commercial correspondents.

People claims, including illnesses and injuries to crew, usually require immediate attention, and a correspondent’s duties can include ensuring a crew member receives prompt and adequate treatment, liaising with the Club and/or the Member’s agents to ensure that all parties are aware of the steps taken and reporting on what treatment may be necessary. A correspondent can be helpful in monitoring local hospital costs.

With other claims, whether cargo matters, fixed and floating objects, collisions or pollution matters, investigation and information gathering form a large part of the duties of the correspondent. This helps the Club form an opinion on whether the Member’s liability may be engaged and assists the Club in assessing a suitable reserve.

September 2017 sees the fifth International Group Correspondents Conference, taking place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre 24-26 September with over 500 delegates expected to attend. Industry experts, including Club speakers Chris Adams, Colin Williams and Neil Gibbons from Steamship will make presentations to the correspondent delegates. At the conference, the IG will introduce updated Guidelines for Correspondents. Steamship Mutual’s Correspondent and Communications Manager, Neil Gibbons, will present these new guidelines to the delegates on Monday 25 September. These updated Guidelines have been shortened, whilst retaining the key points of previous versions. Steamship Mutual requires all correspondents to act in accordance with these Guidelines. It is hoped that the revised document will provide a clearer and more succinct guidelines and we at Steamship Mutual look forward to continuing our work with our Correspondents in the service of the Members.

We are pleased that so many correspondents have been able to attend the conference – watch out for a report in the next edition of Sea Venture coming soon.