The Importance of Correspondents to Steamship Mutual

September 2018

IGCorrGuide

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.

The fifth International Group Correspondents Conference, took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in September 2017 with over 500 delegates attending. Industry experts, including Chris Adams, Colin Williams and Neil Gibbons from Steamship made presentations to the correspondent delegates. At the conference Steamship Mutual’s Correspondent and Communications Manager, Neil Gibbons, presented the new IG Guidelines for Correspondents to the delegates. 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.

Read the report from Steamship’s Correspondent & Communications manager Neil Gibbons on page 105 of Sea Venture 28.

See a short film of the conference on the International Group website.