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UK ship insurer Steamship Mutual to set up Dutch subsidiary ahead of Brexit

The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Ltd. unveiled plans to apply for a license to establish a new subsidiary in the Netherlands as part of its Brexit plans.

Gary Rynsard, chairman of the British ship insurer, told Reuters in an email that the company needed to take immediate steps to ensure that it can continue to trade in the EU at the annual renewal date of Feb. 20, 2019.

"We cannot rely on transitional plans and will take action assuming a worst-case scenario," Rynsard reportedly said, adding that Steamship Mutual expected to have five staff members in the Netherlands by 2018-end.

Steamship Mutual is one of 13 major global protection and indemnity clubs, six of which are regulated in the U.K. and are estimated to account for more than half the revenue of the sector, which insures roughly 90% of the world's cargo ships, Reuters noted.

In November 2017, fellow U.K. regulated ship insurers North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association Ltd. and Standard Club announced plans to set up EU subsidiaries in Dublin. UK P&I Club, meanwhile, said it had picked the Netherlands, while Britannia has opted for Luxembourg. The remaining U.K. regulated P&I club, London, is yet to announce its plans, according to the Feb. 22 report.

Standard Club is managed by Charles Taylor plc group companies.

North P&I Club's operations include guaranteed subsidiary Sunderland Marine Insurance Co. Ltd., through which it writes insurance for fishing vessels, small craft and aquaculture risks.