As an in-house solicitor, I am relatively divorced from unfolding events at SIF. However, my employer is a fully mutual marine liability insurer which has survived and prospered for well over a century.
It makes no profit but is run in a financially prudent manner, which is the only reason it still exists (shipowners are under no compulsion to insure with this company!). I am therefore amazed at the tale of woe from SIF.
The Lawyer timetable (15 September) shows an escalation of shortfall from £13m to £454m in a 10-month period. I find it difficult to accept such an enormous deterioration should not have been picked up sooner.
Successful insurers must identify trends quickly and adjust underwriting regimes accordingly. It is a poor reflection on the SIF management that a non-profit mutual with no competition from the market has performed so dismally.
P M Bond, Newcastle-upon-Tyne