The twelve Clubs which together form the International Group of P&I Clubs ("the Group") between them provide liability cover for approximately 90% of the world's ocean-going tonnage.

Like the American Club, each Group club is an independent, non-profit making mutual insurance association, providing cover for its shipowner and charterer members against third party liabilities relating to the use and operation of ships.

The Group operates with a claims pooling and reinsurance structure which enables each club to provide cover with very high limits of liability at a competitive price.

The American Club has been a signatory to the Pooling Agreement and a full member of the International Group since February 20, 1998. This lends very significant strength to the Club and security to its members.

The administration of the Group's affairs is managed by a Secretariat based in London. Full details of the Group's activity can be found on the website at

Claims pooling between the Clubs is regulated by the Pooling Agreement which defines the risks that can be pooled and how losses are to be shared between the participating clubs. The Pool provides a mechanism for sharing all claims in excess of US$10 million up to, approximately US$ 8 billion.

Under the current structure, clubs' contributions to claims in the lower pool layer from $10 million to $50 million are assessed on a tripartite formula which takes account of each club's contributing tonnage, premium and claims record. For claims falling in the upper pool layer from $50 million to $100 million, 7.5% is retained by the club bringing the claim and 92.5% is shared by all on a tonnage-weighted basis.

The Group clubs arrange a common market reinsurance contract to provide reinsurance for claims which exceed the upper limit of the pool (US $100 million) up to an amount of US $2.1 billion any one claim (US $1 billion for oil pollution claims). It is said to be the largest single marine reinsurance contract in the market.

The Group clubs also reinsure part of their risks into a captive insurance company, Hydra Insurance Co. Ltd. This is a segregated accounts company incorporated under the laws of Bermuda in which each club is an account owner and responsible for its own cell within the captive. The captive partially reinsures the Pool and retains a US $100 million AAD within the first layer of the market reinsurance contract.

Any (non-oil pollution) claims which exceed the limit available under the main reinsurance contract ($2.1 billion) fall back to the pool for distribution to each club in proportion to each club's relative "overspill limit". This calculation defines the maximum amount which each club can be asked to contribute to an "overspill claim". It is defined as 2.5% of the combined value of each entered vessel's limit as defined in the International Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime claims 1976.

In theory, this final layer of claims pooling takes the total amount available for any one (non-oil pollution) claim to approximately US $8 billion. This final layer is partly protected by reinsurance (referred to as overspill protection). However, depending on the ultimate size of the claim, the majority of the funds may need to come from the individual clubs. Again, depending on the size of any such claim and the demand made to each club, the members of the Pool may need to charge an "overspill call" to their members in order to meet their liability to contribute to the claim.

This is described in more detail in the Rules of the Association and is illustrated in the table below.

A similar but more limited structure applies to the insurance of charterers' liability, where such insurance is not independently insured under separate arrangements outside the Group.

International Group of P&I Associations Annual Review

IG Reinsurance Diagram

IG Guidelines for Correspondents - September 2022