Typhoon No.21 in 2018 brought a record-breaking surge and storm and caused major damages, especially in the Kansai region. At Kansai International Airport, the maximum instantaneous wind of 58.1 meters per second was observed. Also at the airport, there was a widely-reported accident about a tanker drifted in the storm and collided into a bridge. Many inquiries were made as to what P&I Insurance compensation would be available after such an accident. The inquiries that were connected directly with Member’s corporate management as to the extent and type of damage covered by P&I insurance and the shipowner’s liability limitation on the vessels covered in the event that Member’s vessels experienced similar accidents.
Accidents involving vessels can result in massive compensation for damages, and in the unlikely event of such accidents occur, P&I insurance covers liability for losses. I think P&I insurance is not well known to the public. I joined the P&I insurance sector, without any knowledge of the industry, and soon learned how essential the Act on Limitation of Liability of Shipowners is to P&I insurance practice. I realised also the importance of different international legal systems in the shipping industry, having had no idea of such matters before I began this job.
As of 2019, I am in charge of the Chugoku, Sanin, and Hokuriku regions. I handle not only the insurance contracts of oceangoing vessels engaged in international voyages, but also coastal vessels engaged in domestic trades. Members who mainly operate ocean-going vessels make many inquiries about the wordings of charter parties and letters of indemnity, so it is important to understand the context of each document.
When responding to questions from Members, we must answer only with facts and avoid speculated comments. Communicating only with facts ensure accuracy as a prudent insurer and avoid giving Members unjustified expectations about a case. Sometimes, my managers give me valuable advice on how to communicate with Members, and I take their advice to ensure that I can respond to enquiries in a careful manner.
Members invite me to run a seminar on “P&I Insurance Overview”. The seminar can be quite difficult to follow, so I have devised ways of ensuring that what I would be say easy to understand for everyone. At these seminars, I receive questions about how to compensate for oil spills, which could be a major accident. I try to answer these questions in a simple way. In addition, after the seminars, I join a social networking session with Members. I will continue to value such occasions in order to deepen relationship with them so that they always feel comfortable and feel to consult us.
This is a saying I like. The current challenge is to gain a thorough knowledge of P&I insurance. Even though any far-sighted business begins at hand, with the idea that it means that a thousand miles of roads will start with a single step. I feel there are still a lot more to learn to become a real expert in this sector. I am keen to learn quickly to become like my managers. To expand my knowledge, I should not only rely on books, but through interactions with people with knowledge inside and outside our club.
In order to further strengthen our relationship of trust with a Member, I feel it is important to speak directly to them. Telephones of course allow only vocal communication, and it is no substitute for face-to-face contact. I always therefore try to meet Members, as this allows me to understand what they really want. In addition, when I visit Members I often have opportunities to meet with their management and to learn new things. I always try to take advantage of these opportunities to absorb a variety of knowledge, so that I can grow as a person to be more reliable.