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Oil declares $250m dividend despite loss

Theodore Guidry, chairman of Oil Insurance

Bermudian-based mutual insurer Oil Insurance Ltd has reported a net loss for 2018 of $675.6 million.

Oil recorded a $404.6 million underwriting loss. The net loss figure factors in net investment losses and administrative expenses.

The year-end financials were reviewed and approved by shareholders at their annual general meeting in Bermuda.

The company reported at the AGM that its board of directors had declared a dividend in an aggregate amount of $250 million to all shareholders on record as of January 1 payable on or before August 30.

Theodore Guidry II, chairman of the board, said: “The board decided to authorise the $250 million dividend after carefully reviewing the company’s multiyear capital management plan.

“Despite the 2018 financial results, the plan clearly indicated that there was capital available to pay a dividend without negatively compromising the capital and financial strength of the company. As in the past, it is our policy to return available capital to the shareholders when prudent to do so.”

Shareholders, the company said, have approved two changes to the shareholders agreement.

The first decision protects the company from future potential credit losses, Oil said. Commencing in 2019, all shareholders must be investment grade if they wish to elect or continue to elect the retrospective premium plan that allows a shareholder to retroactively purchase up to 40 per cent of the $400 million limit on a strict dollar of premium for dollar of loss basis over the subsequent five-year period.

The second decision, the company said, eliminates the need for shareholders to declare assets located in the offshore region of the Gulf of Mexico for purposes of determining pool percentages in the Offshore Designated Named Windstorm pool. This decision was warranted as a matter of equity, the company said, given that Oil excluded coverage for Offshore Gulf of Mexico Windstorm starting in 2018.

Bertil C. Olsson, chief executive officer, said: “While 2018 turned out to be financially challenging, Oil is focused on creating long-term value and we continue to enjoy a strong commitment and belief in the system by our dedicated shareholder base.

“Including 2018, Oil has charged its shareholders $2.1 billion in premium over the last five years while returning $1.8 billion of dividends during that same period. While premiums did increase in 2019, the recently announced dividend will offset a significant amount of that increase for our members. Oil continues to operate from a position of strength and will continue to offer long-term value to the world’s leading energy companies.”

George Hutchings, chief operating officer, said: “The most important accomplishments of 2018 were operational. Several strategic initiatives were completed including delivering on our promise to provide our shareholders with detailed data analytics at the AGM, further improvements to our offering for the renewable energy industry as well as Standard & Poors upgrading Oil by one notch to ‘A’, stable, in September 2018.

“We also continue to see strong interest from energy companies around the world and are pleased to announce that Braskem SA joined the mutual in December 2018 as our first South American member.”

After the AGM adjourned, the board of directors met and elected Mr Guidry as chairman and Fabrizio Mastrantonio as deputy chairman for 2019.

At the AGM, shareholders approved the reappointment of KPMG as auditors for the fiscal 2019 year.

Oil, the company said, insures over $3 trillion of global energy assets for more than 50 members with property limits up to $400 million totalling more than $19 billion in total A- rated property capacity. Members are medium to large sized public and private energy companies with at least $1 billion in physical property assets and an investment grade rating or equivalent.