West P&I has reported its best underwriting results for seven years, reaping the reward of an expanded book outside of its main mutual protection and indemnity cover.

It recorded a 94.5% combined ratio, the best since 2017, with an underwriting surplus of $15m for the 2023-2024 policy year. A combined ratio of less than 100% indicates an insurer is making an underwriting profit.

West also reported gross earned premiums of $326m, an increase of $32.4m on the previous year.

Bowsher said the club’s fixed price, chartering and defence products generated about $70m of those premiums that followed a new diversified strategy from 2020. West also derisked its book, removing poor-performing tonnage.

A successful renewal in February saw 6gt added across the year, with 99% of members that were offered terms renewing. Its investment portfolio in 2023-2024 also generated $35m with a return of 4.6%.

Chief executive Tom Bowsher said the financial results showed “strong progress against every measure we evaluate ourselves upon”.

A year of low claims and solid investment returns underpinned strong reported results for P&I insurers.

West is a member of the 12-strong International Group of P&I Clubs. Its average combined ratio over the previous seven years ranked it in the bottom four clubs in terms of underwriting performance, according to data from Gallagher.