Developments in shipping and navigation have, at best, reduced some of the risks inherent in the business. They have never succeeded in eliminating those risks entirely, and, in some instances, they have created new risks of their own.
Those involved in shipping had striven to spread the risks and losses involved. Hull mutuals for sailing ships were formed in a number of shipping centres, particularly in England but also in Scandinavia. The advantage of these mutuals was that premiums could be kept low since profit was not part of the premium calculations. The formation of the local Hull clubs coincided in time with the change from sail to steam. They were, however, reluctant to include the “new-fangled” steam-driven vessels, seeing them as significantly more of a risk.
This was the scenario when the decision was taken to found The Swedish Club: the time was ripe for the establishment of a steamship mutual.