The history of CESAM goes back to the
16th Century.

At that time, French Insurers felt the need
to meet together to pool information and to share between them the risks underwritten.
It was thus that was founded the first Committee. Shortly thereafter, Insurances Chambers were set up in Paris, as well as
in the principal French ports.

A royal edict inspired by Colbert founded in Paris in 1668 the Chambre d'Assurances et de Grosse Aventure which, together with the French Committees, are the ancestors of CESAM.

CESAM, a professional Organisation bringing together over than 90 well known Insurance Companies entitled to carry on marine and transports business in FRANCE, enjoys an uncontested reputation for seriousness and strength.

The CESAM also comprises Associate Members, mainly reinsurers and foreign affiliates of French Insurance Companies, as well as Correspondent Members, being foreign Insurance Companies not established in Europe.

Today CESAM is at the centre of the International Marine Insurance business. Its principal tasks can be summarized as follows :


The management and enhancement of a strong world-wide network of Average Agents.
The management for the French Market, Associates and Correspondents Members of general average files and of files in respect of major marine casualties as well as war risk claims.

The administration and execution of financial operations.

The management of co-insurance policies for the French Market.


One hundred and sixty-six years after its creation, the CESAM convened, for the first time, its European Average Agents to Paris.

One hundred and sixty participants of which eighty-five Average Agents and sixty-five Insurers, Insurance Agents and Brokers were able to attend the conference at which were presented, on the one hand, the new tools of communication made available by CESAM to the Market and, on the other, new projects for the development and animation of its imposing world-wide network of Average Agents.

You will find hereafter the minutes of the conference, please click on photographs or on the names of the persons mentionned to read their speaches.

The President of CESAM, Alain DELCROIX of AXA Corporate Solutions Marine, explicited and developed upon CESAM's objectives and the Managing Director of CESAM, Jean-Patrick MARCQ, presented the means at its disposal to attain these ends. Both speeches gave rise to interesting and constructive debates that demonstrate the necessity to remodel the professional role of the Average Agent.

In this connection, Frédéric DENEFLE of AGF-MAT told the audience what progress had been by Insurers in their reflections as to what they would expect of Average Agents of the 21st Century and how their professionalism will increasingly be brought to contribution.

Maître Hervé LAROQUE, Attorney at law at the Paris Bar, demonstrated to the audience the absolute necessity for Average Agents to hold joint surveys as opposed to Court Surveys, wherever it is possible to do so.

Peter MOBSBY of CESAM's General Average and War Risks Department went on to explain what are some of the general principles surrounding the issuance of general average security documents and their legal significance for Average Agent.

The Insurance Brokers point of view was put forward in dynamic style by Benoît PIVET of GRAS SAVOYE actively seconded by Jean-Jacques GIRARD of CAP MARINE.

Hans SANNE, Average Agent in HAMBURG, and Pedro Miguel CORDEIRO, Average Agent in LISBON, replied on behalf of Average Agents to the criticisms levelled at them and stressed, in particular, the considerable difficulties sometimes experienced in obtaining payment of overdue fees and expenses.

In order to reply to the Average Agent's concerned I confirmed that Insurers are aware of these problems and that procedures are being looked into with the view to producing a standard application for survey, a standard preliminary report and an undertaking by leading underwriters to settle fees and expenses in full, regardless of co-insurance or of default by the applicant.

In the same vein, Insurers are looking to insure that only Average Agents belonging to the network are called upon to intervene on behalf of the Market.


But, summing-up, I emphasised the imperious need for the Average Agents to improve the services rendered, by them, in particular as regards :

anticipation of requirements needs and information.

capacity to react.

relationships with their principals.


Clearly in this changing world, those Average Agents who offer services of the best quality will find their situation improved upon, the more so because of the complementarity of the European networks which, in view of world-wide developments bearing upon Insurance Markets, are bound, in the long term, to come together.

The professional way forward passes through the recognition of all these factors and it is this recognition and the dynamism that it must engender that will strengthen the Average Agents position in the difficult commercial world of tomorrow.

Observers were able to note that CESAM compelled recognition in its capacity as European technical platform for the Maritime and Transports Insurance Market. The presence and active participation of Sonja FINK and Bob O'LEARY of LLOYD'S demonstrates the great interest shown by of other markets in CESAM's network of Average Agents.

The Manager of Average Agencies
Hull and Cargo Surveys Department,