A Port Lincoln insurance broker has said it is “disappointing” that it will be the only aquaculture marine insurer from Australia attending an international conference with Lloyd’s insurers and underwriters in April.
West Coast Insurance brokers have been the only Australian representative to attend the Aquaculture Insurance and Risk Management Conference in the last 15 years. This year’s conference will be held in Istanbul.
Peter Barfoot, partner and general manager at West Coast said: “It is a bit disappointing that so few [Australians] attend but it is quite far away and maybe some of the other players do not know about this conference.
“Having said that, major players like Catlin attend these events. The underwriters you work with in aquaculture always have representatives there. When the underwriters see a broker attending these things, they know you are committed. We see and hear things at the conference that we can bring back to Australia – information that not only benefits how we do business but that can also help our clients. It would be good to see a few more brokers there.”
Barfoot noted lack of capacity was still an issue in Australia, which does not help when representing the country abroad.
“Aquaculture is a high risk class,” he explained. “When there are losses, they tend to be big ones. They start in the thousands of dollars and go up. Even if it is a claim on a pond, it can be a costly one. Tuna fishermen usually have $7m to $10m of fish in cages in the sea," he said.
“Our guys complain about the pricing of aquaculture but the premium reflects the risk. Reinsurers tend to dictate the price because of the potential losses incurred.”