An Australia first launches: Marine Skippers Insurance

An Australia first launches: Marine Skippers Insurance | Insurance Business Australia

An Australia first launches: Marine Skippers Insurance

For the first time in Australia, marine skippers have their own dedicated insurance coverage. Following 18 months working to secure capacity with Lloyd’s of London, Marine Skippers Insurance has launched.

“This is a standalone liability product for delivery and commercial skippers when they are in charge of vessels they do not own,” said Newcastle based Nicholas Bedggood, director of sales and distribution for the offering.

Bedggood estimated that there are 12,000 to 15,000 active commercial skippers in Australia. He expects many of them to be interested.

“There are thousands of skippers that will buy this product now,” he said.

Bedggood described “a myriad of vessel movements” up and down the coastline where boat and ship captains could use the coverage. He said potential customers include skippers moving boats between ports, sailing yachts to regattas or captaining party boats and charter fleets.

Until now, said Bedggood, marine skippers were uninsured and sometimes financially targeted for any damages to the vessels they captained – a process called subrogation.

“There have been a couple of events in Australia where there was some limited damage of thirty or forty grand and the hull insurer has paid it out to the owner and to the repair and then they've sought to recover their damages direct to the skipper,” said Bedggood.

This issue, he said, was the major reason he developed the product together with Sydney based Dean Bowen, director of operations and placement for Marine Skippers Insurance.

Bowen said it was a “monumental challenge” securing capacity through Lloyd’s of London.

He said now the coverages are in place, the website is also ready and the product can launch.