The following is an opinion article written by Bob Watts of specialty MGA Fiducia. The views expressed within he article are not necessarily reflective of those of Insurance Business.
A move towards renewable energy and the ability to access risks that have fallen through the gaps in the marine insurance market can provide brokers around the UK and Europe with new opportunities.
The marine market has long been viewed by many as being divided. At one end you have the yachts and small privately-owned pleasure craft and then at the other end of the scale the large ocean going commercial vessels and heavier marine trades risks such as ports and harbours.
However, there is a great deal in between and, for many years for brokers, while the potential to service owners of the smaller commercial crafts such as small tugs and smaller passenger vessels has been tempting, the complexity of doing so has been a significant barrier.
The ability to provide the covers needed for such vessels from the hull, to Protection & Indemnity, EL and PL has necessitated the creation of a cover from various underwriters which has been both time-consuming and at times frustrating leaving gaps in cover.
The same can be said for the insurances for smaller ports, marinas and the marine trade sector. They need the cover but are not of a size where several established marine insurers and marine markets have them on their radar.
Having worked in the marine market for specialist’s marine trade underwriters for over 25 years it has long been an area which has concerned me given the obvious gap in the market. Therefore, the ability to create a comprehensive one stop products for such risks at Fiducia, backed by Lloyd’s capacity has presented brokers with a solution.
Brokers down the years have been reluctant to look at those risks which straddle the pleasure/smaller commercial risk sectors for several reasons.
The first has been the lack of a simple solution. They have been required to bolt together coverages from a number of potential markets, which, while delivering cover, does create a lack of transparency for the client. When claims arise, they are then faced with combing through the various policies to see where the liability falls.
Secondly such speciality risks need all too often to be placed in the London market and to do so requires a wholesale broker which comes with a hefty commission which increases the costs and reduces the reward for the regional broker.
Those conversations have been the catalyst for what we have been looking to achieve and the solutions we have created have been widely welcomed by the brokers.