Marine insurance covers goods, and the vessels that carry them, over journeys by sea, lake or river.
Beazley began in 1986 and has grown from a Lloyds syndicate into an insurer involved in a claimed 20% by weight of all the goods carried by sea worldwide, with offices in North America, Asia and Europe. As well as this they insure the majority of wind farms in UK waters and they also work with more than 600 prominent oil and gas exploration and delivery companies. They can provide not only for hull and cargo risks but also marine piracy, war, cyber, undersea, aviation and space risks. Their yacht policies cover most risks including personal accident cover (for owners and their guests), personal effects, dinghies and tenders, outboard motors, and third party liabilities. Electronic navigation and steering systems can be covered against hacking or other unauthorised access.
RSA (Royal and Sun Alliance Group) was founded in 1996 by a merger of Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance. Sun Alliance has it's roots in Sun Fire Office, formed in 1710, and reputedly the earliest documented insurance company in the world, whilst Royal Insurance was a relative newcomer going back to only 1845. They had their ups and downs, including large costs for asbestos related claims around 2002 and guaranteed annuity losses but they survived. The group, with revenues of over £6 billion, was taken over in June 2020 by a consortium of Intact Financial Corporatuion of Canada, and Danish insurer Tryg, for a reputed 7.2 billion. RSA is the second largest general insurer in Britain and perhaps better known as the owner of the MoreThan brand. Their marine insurance division is designed to cover a wide range of clients from some of the largest shippers in the world down to online cover for smaller UK businesses. They will cover marine liability, hull and machine risks and most freight risks apart from a short list including art and antiques, cash, and other portable high value items.
Towergate Boat Insurance won't cover your oil supertanker but if you are a private individual who likes to 'mess about on the water' they may be of interest to you. You can apply for a policy for your yacht, dinghy, RIB, kayak, windsurfer, canal narrowboat, canoe or any other small boat to guard against accidental damage or third party risks. Third party insurance for boats is not a legal requirement but many mooring areas and most harbours and marinas now insist on it. Premiums depend on the size of the craft and what you want to do with it; a competition speedboat will obviously attract a higher premium than a blow-along boat for weekend leisure cruising.
Chubb's beginnings go right back to 1882 when father and son Thomas and Percy Chubb first raised $100,000 dollars from 100 prominent American merchants and started insuring ships and their cargoes. The business grew so well that it was bought by American insurance group ACE for $28.3 billion. The combined group now has over 30,000 employees and is one of the largest publicly traded insurance and re-insurance companies in the world. Chubb's Marine division will underwrite many different risks in the shipping industries including hull, marine cargo, freight liability, high value yachts, marine liability and they are happy to quote for insuring fine art and other valuables such as jewellery, cash, bullion, important documents or other specie, whether these are on display, in storage or in transit.
AIG (American International Group UK Limited)was founded in 1919 and currently operates in over 80 countries with a workforce of around 45,000 people. They arrange life and retirement insurance as well as general insurance, of which cover for marine risks is a part. According to Forbes the company is the 87th largest company in the world but it's financial ride has been bumpy; in 2008 the American Federal Reserve had to bail them out of a crisis to the tune of $180 billion (not million) and they took the company over. That money has been returned in full though and the Fed turned a decent profit on the deal. The company is now a public company and reputedly the biggest underwriter in America. They offer marine cargo and liability cover and with dedicated marine staff in about 75 countries they believe that their local knowledge is a huge asset to their clients.
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