Fidelis Group Holdings Launches New Hull and Liability Coverage for Idle Vessels

PRODUCT: Master Port Risk Program

COMPANY: Fidelis Group Holdings LLC and Continental Underwriters Ltd.

BEST RATING: A+, size XV (Superior)

AVAILABILITY: Coverage is available on an open-brokerage basis.

FOCUS: The 2015 downturn in the oil and gas industry has significantly affected the marine industry, leaving service vessels idle and laying off their crews. In response, Fidelis Group Holdings, through its subsidiary Continental Underwriters, has launched a new program for vessels laid up as a result of the current market condition.

For those operators out of work because of rig shutdowns or oil project retrenching, Continental Underwriters provides hull and liability coverage through its new Master Port Risk Program for qualified vessels that are not intended to be in use for an extended period of time.

The program is a first for the firm, which reports 45 years of experience in providing tailored marine insurance products, in that it offers coverage for vessels outside of their current portfolio, even on a singleton basis.

The Master Port Risk Program “demonstrates our group’s ability to adapt to evolving market conditions in real time,” says H. Elder Brown III, vice president of Continental Underwriters. “We have been through every cycle in the marine market and recognize the impact this downturn has on operators. Our group offers a full range of marine insurance products for robust economic conditions, and now we also offer something for the down cycles.”

The program will benefit independent agents and brokers by offering their clientele an option that anticipates the reduced exposure and is priced accordingly. It also provides highly leveraged boat owners with flexible payment terms.

UNDERWRITING: Using the program, insured mariners can remove their vessels from a navigating policy at a greatly reduced cost. Hulls may be insured for market value up to $10 million and protection and indemnity limits for the program are as low as $1 million. Higher limits are available as needed, and deductibles also vary as needed. For approved risks, Continental Underwriters can design operation insurance separately from the Master Port Risk program and add additional extensions to base policy conditions. The program is subject to traditional port risk clauses and forms.

TARGET: Coverage is available to all commercial brown water marine sectors. Ideal target is seasoned and well-capitalized boat operators who want work but, due to circumstances beyond their control, are currently unable to operate. The product is available for varied interests, ranging from boat operators to lending institutions requiring coverage after repossession.

Any commercial vessel can be covered including, but not limited to, anchor-handling tugs/supply boats, crew boats, crew/supply boats, construction and maintenance vessels, fire boats, lift boats, pilot boats, platform supply vessels, seismic boats, offshore supply vessels, search and rescue boats, utility boats, line handling boats, harbor tugs, inland tugs, integrated tug barges, ocean tugs, tractor tugs, towboats, dredges, push boats, coastal barges, inland barges, patrol boats, survey boats, charter boats, icebreakers, commercial dive boats, standby-rescue boats and yachts. Pleasure crafts and shrimp boats do not qualify.

COVERAGE TERRITORY: All U.S. states.

CONTACT: H. Elder Brown III, vice president; Continental Underwriters, 2235 N. Hwy 190, Covington, LA 70433; 985-898-5300, ext. 123.

Ronimarie Acord is an IA contributor.