Leading insurers focus on service to counter pricing pressures
A GROUP OF leading insurance firms comprising brokers, an underwriter and a PI club, all recite a similar outlook about the current superyacht insurance sector. Everyone agrees that the current market has an over-capacity of insurance, caused largely by new firms entering. That, they concur, has severely depressed premium prices.
The differences come in the ways they are dealing with it. Most agree that the best way to stay profitable is not to slash premium prices, but to provide consistent service and the best possible cover. In order to combat low rates, some are offering comprehensive programmes with more client-friendly terms for a better value proposition.
RFIB Marine International
Beyond hands-on service, the depth and breadth of an insurer can also make a significant difference in the quality of coverage. Richard Jenkins, director of RFIB Marine International, says his firm can provide wide-ranging policies from hull coverage through to builder’s risk: “Our organisation includes specialists in war risk coverage, including transits through the Gulf of Aden as well as kidnap and ransom insurance,”” says Jenkins. “”We also offer coverage in fine art, submersibles, crew welfare, mortgages interest, loss of charter hire, cargo insurance, marine trade and private aviation.”
The insurer is able to offer such sweeping coverage because of its parent, RFIB Group, which is headquartered in London but has nine offices in international centres. The 30-year-old firm has experience in these specialist lines as well as marine insurance. Its marine division, an independently owned Lloyd’s broker, was established in 1980. Jenkins, who has 28 years experience in the Lloyd’s market, set up RFIB’s yacht division in 2005. Its marine business has grown 50 per cent in the last five years.
The company works with producing brokers and insurance companies. Its total pleasure craft portfolio exceeds 70,000 vessels of all sizes. “We believe that our combined portfolio gives us a 3600 view on the yachting industry,”” says Jenkins. “”And as a medium sized broker with 300 staff, we offer a personalised service with tailored solutions. This, combined, with our strong standing in the Lloyd’s and global markets, enables RFIB to obtain the best terms for our clients.”