August 8, 2023 – The marine insurance market today continues to operate among growing risk complexities and opportunities.
Those opportunities can range from the traditional marine risks to the innovative offshore wind projects currently being built around the country. In November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal secured funding to upgrade the country’s infrastructure as well as invest in green energy resources. As a result, marine contractors have benefited greatly. Among the numerous examples are a $12.6 million grant to add a berth at Port Tampa Bay and nearly $4 billion in funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make navigation improvements at coastal ports and inland waters.
Many marine operators are also stepping into the offshore wind arena, from building terminals to address the specific needs of this developing industry, to performing maintenance on the operating wind farms to building vessels that fulfill the needs of operating the wind farms.
The complexity of these opportunities comes into play for many marine contractors nearly overwhelmed with work while still facing a labor shortage. Hiring practices need to be enhanced as well as the increased need to find qualified employees. And with increased prices in nearly every sector, should a claim occur, increased prices of steel and other goods have caused premiums to increase too. The new offshore wind projects bring exposures that are relatively new and yet somehow old, with many contractors often relying on European counterparts that have experience from wind farms built in the North Sea.
The environment requires an expert approach to navigate these issues. Tracy Markowski, Director of the Marine Hull & Liability at RB Jones, has built an underwriting strategy to guide insurance agents while delivering results on which carrier partners have come to rely.