WQIS Releases Enhanced Policy Form for 2014 to Provide Even Broader Coverage

NEW YORK, NY –On June 16, 2014 the Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) will be offering a new 2014 Worldwide Vessel Pollution Form. The new policy form will contain enhanced coverage that will follow the WQIS tradition of offering assureds the most comprehensive vessel pollution coverage in the industry.

“We are constantly monitoring the market and researching how we can better support our assureds in an ever-changing world,” said Richard H. Hobbie III, WQIS President and CEO. “For 2014, we saw an opportunity to provide our assureds with even stronger coverage, and that is something we are always striving for.”

The major changes of the 2014 Worldwide Vessel Pollution Form are as follows:

  • Inclusion of State Fines and Penalties with an increased sub-limit to $1,000,000.
  • 100% of Additional Public Relations coverage (formerly 80%).
  • An increase in the Criminal Defense Limit without prior approval to $10,000; an increase in the per occurrence limit for Criminal Defense and the annual aggregate sub-limit to $100,000.

Also note that WQIS will be prepared to discuss offering Fines and Penalties coverage outside the CSL for an additional premium by endorsement.

The new form has no change in any other conditions, warranties or exclusions from the 2011 form.

This new policy is part of WQIS’s continued commitment to support the marine industry, including an ongoing effort to provide the broadest coverage throughout the marine pollution liability insurance sector, as well as offering fast, reliable service that surpasses the industry standard. As the leader in the industry, WQIS is backed by sixteen (16) of the largest marine insurance companies in the world, allowing assureds to be confident in their insurance coverage and security.

Starting June 16, 2014 any WQIS Policy that is in-force will be held covered under this new enhanced form and all new and renewal business after then will be issued on the 2014 Form. There will be no additional or return premium for this enhanced coverage. Please contact your WQIS Underwriter or insurance broker if you have any questions.

About WQIS

Founded in 1971, WQIS is the largest U.S.-based underwriter of pollution liability insurance for the marine industry. No one has more marine pollution insurance and spill response expertise, or offers more innovative coverage to the marine community. WQIS is dedicated to providing the broadest coverage and creating the most responsive organization to serve the needs of their clients. To learn more about WQIS, visit www.wqis.com

Article by Andrew J. Garger published in Maritime Professional

Piling it on: Overlapping State and Federal Requirements for Vessel Discharges, Abandoned Vessels, and Oil Spill Liability” by Andrew J. Garger was published in the May 2014 issue of Maritime Professional. Click here to read the full article.

Richard H. Hobbie III Featured in Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

WQIS President and CEO Richard H. Hobbie III is featured in the May 2014 issue of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News. Click here to view a PDF of the full article.

Andrew Garger of WQIS Elected to Serve on AWO Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, DC — On April 3, 2014 Andrew Garger, Vice President, Legal & General Counsel at WQIS was elected to serve as the Affiliate Member representative to the Board of Directors for The American Waterways Operators (AWO). The first time he sat at his post was at the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting held in Washington, DC. Mr. Garger’s appointment to the board is a testament to the ongoing relationship WQIS has with the AWO in support of the tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

“It is an honor to be a part of such a well-respected organization. The AWO has always gone above and beyond to represent their members and be advocates for the industry,” said Mr. Garger. “I am looking forward to serving on the Board of Directors and continuing the AWO tradition of supporting such a valuable industry for our country.”

Mr. Garger’s election is a one-year appointment that will include serving as a representative for the industry and as a mentor for the current and future generation of AWO members.

From April 1-3, the AWO met in the nation’s capital to hold their Spring Convention, Barge-In, Annual Membership Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting. A highlight of the convention was when U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx addressed the attendees of the Board of Directors meeting, discussing the significance the tugboat, towboat and barge industry has on the nation as well as the importance of the preserving the Jones Act – the statute that serves as the industry’s foundation.

WQIS is delighted by Mr. Garger’s appointment to the Board of Directors due in part to their long-time support of the AWO and its mission to represent the owners and operators within the tugboat, towboat, and barge industry as a means to positively impact economic growth and quality of life throughout the United States.

WQIS Gains New Industry Insight at CMA Annual Shipping Conference

Stamford, CT—Today marks the final day of the Connecticut Maritime Association’s 29th Annual Shipping Conference and Exhibition. Representing WQIS at the conference was Andrew Garger, Vice President, Legal and General Counsel. Mr. Garger is a member of the CMA and has attended the conference for several years. He found this year’s event to be of particular interest for WQIS and the marine industry, given the technological advances and new environmental legislation discussed during the breakout sessions.

“We at WQIS always enjoy taking part in the CMA conferences thanks to the exceptional people who attend,” said Mr. Garger. “This year’s theme of ‘speed’ was a great way to acknowledge the many changes currently facing the maritime industry, and the presentations really focused on how to incorporate those changes into day-to-day business.”

The three-day event brought 2,500 of the most prominent individuals in the international shipping community together. Attendees enjoyed networking and presentations from both maritime leaders and government officials, which examined current industry trends and provided insight on what’s to be expected in the near future. The ‘speed’ theme highlighted changes in the maritime industry that have already started to take place, including the presence of social media and new environmental regulations that are impacting ship design and operations.

WQIS will be attending several more events throughout the year, including the upcoming GNOBFA River and Marine Industry Seminar and 2014 BMUSF Biennial Marine Seminar.

WQIS Launches Stories from the Sea Campaign

New York, NY– At the start of 2014 WQIS will be launching their “Stories from the Sea” campaign, highlighting just some of the many unique and unexpected things that the company has seen in their 42 years as the leader in marine pollution insurance.

The campaign, which can be found in both print and digital outlets, focuses on the idea that “the unexpected happens.” The leading story “Ice” zeroes in on a barge in the Arctic Circle trapped in 14 ft. of ice and leaking oil. Audiences are encouraged to partake in the interactive component of the campaign by visiting http://www.wqis.com/ice to find out what happened next, as well as share their own stories from the sea for a chance to be featured on the WQIS website.

“We’ve seen some incredible things over the years, and are excited when people share their own stories with us,” said WQIS President Richard H. Hobbie III. “Not only will this campaign bring more of those stories to life, but allow us to engage with our brokers and assureds to better serve them in the future.”

“Stories from the Sea” will continue to rollout more stories throughout the year, all with an emphasis on the unexpected occurrences that catch even the best marine professionals by surprise.

WQIS Benefits the Birds Through Event Sponsorship

Wilmington, DE — WQIS is proud to announce that they are continuing one of their favorite traditions by being a sponsor for the annual Benefit for the Birds event hosted by Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. The event, entitled Shake Your Tail Feathers will take place at 6 p.m. November 15, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DE, in support of the organization’s mission to rehabilitate injured, orphaned, and oiled native wild birds.

“At WQIS environmental and wildlife matters are very important to us, and we feel a responsibility to support organizations like Tri-State who do all they can to help those causes,” explained WQIS President & CEO Richard Hobbie. “We are happy that our relationship with Tri-State has been a long and productive one, and I personally look forward to continuing our work together.”

WQIS President Speaks at the 2013 Fall Meeting of the MLA

Fajardo, Puerto Rico – WQIS President Richard H. Hobbie III was part of a panel last week at a joint conference for the 2013 Fall Meeting of the MLA and 18th Congress of the IIDM, taking part in the “Current Challenges In Providing Adequate Insurance Coverage In Major Environmental Disasters: Prevention V. Prosecution” panel discussion.

The Fall Meeting of the Maritime Law Association (MLA) and the Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Maritimo (IIDM) consists of several hundred maritime attorneys and non-attorneys from Mexico, Central America, South America, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Portugal. Aside from Mr. Hobbie, panelists included Charles B. Anderson, Skuld, N. America, Inc.; Stirling Leech, Clyde & Co; Eugenio Moreno, E. Moreno Consultores; and Marc de Man of de Man, Pilotte served as moderator.

IMO Bunker Convention Status

WQIS maintains this IMO Bunker Convention Status for your convenience. Check back for updates as additional States become party to the Convention. Approval status indicates WQIS’s approval to issue a blue card in that jurisdiction.

All data is documented from the IMO website, http://www.imo.org.

Bunker Convention Status 2013

WQIS Creates Larger Presence at the 2013 International WorkBoat Show

New Orleans, LA  – This past week, a team from the WQIS underwriting department could be found all across the showroom floor at the 2013 International WorkBoat Show held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. As the leader in marine pollution insurance since 1971, WQIS was proud to be a part of this annual event by supplying a larger team of underwriters to meet the growing demand of the attending brokers and assureds.

“This was a great year for WQIS to be at the International WorkBoat Show because we were able to bring a complete team of underwriters with us,” described Harry J. Diamond, Chief Claims Officer, who spearheaded the WQIS team for the tradeshow. “This enabled us to no only engage with more attendees at the show, but allowed us to meet with our Gulf Coast brokers and spill response managers as well.”

With a decade of experience at the International WorkBoat Show, WQIS considered their time at the tradeshow- which is one of the biggest annual tradeshows for the marine industry- to be well spent due to their ability to connect with more professionals across the marine industry, especially those in the Gulf Coast.

Due to the fact that the Gulf Coast region is home to some of the most important ports in the United States, WQIS felt the 2013 International WorkBoat Show served as an ideal platform for the underwriting team to catch-up with their Gulf Coast brokers and surveyors to plan for 2014, making sure that in the upcoming year assureds can continue to expect the high level of support they have always experienced while holding a WQIS policy.

WQIS looks forward to continuing their tradition of going to the International WorkBoat Show and providing the broadest coverage in marine pollution insurance available.