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.

WQIS Continues Recruiting Talent With New Assistant Vice President of Claims

New York, NY –The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate is pleased to announce that Ryan Puttick has joined the team as Assistant Vice President of Claims.  He brings almost a decade of extensive marine insurance claims knowledge and experience to this industry pioneer.

“We are extremely excited to have Ryan join us,” says WQIS President & CEO Richard Hobbie. “His wealth of legal and claims experience will bring another level of support to the claims department and WQIS in general.”

Ryan Puttick came to WQIS from Charles Taylor P&I Management, Inc. Standard P&I Club where he was the Claims Director for the past 9 years.  Puttick received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 2004 and was admitted to the Bar in the States of New York and New Jersey that same year. He graduated in 2000 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a Bachelors of Science in Marine Transportation. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve and holds a Coast Guard license: Third Mate (Unlimited Tonnage).

“WQIS is the leader in an industry that I am very passionate about,” says Puttick.  “I was excited to receive their offer and look forward to working with this strong and experienced claims team in delivering the ultimate in marine liability insurance.”

WQIS has been revitalizing their organization with new team members and senior staff to further strengthen all areas of their company. Their dedication to providing the most complete marine pollution liability insurance is manifested in each new team member that comes aboard.

Fresh Perspectives Bring Better Business for WQIS

New York, NY — WQIS has been providing the broadest coverage and handling more spills than anyone for the past 40 years, establishing the organization as the clear leader in the marine pollution insurance industry. By insuring some 35,000 vessels, across every major waterway in the US, WQIS has earned the backing of 16 of the largest insurance companies in the United States. For a company with these credentials, it would be easy to settle into a routine.

“Just because we’re the market leader does not mean we can get comfortable in our position,” says WQIS CEO, Richard Hobbie. “We are always setting new goals for ourselves to be the ultimate resource for our clients. Behind the scenes is a dynamic, growing company, always striving to reach new levels of customer care and service.”

In the last few months, there has been an influx of talent to support the strength of WQIS, especially the underwriting and claims departments.            New Senior Vice President, John Ryszetnyk along with new Vice President of Underwriting, John Moy have helped renew the passion that WQIS has for the marine pollution liability insurance industry. The departure of three former staff members made room for this fresh new talent, which has completely revitalized the organization.

“We were in a relative plateau,” admits Hobbie, “We were cruising when the departure of those members created this space to really motivate our company to reach above that plateau. In the past months, we have vastly improved all departments, especially taking measures in our service to make sure that every single client is taken care of with a genuine human touch. Direct relationships are very important to us and to this type of business.”

WQIS has learned that even market leaders and pioneers need to stay dynamic and never get complacent. Shaking things up can break barriers for even the strongest organizations. The fresh perspectives gained, especially in underwriting and claims, has led to new and more efficient procedures, which has brought an even higher level of service.

“I think all companies in any industry can take page from this playbook,” says SVP John Ryszetnyk. “Fresh talent really helps breathe new life into even the most secure businesses. Getting comfortable is never a good thing for a company.”

WQIS has more exciting plans in the future as Ryan Puttick joins the team as the new Assistant Vice President of Claims after a nine-year run as the Claims Director at Charles Taylor P&I Management. The team, company, and client list continues to grow as WQIS pledges to stay the market leader while continuing to deliver the best policies and ultimate in service.

Amendment to Title 7 of the Delaware Code Relating to Oil Pollution Liability

On March 7th, 2013, an amendment to Title 7 of the Delaware Code was introduced and assigned to the Natural Resources Committee in House. After being passed by the House of Representatives 41 to zero, the governor of Delaware signed it into law on June 6th.

According to the state of Delaware’s official website, “This legislation updates and streamlines the State’s Oil Pollution Act by eliminating a monetary cap for liability for damages, and requires that a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) be issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, pursuant to the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 33 U.S.C. Section 2701et seq., and regulations promulgated thereunder, instead of the issuance of a COFR by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and therefore eliminating duplicative state and federal requirements.”

It must be emphasized that this statute removes the right of limitation of liability for the owner and operator of the vessel which discharges and holds them jointly and severally liable for all damages under section 6207 of the statute.

While this does not affect the WQIS Coverage, Brokers/Vessel owners and operators should review the limits of coverage they purchase as the potential liability is without limit. If you have questions, please contact the WQIS Underwriting department by email or by calling 212-292-8711 to ensure you have the absolute best coverage.

For 40 years WQIS has protected America’s waterways and those who sail them. As the leader in marine pollution insurance it’s our responsibility to support you, our unflinching marine industry, in every way that we can. And that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.

WQIS Strengthens Underwriting Department With New Vice President

(New York, NY) — The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate is pleased to announce that John Moy has joined the team as Vice President of Underwriting. John will lead the WQIS underwriting department with his extensive marine industry experience and underwriting expertise.

“We are extremely excited to have John join us,” says WQIS President & CEO Richard Hobbie III. “His management, marketing and technical skills will bring a wealth of experience to our underwriting department and to WQIS in general.”

John came to WQIS from Crum & Forster where he served as the Vice President of United States Fire Insurance Company for the past five years. Previous to his tenure there, he was the Regional Underwriting Manager at XL America, working in marine and offshore energy insurance. With a Bachelors of Science in Marine Transportation from Kings Point, Moy started his career as a naval architect before becoming a marine liability insurance underwriter.  He also honorably served as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve until 2012.

“WQIS is a pioneer in this field and I was thrilled to receive their offer,” says Moy.  “I’m really looking forward to working with this strong and experienced underwriting team to help WQIS continue to be the leader in the marine pollution insurance industry.”

Along with John Moy, WQIS recently recruited new SVP, John Ryszetnyk to further strengthen a senior management team that is unparalleled in the industry.  Their dedication to providing the most complete marine pollution liability insurance is manifested in each new team member that comes aboard.

About WQIS
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.