WQIS Announces Senior Leadership Change As President Richard Hobbie Sets Retirement

New York, NY – November 17, 2014
After four decades as underwriter, claims manager and Board Member, WQIS has announced the retirement of Richard Hobbie III from his position as President & CEO of the Water Quality Insurance Syndicate. The Board of Managers and Mr. Hobbie have agreed upon January 1, 2015 as his official retirement date. Rich will be available as a consultant to WQIS until Dec. 31, 2017 under the agreement.

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Changes to Alaska Financial Responsibility Requirements

Alaska State law requires vessel operators to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility for claims resulting from an oil spill.  To reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation recently adopted an order which increases the limits of liability for vessels and offshore facilities under Alaska state law by approximately 9% across the board, effective October 1, 2014.

Changes to Liability Limits under OPA 90

To reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the United States Coast Guard has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which, when finalized, would increase limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports and onshore facilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90).
Under the current proposal, which could be finalized by end of year, OPA 90 limits of liability would increase by approximately 9% across the board. Public comments may be submitted by October 20th, 2014.

LA Notice of Defense Costs within Policy Limit

Recently Louisiana enacted the Insurance Unfair Trade Practices Act.  The new law, Act 844, states in part that every policy attaching or renewing after August 1, 2014 must include a notice indicating that the policy or contract contains defense costs within the limit of liability.

To comply with these new Louisiana statutory requirements, WQIS will now include the attached, “Notice: Defense Costs within Policy Limit” on every policy it issues.  Please contact WQIS with any questions regarding this new requirement.

WQIS to Sponsor Black & Orange Benefit for the Birds

WILMINGTON, DE – In their ongoing support of marine life conservation, WQIS is sponsoring the annual benefit for Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Trick or Tweet: Black & Orange Benefit for the Birds. This year’s event will be held on Friday, October 24, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DE. This sponsorship is part of a 17-year-long relationship between the two parties.

*Photography courtesy of Bob Croslin

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »