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Marketing 29 May 2024 Alta Signa Press Insights

Spotlight On: Danilo Fiore, Head of Technical Underwriting for Hull and Yachts, Alta Signa

Alta Signa’s Technical Expert Spotlight Series focuses on emerging trends in the marine market with insights from Danilo Fiore, Head of Technical Underwriting for Hull and Yachts

The marine market is known for being a unique and complex environment, however, for the insurance sector this complexity is starting to progress at a rate of knots. The market is experiencing – and to an extent, experimenting – with new multiple developments in technology, particularly the use of Hybrid propulsion and the use of carbon fibre for the construction of yachts and pleasure crafts. 

The increasing uptake of both technologies is fairly understandable: electric propulsion is being more widely considered as an environmentally-friendly alternative to diesel-powered engines, while carbon fibre, being incredibly lightweight, is being seen as an ideal option for making lighter, less energy-consuming yachts. 

This ever growing appetite for using carbon fibre during construction is resulting in a different way we write business. Firstly, we need to factor in the rate of material wear in a marine environment and, secondly we need to verify what specific maintenance is required to ensure the technical quality of the material remains the same. 

The increasing use of electric propulsion is also forcing us to rethink our underwriting and claims procedures. Solar panels – which are used as a main source of power – are at the mercy of weather conditions, while the use of lithium batteries increases the risk of fires at sea and at yards. As well as these increased risks during operation, the use of lithium batteries also creates complications at the end of a vessel's lifecycle. In response, we are having to change the way we write business; we have to proactively adapt as an industry to assess these evolving risks.

The ebb and flow of the market

Reflecting on this vast rate of progression and change that the industry has experienced in the past few years alone, means predicting what we might see over the next five to 10 years is difficult to determine. Evolving technologies, material use, and even how vessels will operate in the marine environment, is subject to complete and total change. 

For Alta Signa, we might only be at the beginning of our marine journey, but we are already having many forward-thinking conversations with the market that inform our approach to what the future might hold. And while we may not have a crystal ball, we are in a position to drive conversations with brokers and clients, particularly around factors such as loss prevention. In this area, it is vital to know what clients are proactively doing to prevent claims, and how things could be improved. And this is not just from a money perspective; it is from a supply perspective, a business perspective, and most importantly, a life perspective.

Only by having these conversations can we provide our clients with a quality and efficient service level combined with technical expertise. Because at the end of the day, that is what being an MGA is all about: it is about being proactive and solving problems, communicating quickly and efficiently, and above all, delivering precise and detailed underwriting.

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