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Insights: H. Elder Brown, Jr.

Elder Brown web.jpg

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Fidelis Group Holdings LLC and Continental Underwriters, Ltd.   For those in the marine insurance and underwriting communities, H. Elder Brown, Jr. needs no introduction. That’s because over the course of the past 27 years, Brown has taken Continental Underwriters Ltd. (CUL) from a small family business to one of the largest brown water marine underwriters in the United States. More recently, Brown returned CUL to private ownership by purchasing CUL back from Houston Casualty Company in 2009.  Today, CUL is an industry leader in part due to the company’s excellent underwriting and claims handling. A 1974 graduate of Loyola University, Brown has steadily risen through the ranks of marine insurance, serving along the way in the Claims Department, as Assistant Underwriter, Senior Underwriter and eventually earning his current position as Chairman of the board of directors. Starting out as an Offshore Crew boat captain, Brown at one time operated and managed oilfield crew boats. As such, his knowledge of this unique market niche extends far beyond simple dollars and cents. This month, he weighs in for MarineNews readers on a host issues affecting marine insurance and those who depend on those services. How do you view the marine insurance marketplace at the current time? How about in one year? Five?

U.S. Extends Marine War Risk Insurance

Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta has approved an extension of the authority to provide war risk insurance under Section 1202 of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act (Act). Unlike Section 1205 insurance, which is provided to the Department of Defense (DOD) on vessels chartered to them at no premium and with a full DOD indemnity, Section 1202 insurance is underwritten by DOT in return for a premium from shipowners. This insurance or reinsurance of vessels is available for vessels (including

XL Offers KRE Cover to Yacht Owners

Denise Balan

  To help yacht owners navigate increasingly risky waters, XL Group is adding a Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion (KRE) Crisis endorsement to ShipShape, and ShipShape Plus, its recreational marine insurance coverages. "Crisis events like kidnapping, disappearance and hijack are increasingly real threats, especially on open seas," explained Denise Balan, Country Manager of XL's US Crisis Management business which developed the KRE endorsement

Logistics Insurance Provider Opens New Corporate HQ

Tactical Insurance Group has opened a new corporate office to facilitate the expansion of the company into its targeted industry sector –  Logistics Insurance. One of the South Central region's leading insurance brokers, Tactical Insurance Group, has moved into a newly expanded corporate office facility in Dallas as part of its strategy to grow its Logistics Insurance practice throughout Texas and surrounding states.

Norwegian Courts Reject Insurance Forum

Wikborg Rein, a Norwegian law firm, said Norway's Supreme Court has closed a door to claimants attempting to act against foreign shipowners insuring themselves in Norway. Anders Faerden, a partner in Wikborg Rein's Oslo office, said, "A Mexican insurance company has unsuccessfully brought a claim in Norway against a major Russian shipowner. The claimant tried to sue the Russian company in Norway because it had its P&I cover with Oslo-based Skuld.

Walker Joins Moore Stephens

Moore Stephens has appointed Lloyd's insurance market expert Tim Walker a consultant to its insurance and business intelligence team. Walker has extensive experience of international - and particularly Lloyd's - underwriting markets. He was a director of Miller Underwriting Agencies for ten years until starting his own full-time Lloyd's consultancy in 1993, in which capacity he acts as manager to Charles Taylor & Co, managers of The Stop Loss Mutual Insurance Association Ltd.

Moore Stephens Says Insurance Industry Must Embrace Business Intelligence

Regulatory developments mean that failure to make proper use of business intelligence systems and actuarial consultancy to assess risk could lead not only to significant financial losses but also to disciplinary penalties for insurance underwriters and brokers, according to leading accountant and consultant Moore Stephens. John Harbor, head of the Moore Stephens Insurance Industry Group, says, "Professional risk analysis and modern data management techniques are

Barbican Acquires Marine Insurance Broker

Barbican Group Holdings Limited (Barbican) announced that it has acquired Seacurus Ltd (Seacurus), a U.K.-based specialist marine insurance broker. Established in 2004, Seacurus focuses specifically on revenue protection in the marine insurance market. A provider of marine kidnap and ransom insurance, the company offers a range of products designed to help companies in the shipping industry manage a wide variety of operating and financial risks.

IMG Enhance Marine Group Medical Insurance Program

International Medical Group® (IMG) a leader in designing, distributing and administering global medical insurance benefits, has announced its enhanced flagship marine group medical insurance program. According to IMG, the enhancements enable ship owners to provide their crew comprehensive coverage for eligible medical expenses, which is increasingly important with the enactment of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006).

Insurance Advice for Marinas & Shipyards

McDermott Costa Insurance Brokers offers risk-reducing advice to marinas & shipyards regarding third party vendors   Third party service providers can pose serious risk and liabilities for marina and shipyard owners. Without the proper due diligence these marine companies could find themselves footing large bills should a dispute occur.   As a California insurance agency that specializes in ocean marine insurance for boat yards, marinas, yacht clubs

Swiss Re Establishes North America Marine Team

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has expanded its marine business by opening a North America marine office. Beginning October 1, 2015, the New York-based team will provide ocean cargo insurance, with additional products to follow, the company said.  

Ship Operating Costs Down in 2014 -Moore Stephens

Photo: Andrew Aiello

Total annual operating costs in the shipping industry fell by an average of 0.8 percent in 2014, said international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. This compares with the 0.3 percent average fall in costs recorded for 2013

Nigeria's Oil Exports Under Threat

Nigeria's latest effort to combat theft could imperil its oil income lifeline, compounding the damage the crude price fall has done to its finances, access to dollars and imports. Oil traders and shipping brokers said a newly implemented "letter of comfort" requirement under which

Risk Profile of Hull Market Improving - IUMI

IUMI’s Ocean Hull Committee Chairman, Mark Edmondson

  IUMI – the International Union of Marine Insurance – at its annual conference in Berlin yesterday announced that global hull premiums for 2014 totalled USD 7.6bn, a 5.8% reduction from 2013. IUMI’s Ocean Hull Committee Chairman, Mark Edmondson, commented

China Port Cargo Losses to Reach $1.5 bln

Explosions in the Chinese port of Tianjin last month would lead to cargo losses of at least $1.5 billion, and were having a "significant impact" on the marine insurance sector, a trade body said on Tuesday. "We are expecting to see cargo losses of at least $1

IUMI Sees Challenges Amidst Growth


The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) unveiling its annual statistical report on the marine insurance market   Global premiums for 2014 amount to USD 32.6bn. Although a 3.2% reduction on the 2013 figure, converting local currencies to a single US dollar figure was impacting on

IUMI's Focus on Education, Communication, Lobbying

IUMI President, Dieter Berg

  At the highly anticipated International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference,  IUMI President, Dieter Berg, detailed a number of key initiatives that will  continue to raise the organisation’s profile and political influence on an international level.

Thomas Miller Awards Robin Travis Scholarship

Tobias Rennekamp

  The UK P&I Club one of the leading shipping protection and indemnity mutual insurers,  has awarded Tobias Rennekamp the  Robin Travis Scholar for 2015. Tobias will spend three months in the Thomas Miller London office and the offices of selected lawyers, surveyors

Thomas Miller Acquires Marine Law Firm

Peter Jackson, Head of TM Law

  Thomas Miller the international insurance, professional and insurance services provider announces the acquisition of the partners and staff of specialist marine law firm, Davies Johnson & Co of Plymouth. The acquisition brings an additional six fee earners to the Thomas Miller Law

MN 100: Continental Underwriters, Ltd.

Chairman of the Board: H. Elder Brown, Jr.

The Company: Continental Underwriters, Ltd. is a national, multiline firm for all types of marine coverage. The firm offers both admitted and non-admitted products in all 50 states, packaged in flexible, competitively priced insurance options with broad terms and conditions for even the most

MN 100: Gencorp Insurance Group


The Company: Gencorp Insurance Group provides the Insurance and Surety needs of Marine Contractors, Vessel Operators and Shipyards throughout the country and Caribbean. Gencorp’s Marine Group facilitates the coverage placement and claims settlement for all insureds

SUNY Maritime to Host e-Navigation Conference

SUNY Maritime College will host the 2015 e-Navigation Underway North America Conference September 28-30 in New York   It is likely that regions like the Baltic, the North Sea, the Strait of Malacca, Torres Strait and other areas will implement e-Navigation services that modern ships

Marine Claims & Casualty Investigation Conference

  HINODE Maritime Events is conducting the "Conference on Handling Marine Claims and Investigating Marine Casualties". According to the organisers, the program which is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at the Vivanta by Taj - President, Cuffe Parade

Tianjin Explosion Highlights Growth of Accumulation Risks

The recent catastrophe at the port of Tianjin in China resulted in the loss of at least 100 lives and many more people are still missing. It is far too early to speculate on the cause, but the explosions left extensive physical damage as well as the appalling loss of life.  

Allianz, Zurich See Tanjin-Related Claims

The Chinese units of European insurers Allianz and Zurich Insurance Group said on Friday they received claims for unspecified damages from customer companies in the northeast city of Tianjin after two huge explosions in the port. The pair said they are now assessing potential losses.

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