Fort Lauderdale Mariners 33rd Insurance Seminar
The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Insurable
October 23 - 24, 2023

Monday, October 23, 2023

Click here to register

The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Insurable.


1400 - 2100      Registration & Pickup Badge
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Convention Center | The Las Olas Ballroom (2nd floor)

1800 - 2100      Meet The Speakers Reception
The Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort Convention Ctr | The Atlantic Ballroom
Appropriate Business Attire


0700 - 0800      Continental Breakfast
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Convention Center | The Las Olas Ballroom

0800 - 0820 Welcome and Opening Remarks

0820 - 0915 All the Stories We Could Tell:

As vessels and the marine industry vendors become more sophisticated, so are the complexities surrounding liability and insurance coverages. Individual vessels will always require hull, machinery and liability insurance but there are many other layers of insurance and risk management throughout the industry that others should be aware. To set the stage: A case study of a complex litigation that ultimately involved multiple parties including the designer, builder, seller, sales broker, marine surveyor, hull insurer and a somewhat irritated buyer. The billionaire Buyer and Seller severed their personal relationship, the builder took his own life, and the Buyer filed suit against everyone. The litigation was complex, policy wording was critical to the insurers defense and when there was a mediation it was standing room only. 

Beyond the basic insurance policies, what type and forms of insurance are required of vendors and other third parties who work on and around vessels, shipyards, marine related facilities and in the marine industries in general? There is a complicated matrix of insurance needs to cover employees, equipment and today there is cyber security too. Types of insurance that vendors require and/or should have in force include Commercial General Liability, Workers Comp, Professional Liability, Cyber Risk Insurance, Product Liability, Vehicle Liability, Environmental Liability, and coverage against lawsuits (Vendor Insurance). 


Danelle Heathman, Arthur J. Gallagher
Daniel Marcotte, McAlpin, Tanner, Marcotte

0915 - 1010 A Pirate Looks at 20 to 25:

Who protects the “guy” in charge? Historically the ship (in rem) has identity and along with its Owner have been responsible for the liabilities incurred from an incident, but these two entities are no longer the only target when things go bad. Criminalization of seafarers, specifically ships officers, engineers and sometimes vessel managers has been an ongoing issue worldwide for several decades. What does the policy of insurance typically cover when there is a charge of negligence and the subsequent criminal proceedings against the crew? Is there P&I coverage? Should a captain with a 100-ton USCG credential operating a 6-pack boat be concerned about the chance that someday they may be the criminally accused for something that may have been out of their direct control or was due to their own negligence? 


Chris Buseman, Gallagher-Affinity
Brian Murphy, Berkley Offshore
George Chalos, Chalos & Co. P.C.

1010 - 1030  Morning Break

1030 - 1100  Keynote Address / Dealing with change, a view from the top: 

The current trend of corporate conglomeration of the industry.
Workforce concerns today and in the future.
The benefits of technology while maintaining product quality for the consumers.


Ken Clinton, Intrepid Powerboats, Inc.

1100 - 1155 He Went to Paris Searching for Cargo:

Surprisingly, only the largest yachts have long range capability or are seaworthy enough to cross an ocean. Moving a large yacht often requires transport as deck cargo on a convention cargo carrier or more often on task specific semi-submersible vessels that utilize the float-on / float-off concept. The industry terms this as “project cargo” and may include many types of large modular freight items too large to travel by road or rail. While a yacht being transported by ship may be valued from 1-million to 50-million dollars, an oilfield gas separating plant or a chemical processing assembly or a floating oil rig may easily exceed 200-500 million dollars or more. The handling and securing of large project cargoes offers many challenges not limited to engineering the loading, design of the securing system, the load survey and associated warranties to obtain insurance for the move. 


Brad Eldridge, Falvey Insurance (cargo).
Neil Maclaren, International Bluewater Marine Services  
Jan M. Kuylenstierna, De Leo & Kuylenstierna P.A.

1155 - 1200 Announcements

1200 - 1330 LUNCH BUFFET

1330 - 1430 Changes in Latitude (Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season):

Significant catastrophic weather events have increased in the past decade and the past twelve months have been more than notable. The good news is that weather forecasts and predictions have become more accurate but how does this impact the decision process to protect the vessel and determination of coverage after the fact? The modern tools for recording weather observations and hindcasting offer so much more knowledge to the insurer and investigators but the fact remains that severe weather events are becoming more frequent and with higher intensity. How should insurers view the changing climate and what can or will they do? Higher premiums? More comprehensive hurricane plans? Less coverage? No coverage? 

The standard hurricane clauses from years past are easily understood but today’s policy language has become complex and taxes the policy holders with defined (but sometimes confusing) responsibilities. What are some of the new storm related and safe-berth clauses we see and how do we ensure that brokers, agents, attorneys and surveyors understand what these things mean when there is the threat of a pending disaster, and after the fact when determining coverage? 

Supposing a hurricane plan is required and submitted by the vessel, how robust is the plan, can it be effectively executed and does it provide options if the primary plan cannot be enacted? There is no standard template that all parties can work from. Knowledge of the risk and truthful disclosures are paramount to ensuring that the insured has coverage in the event of catastrophic weather and that insurers have been able to appropriately calculate the risk that they are writing, on the terms that are being offered.


Craig Setzer, Setzer Weather LLC
Revel Boulon, Sedgwick

1430 - 1530 It's Not Easy Being Green:

Ecology versus Economy. There is no question that we need to protect and save our ocean and atmospheric environment by reducing the pollution that we produce. Scientific studies and common knowledge support the basic concept that less is better in regard to toxic emissions, discharging waste into the water and general pollution such as plastics and other non-biodegradable materials. We have the technology to build propulsion machinery that will produce low emissions but there is a price to pay to achieve the desired standards. Alternative fuels like Ammonia are attractive but there are supply and safety concerns. On another front there are concerns about whale breeding grounds and the long-term effects of offshore windfarms on fisheries.

Every day we see and hear about hybrid and all-electric cars but did you know that electric propulsion has been used commercially on vessels since the early 1900’s? Perhaps you did not know that small all-electric recreational boats were being built in the mid 1800’s. For decades electric propulsion has been the system of choice for many type of specialty craft. The technology is not space-age, but the batteries and charging systems associated with electric propulsion can be complex, operate at higher A.C. and D.C. voltages and offer safety and environmental concerns that insurers should be made aware of.


Craig Scholten, American Boat and yacht Council
Peter Laysom, AEGI Forensics
Jonathan K. Klopman, Marine Surveys

1530 - 1600 Afternoon Break

1600 - 1700 Son of a Son of a Charter, its Law and the Limitation Act:

Vessel chartering is as old as the ancient Phoenician sailing fleets and the concept has evolved to include rules and regulations ensuring the enterprise is conducted safely for all persons involved and that liability is directed to the responsible parties when something does go wrong. Today, in recreational boating, chartering has taken on a new face with vessel owners and charterers operating in violation of the laws intended to protect the boating public. Is there any harm in this illegal business? Not until someone gets hurt or worse. During the past several years we have seen numerous severe injuries, fatalities and economic damages directly associated with “illegal charters”. There are Federal laws, but enforcement is the problem. The local Police, Sheriff, and State agencies cannot, and do not, enforce the Federal law on this subject but they report to the United States Coast Guard Task Force who do enforce the statutes enacted in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46. 

Complimentary to the above, there are new exemptions and changes in the law that effect certain vessels in regard to their ability to file under the Limitation of Liability Act first passed in 1851. This change stems from recent catastrophes on the water such as the Table Rock Lake duck boat foundering incident and the dive boat Conception fire in California. Now 172 years later, what are the implications of the 2022 Small Passenger Vessel Liability Fairness Act to vessel owners, insurers and the process of litigation when there is a significant claim or claims against a vessel this is no longer eligible for limitation? 


Major Alberto Maza, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Captain Tom Shipp, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 
Jesus Porrata, United States Coast Guard Sector Miami
J. Michael Pennekamp, Fowler White Burnett

1700 - 1715  Closing Remarks / Vacation Raffle

1715 - 2000 Post-Seminar Cocktail Reception