Kevin O’Brien, President and CEO of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association (IMUA) discusses some of the major factors impacting inland marine including the economy and advances in technology

“The inland marine industry is thriving.” said Mr. O’Brien “The commercial inland marine market has outperformed the property and casualty industry as a whole, by about 10 points and that trend seems to be continuing. The growing economy and the lack of catastrophic events have been the major growth drivers.”

Mr. O’Brien went on to say, “In the past couple of years there have been a number of new companies entering the market and compared to already established companies, they have been struggling. Newer companies are dealing with high claims and a small book of business, which has hurt their profitability. There are two classes of business that have been driving losses in the Inland Marine market; they are Motor Truck Cargo and Builders Risk. For Motor truck cargo there has been an increase in thefts in trucks and trailers of which food and beverages are the leading target followed closely by pharmaceuticals and electronics.   For Builders Risk there has been an increase in the number of fires in in multi-story wood construction habitational structures.

Mr. O’Brien also states that, “Technology is having a big impact the amount of data available and is having a significant impact on underwriting. For instance, telematics on contractor’s equipment provides information on hours of use, radius of use; Risk Modeling predicts frequency and severity of hurricanes and flooding due to tidal and storm surge. The inland marine underwriting is moving from being thought of as an art to a little bit of a science now.”

Mr. O’Brien also says that, “Professional development and the training and education of our industry professionals is the IMUA’s primary focus. “

The Annual IMUA meeting is on May 3-6 in Charlotte NC and about 275 people are expected to attend.   The IMUA is trying to get more agents and brokers involved in IMUA events to help educate them and get them more involved in IMUA actives.

For more information on the IMUA visit their website.


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