Marine Cargo the Rokstone way

Marine Cargo is a market that has been hardening for a few years now.

As new capacity enters the market to take advantage of greater premiums, rates seem to be levelling out although increases are still obtainable on certain accounts.

The outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine seems certain to continue this trend, particularly for ships entering high-risk waters, where it may become extremely difficult to find comprehensive cover.

At Rokstone, we write risks with our capacity providers at the forefront of our minds. We treat their capital as if it were our own, and only write risks with the aim of delivering them an underwriting profit.

Therefore, we are watching the current situation in Eastern Europe very carefully, and taking cautious decisions when deciding which risks to underwrite.

Our underwriting controls are tried and tested, and have proven to give our capacity partners an underwriting profit over many years in the market.

We will rely on these, and the vast experience of our own Portfolio Manager for Marine Cargo, Rob Birchard, when deciding which risks to underwrite.

As we have said many times, at Rokstone we are not afraid to turn business away, and will write to minimise our capacity providers’ exposure to heavy losses.

Rob joined us last year because he shares our underwriting mentality, and has the experience to weather a portfolio through volatile times, such as these.

Rob started his insurance career back in 1978 underwriting for the Sturge Syndicates at Lloyd’s for 13 years. After this, he worked in broking, for JH Minet (now Aon) and Alexander Forbes (now Lockton); before going back into underwriting, for XL syndicate (now AXA XL), and the Sirius syndicate.

He joined Rokstone in March 2021, having also recently worked for Starstone, Argenta, and Pioneer/K2.

Underwriting Marine Cargo in the London Market for the last 20 years, we are delighted to have a portfolio manager running this class who has seen all the market cycles, and knows the appropriate way to respond.

We continue to offer coverage on physical loss or damage, as well as war and strikes, riot and civil commotion. We write general cargo and stockthroughput covers mainly targeted at, but not limited to, SME business.

Our risk appetite includes oil and petrochemicals, project cargo, general machinery, aviation spares, excess stock, and cargo war.

Our typical maximum line is USD15m, but for a quicker turnaround, brokers should be prepared to provide a detailed breakdown of the risk.

Rob Birchard

Portfolio Manager - Marine & Cargo


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