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The Company

Evolution of Regional Market

At the beginning of the 80’slocal shipping companies, that for years concentrated their efforts on ocean traffic, began to look at the Parana-Paraguay River corridor, today called Hidrovia Parana-Paraguay, as a possible trading motor for the region. It was then when river insurance coverage developed.

By the mid 80s, in view of the steady growth in the trade/size of the tugs &barges convoys and due to the application of increasing local and international regulations, the authorities and oil port terminals began to requestto ship-ownersadequate hull & machinery,plus third party liabilities insurances (P&I) which at that time were of standard utilization in the ocean-going traffic only. It was then when the insurance of vessels dedicated to river trade began to assume a dual purpose of protecting the assets of the ship-owners and at the same time meeting the local, international and private requirements for the safe operation of vessels and their cargoes. 

When the Southern Cone Common Market – “Mercosur” was set up in the early 90s, river traffic steadily grew, whereas the ocean traffic shrunk temporarily. Then many Shipowners in the ocean-going sector began to invest with emphasis in the river business. At the same time, coverage requirements becamestricter. H&M insurance was not enough and therefore the Pandi cover expanded among the river operators looking for the demanded certificates of compliance with the prevailing conventions such as the 1969 Civil Liability and 1971 Fund Conventions and the indemnity schemes TOVALOP (Tanker Owners Voluntary Agreement on Liability for Oil Pollution) and CRISTAL (Contract Regarding an Interim Supplement to Tanker Liability for Oil Pollution). Later came in force the ITOPF (The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited), the 1992 Fund and Convention, the OPRC Convention (International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation), the Bunkers Convention, etc.

Today the level of insurance for river vessels are, in practice, identical to those of ocean-going vessels and are both much more complex than in the past, especially regarding environmental damage and wreck removal incidents. The additional increasing exposure of crew and cargo liabilities plus other risks have made the marine insurance an indispensable instrument for the Owner in the development of their business.

In the fishing business there was also an increased interest of Shipowers in buying marine covers arising from stricter rules regarding pollution and the growing number of claims involving crewmembers which required appropriated solutions to protect their assets.

A special case relates to the carriage of passengers on smaller vessels where tourists of various nationalities entails the possible risk of claims that are incalculable for the owners and tourism operators.

Also, special-purpose vessels dedicated to pipeline-laying, seismic, suppliers of oil platforms, mono-buoy maintenance, construction of quays, dredging, pilot transport, oil spillage prevention and response (OSRO), salvage, port tugs, etc. are areas subject to ever tighter controls and specific contractual liabilities that require the proper construction of a set of coverages. This is known in the international market as “tailored” insurance covers. 

Cargo insurance also had their own role adapting their products to the river activity where normally sizes of shipments are smaller than in the ocean trade and Underwriters had to accept that cargo be transported in units of more than 20 years of age due to the long life of vessels utilized in the river waters

Finally the Port Terminals play a fundamental roll in the shipping activity, as they are in charge to control and put conditions to the insurances that must have a vessel when approaching, staying or leaving their premises. At the same time they have important assets to protect (quays, silos, grain conveyors, etc) and local/international regulations to perform. Perhaps Terminal Insurance, together with Builder Risks covers are most complex products to design.

The Birth of Our Service

In 2005, Intermarine Brokers S.A. was established with the visionof attending a market demanding for advice on ocean and inlandwaters covers for the entire Mercosur region.

From its founding the firm widely fulfilled the new demandsthat the ship-owners and cargo shipperswere facing,with an important degree of success. IBSA has also assisted Underwriters in understanding the international navigation risks arising from operations on the Parana-Paraguay Waterways System which links 5 countries, as well as operations in the Patagonian region, an area of strong winds and marked tidal variations.

In this way, Intermarine Brokers provides a comprehensive service to all companies directly or indirectly involved in marine activities such as shipyards, port terminals, shipping agencies, freight forwarders, shippers, owners, surveyors, etc.

Our Mission

To provide companies involved in the shipping business with integral insurance solutions through only one contact point, transmitting tranquility and giving logistic support, both fundamental for a steady growth in their activities.