Water Quality Insurance Syndicate

Insurance Agency in New York
60 Broad Street, 33rd Floor, New York, NYOpening at 9:00 AMOpen today until 5:00 PMOpening at 9:00 AM tomorrowOpening at 9:00 AM on MondaySorry, we're closed
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Posted on Feb 28, 2019

A marine oil spill requires immediate action based on a contingency plan that has been tested through simulation. The priority goals are to contain and recover what oil you can and to assist natural processes to disperse or biodegrade what oil you cannot recover. In major oil spills, the at-sea r...

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Posted on Feb 22, 2019

Significant oil spills can remain in the press and the social consciousness for years or even decades. The damage done by major events like the Exxon Valdez spill and the Deepwater Horizon well blowout increase and reinforce to Owners and Operators that in the event of a spill they need to respon...

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Posted on Feb 15, 2019

On November 7, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an interesting opinion addressing the issue of when a Primary Marine Insurer’s duty to pay defense costs ends in relation to the exhaustion of the primary policy liability limits under the insurance contract...

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Posted on Jan 31, 2019

Due to the Federal Government shutdown, the Vessel Certification Division will be closed.

During the shutdown, the ECOFR site will remain operational.

We will review all received applications in the order received once the Government is re-opened.

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Posted on Jan 18, 2019

On April 25, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a notable opinion in Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. a/s/o and as assignee of all rights of Genesis Marine, LLC v. Water Quality Insurance Syndicate, No. 15 Civ. 2365 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 25, 2018). In extensive fas...

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Posted on Jan 14, 2019

BoatUS estimates more than 63,000 recreational boats were damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma at about $655 million in boat losses. That is just shy of losses caused by Hurricane Sandy.

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Posted on Dec 27, 2018

The National Transportation Safety Board has finished its review of the Oct. 1, 2015, sinking of the freighter El Faro between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, during Hurricane Joaquin. The accident killed all 33 people on board and was the worst U.S. maritime disaster in modern his...

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Insurance Products

  • Vessel Pollution

    More than 45 years ago, we developed a Worldwide Marine Vessel Pollution Policy form in response to the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970, which expanded the federal government’s authority over water quality standards and water polluters. Its provisions stated that a discharging vessel was strictly liable for removal subject to very limited defenses, and also placed a limitation on liability with the vessel operator, which was required to prove it had the resources to pay for the spill’s cleanup costs up to its limit of liability. In addition, a Certificate of Financial Responsibility indicating proof must be obtained from the Federal Maritime Commission.Our Worldwide Marine Pollution Liability was created to provide potential accidental water polluters from the liabilities they face under federal water regulations. This insurance policy covers losses such as cleanup, damage to natural resources, legal defense and civil penalties, and includes any Certificate of Financial Respons
  • Cargo

    Any number of things can go wrong while shipping cargo, especially when cargo ends up in the water. The cargo owner could be responsible for an expensive cleanup and legal damages, especially if the spill is handled poorly.WQIS’ Marine Cargo Owners Vessel Pollution insurance provides an end-to-end solution designed to be effective in today’s marine marketplace. Whatever the cargo, WQIS coverage will protect the cargo owner for their legal liability arising from the spill or threat of a spill from their cargo and from a vessel.
  • Blue Haven Marina

    Marina owners risk being responsible for every vessel in their harbor. A late night electrical fire or poor navigation by a weekend captain can cause some serious damage to the vessels – and even more serious for the assured – pollution to the surrounding water. The cleanup costs alone can amount to two or three years of revenue, significantly impacting the financial viability of a marina operation.The Blue Haven™ Marina Policy from WQIS provides coverage for an owner and/or operator of a marina for their liabilities as the owner and/or operator of a vessel, for vessels in the care, custody or control of the marina and for third-party vessels at the clients’ scheduled locations. This innovative product offers broad protection for all vessels at a scheduled marina.WQIS also offers a fueling endorsement to marinas to cover fueling operations typically not covered by fuel tank insurance.
  • Blue Yard Shipyard

    WQIS’ Blue Yard Boat/Shipyard Pollution Insurance policy offers the most comprehensive coverage for the boat and shipyard industry. It provides coverage for an owner and/or operator of a shipyard for their liabilities as the owner and/or operator of a vessel, for vessels in the care, custody or control of the shipyard and for third-party vessels at the clients’ scheduled locations. Coverage also includes, upon request, a Master Certificate of Financial Responsibility Guaranty.Scrappers, builders, and repairers rely on our WQIS Blue Shipyard policy to mitigate the risk for liabilities arising from spills and threats of spills.
  • Non-Vessels Owners

    Those who work on, near or around vessels have a pollution liability exposure that could end up costing their business considerably if they are found liable for causing a spill and ultimately responsible for cleaning it up. There are infinite ways that a spill can occur with variables that are beyond one’s control, which is why WQIS offers non-vessel owners marine pollution insurance.Our Marine Pollution insurance policy provides coverage for legal liability arising from oil spills or hazardous substances from a vessel. We also offer optional coverage for discharge of substances other than oil or hazardous substances. The depth, innovation, and breadth of WQIS Marine Pollution insurance can be a tremendous asset for any business that faces a vessel-related environmental liability exposure.
  • COFR Guaranty

    To comply with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), vessels over 300 gross tons using the navigable waters of the United States must have a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR). In addition, any vessel, REGARDLESS OF TONNAGE, that is LIGHTERING or TRANSSHIPPING oil in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States, must have a COFR. The only exceptions to this rule are public vessels and non-self propelled barges that do not carry oil as fuel or cargo, and do not carry hazardous substances as cargo. These two types of vessels do not require a COFR. The COFR is issued by the National Pollution Funds Center after the operator applies and demonstrates proof of financial responsibility via a guaranty. WQIS is an approved guarantor by the NPFC and can provide a Guaranty to the NPFC if an operator has pollution insurance with WQIS or if pollution insurance is placed with a WQIS approved insurer.
  • Bunker Blue Cards

    Over many years, there have been numerous heavy fuel oil spills from vessels as a result of the escape or discharge of bunker oil. There were challenges with the recovery of the associated cost and damages following a bunker pollution incident. Such challenges included difficulty in enforcing judgments in some flag states, no automatic right to pursue a claim in the state where the spill occurred, extensive legal costs and insufficient insurance cover carried by the registered ship owner.

About us

Today, WQIS is the largest underwriter of vessel pollution liability insurance for vessels in the United States, offering the most comprehensive insurance products in the market. We insure all types of commercial and private marine risks and we will work with our customers to ensure we can provide best-in-class coverage for their specific risk.

We provide water pollution liability insurance from the smallest to the largest fleets for vessel operators worldwide, providing coverage for more than thirty thousand (30,000) vessels, pollution guaranties for over three thousand five hundred (3,500) vessels, and have cleaned up over five thousand (5,000) spills in our history. WQIS offers insurance on behalf of fifteen (15) subscribing insurance companies in the Marine Insurance Market (see Subscribers for details).

Contact Us


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  • (212) 292-8700
  • (888) 605-3964


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60 Broad Street
33rd Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

Business Hours

Mon:9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tue:9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wed:9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thu:9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fri:9:00 AM – 5:00 PM