Members Profile: Nigel Roberts, Everard Insurance Brokers

Nigel Roberts is Head of Marine at Everard Insurance Brokers, but who are Everards’ and where have they come from? Nigel tells us more…


Who are Everard Insurance Brokers?

Based at Greenhithe on the Thames ‘Everard and Sons Ltd.’ were once one of the biggest names in British and European coastal shipping, with a fleet of over 450 owned, managed and chartered craft, including sailing, steam and motor ships (plus tugs and harbour craft). It had its own repair and rebuilding facilities, Everard coasters traded to Europe and sometimes beyond. In addition to the fleet of steam motor-driven dry cargo craft and tankers, Everard also had a significant tug fleet.

Although the placing of fleet insurance and dealing with the London P&I Club calls had carried on for many years, following changes in the laws concerning insurance broking in 1996 the company name was changed to Everard Insurance Brokers Ltd. It became part of one of the UK’s leading independent brokers ‘James Hallam Limited’ in 2018 as the Group’s specialist Marine Broking Trading Division, where it retains its strong brand name and expertise.

What is your position in the company and what are you responsible for?

I head up Everard Insurance Brokers and am responsible for management and running of our two teams; ‘Marine Trades’ which handles all types of Marine Commercial Combined and property business and ‘Marine Shipping’ which provides high levels of service to our Shipowner clients by providing Hull & Machinery, Protection and Indemnity and associated marine protections.


When did you begin in Marine Insurance and when did you start with Everard?

I first started in the world of Marine insurance back in 1977 within the policy department (literally sticking clauses into policies) of Glanvil Enthoven, a respected international insurance broker who were for-the-time a large company. With the exception of a break during the late 1990s where I worked in the UK Commercial Insurance markets, I have been employed within the London/Lloyd’s International arena for the entire time of my career. I started here as Head of Marine earlier in 2021 having previously held Managing Director and Deputy CEO posts in other Marine Brokers.

What attracted you to the Marine Insurance sector?

There is an often repeated saying between insurance practitioners that “no one ever leaves school/Collage/university with a burning desire to get involved in insure”. This however, isn’t necessarily true anymore as several universities offer Insurance qualifications. For me on leaving College I had decided that I wanted a job in the City rather than follow my peers into a more traditional Trade. Having a father who was a reinsurance broker helped me get interviews with both Banks and Insurance Brokers. I chose broking because at interview with the banks they explained that my career path and salary would follow a pre-established route. Whereas in broking I was simply told “it depends how good you are!” I have very occasionally wondered if I made the right decision!

The attraction to me of Marine insurance is that it is so incredibly diverse and it affects everyone’s lives, even if they have never been to sea. Imports and Exports are the life blood of most economies. Marine insurance protects the loss of or damage to those cargoes. The ships that carry it, the tugs that handle those ships, the yards that build and repair ships. The Ports and Terminals that cargo comes ashore through, the boats that built those Ports and so on…. Chartering Operations, Ship management companies, Naval Architects, Freight Forwarding and Haulage, pleasure, leisure, ferries and civil services all fall into the sphere of marine insurance.

What sets Everard Marine Insurance apart from it’s competitors?

As a company our unique shipowning history is something that definitely sets us apart, it is something we are very proud of. As individuals we each have a wealth of marine insurance experience from decades of working with clients both the UK and International markets. With our exclusive scheme arrangements and bespoke client solutions we feel that we can provide our clients with something different from other insurance providers. We draw the line at providing “cheap” cover, at the expense of quality. We aim to provide our clients with better cover year on year.


Do you ever ‘get your feet wet’?!

Yes, indeed. I hold an RYA level 2 Multihull sailing and have spent over 25 years around almost all types of small craft and vessels around the world from the Galapagos to the Far East as a fully trained and certified Rescue Diver.

What other hobbies do you have?

Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, scuba diving, I have run marathons and competed in triathlons up to Olympic distance.


What are the current challenges faced by the Marine Insurance sector?

Over the last couple of years we have seen a serious contraction in the number of Marine Insurers available (we call it capacity) and, although it may be hard for many readers to believe, this has been due to a steady decline in Marine insurance premiums over several decades. In fact premiums had fallen to such levels where many insurers have found writing the business is no longer sustainable when set against the claims they were incurring and have permanently withdrawn from the market. We are now in what is known as a ‘hard market’ with premium raises being seen across the whole spectrum of marine businesses as the much reduced (capacity) market attempts to achieve some sort of equilibrium.

How do people start a career in Marine Insurance?

There are many ways to enter the Marine Insurance Industry however, it is recommended that candidates perform some research to determine which aspect of the business they might wish to enter, be it: broking, underwriting, claims handling in either Lloyd’s or an insurance company. If one has a legal degree. then specialist marine insurance lawyers or departments are also a consideration. In the current economic climate, entry into the industry for school-leavers and graduates can prove difficult as most employers want some sort of pre-knowledge or experience, the first option is to seek work-experience, which many companies are willing to offer. They may not advertise it though! So candidates must ask them directly. Graduate and Apprentice schemes are also offered by insurers and brokers, Recruitment Agencies are an option however, one must bear in mind that some previous experience will be required, Agencies charge a fee to the employers and employers are unlikely to want to pay those fees for someone without experience. If one has contacts within the insurance industry, it is recommended to use them – personal introductions are always advantageous.

Finally to recap, get some experience in your chosen field of marine insurance. Employers may see several CV’s per day, so make sure that your CV is good quality and any relevant experience you have has been suitably highlighted!

Everard Insurance Brokers is a trading name of James Hallam Limited who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Members Profile: Nigel Roberts, Everard Insurance Brokers