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Vanguard lands $1M boost to overhaul marine insurance for smarter and safer vessels

MaritimeTech startup Vanguard has landed a strategic US$1M seed round to automate the entire insurance underwriting process for maritime operations. Investors in the strategic fundraise include Hafnia, Motion Ventures, Portline and KGJG.

Vanguard’s upcoming platform is designed to streamline how underwriters, brokers, and shipping clients interact from start to finish. By automating processes from the initial introduction of a broker to a shipping client all the way through to the underwriter’s final decision, Vanguard intends to eliminate inefficiencies and reduce the insurance risk involved with using different technologies.

“Smarter ships are safer ships and Vanguard is here to help the marine insurance sector realise this promise too. Our holistic marine insurance platform is designed to bridge the gap between vessel operators and marine underwriters, so vessels can not only navigate the waters with greater safety but also navigate the economics of insurance fairly. This is about redefining the lifecycle of maritime operations and securing a future where technology and safety lead to tangible rewards” said Kfir Magen, Co-Founder and Investor in Vanguard.

Vanguard’s inception came from a clear vision and a palpable frustration. Having collectively spent his career in vessel operations, Magen witnessed first-hand the disconnect between technology adoption on vessels and the insurance premiums ships were being charged. Despite integrating cutting-edge technologies to make vessels smarter and safer, premiums remained unchanged as underwriters didn’t have the right tools and models to reflect that risk reduction.

The significance of Vanguard’s technology stretches beyond document automation as each insurance case will be tailored to specific vessel risks. For instance, with vessels seeking war insurance—a pertinent concern in today’s geopolitical climate—the platform will integrate critical data and coordinate closely with vessel managers and masters to dynamically manipulate routes and operations. And in doing so, mitigating risks to result in lower overall insurance premiums for vessel operators. The potential impacts on the maritime industry are profound. For instance, Vanguard has already demonstrated success with significant premium reductions, having helped one of the industry’s largest shipping operators discount their existing war insurance premiums by over 50%.

Vanguard has also entered a strategic partnership with one of the largest insurance brokerage and risk management services companies, Gallagher. The partnership will see Gallagher provide its marine clients with access to the platform enabling them to better manage their risk exposures, and ensure they are paying the right premium for their insurance.

Shanker Pillai, Head of Studio 30 50 said, “Vanguard’s platform is set to define a new standard for maritime insurance, where efficiency, safety, and cost reduction converge through technology, reshaping the industry in a significant and lasting way.”

Vanguard was a part of Studio 30 50’s first cohort sprint where they were introduced to seasoned maritime and shipping investors, and could learn the dynamics of shipping technologies, scale and better approach their investment efforts.

Looking forward, Vanguard plans to leverage big data to enhance its risk models further. This will not only improve the accuracy of risk assessments but also showcase to insurers the reduced risk associated with smarter, technology-equipped vessels. Vanguard’s platform will employ cutting-edge technologies such as AI and encourage the use of robust devices or software aimed at reducing risks. This holistic approach is what sets the company apart in an industry where competitors often focus on isolated elements of insurance underwriting.
Source: Vanguard

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