Meet Rama Chandran, Head of Marine – Singapore and Head of Hull & Marine Liability – Asia, QBE Singapore

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Tell us about your business

QBE is an international insurer and reinsurer offering a diverse portfolio of commercial, personal and specialty products, as well as risk management solutions. Our diverse product portfolio includes property, motor, crop, public/product liability, professional indemnity, workers’ compensation, energy, marine and aviation. Our purpose is to give people the confidence to achieve their ambitions.

QBE in Singapore having been established in 1891 will be celebrating its 130th year anniversary in 2021 and is the Republic’s oldest registered Australian company. QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd is part of the QBE Insurance Group which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and headquartered in Sydney.

What’s your role all about?

I currently oversee all underwriting of marine risk across QBE Asia. Marine risk comes in the form of shipping assets, cargo being shipped and the liabilities they carry whilst shipping worldwide.  Marine insurance is a combination of actuarial science with a prospective forward trend that would affect business profitability. The work involves meeting all stakeholders in the maritime sector, which for me, is the most satisfying part of my work. I represent Singapore at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) that look at inputs from casualty trends for policy making. I am part of the working group that tries to make changes at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). IMO is a United Nations body overseeing maritime safety and environment.

What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?

The major topic remains the well-being of crew on board vessels which has seen some improvements from the onset of the pandemic, but we are far from resolving many issues. The well-being of the crew is critical in the safe operation of vessels and hence form a critical part of our risk assessment. With the significant lockdowns and closure of airports, repatriation of crew after serving the contract onboard has been made very challenging and expensive on some occasions.

Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?

AustCham is a great platform to meet like-minded professionals and tap into the vast network of people to share experience and knowledge.

Where are your favourite places to go to relax in Singapore?

Eateries at Dempsey remains my preferred location to meet friends and family. Having spent some time in Greece and all the islands on a cruise vessel had made Greek cuisine a family favourite.

What are your predictions for the next 12 months?

The shipping industry is very buoyant for the next 12 months at least and as Marine insurers, the current landscape bodes well for our industry. The importance of ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) is increasing at the forefront of our discussion with asset owners and those who have clear road map would benefit significantly in the near future.

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