Application for a COFR Guaranty can be made in one of two ways: by using our online form or by downloading the application form (Word or PDF), completing it, and returning it to SIGCo. Applicants will be asked to provide vessel details, including vessel name, Gross Tonnage (GT), Year built, Vessel Type and IMO number. SIGCo will also require three standard letters from the vessels P&I insurer — insurers that meet SIGCo’s requirements will be familiar with these standard letters and should be able to provide these.
SIGCo has provided a Master Guaranty Schedule to the NPFC. Each new Guaranty that we issue to the NPFC will be appended to this Master Schedule.
We will underwrite each vessel based on the attributes of the vessel (type, GT, Year built, etc). Fleet size will also be a factor in rating the vessel’s premium. A dry cargo ship will usually be rated at a fixed amount per GT for an annual period, irrespective of how many US voyages it undertakes. Tankers will be rated and charged on a rate per GT for each voyage, up to a maximum of 10 voyages. Both tankers and dry cargo vessels have a minimum annual premium, which will apply if the calculated premium based on the rate is lower than the minimum.
Tanker premiums will usually be charged at inception with the higher of 1 voyage or an annual minimum premium, thereafter adjusted quarterly to the actual voyages undertaken to the USA. In order to make the premium adjustments we will require quarterly voyage declarations. A copy of the P&I Club’s most recent quarterly declaration will suffice, or else we have our own declaration form that can be supplied on request.
Terms underlying the contract between SIGCo and the member can be found in the Standard Terms & Conditions.
- A properly completed application form
- The three standard P&I Club letters
- Premium payment
- A signed quotation agreement previously sent by the SIGCo underwriter in response to the original application
Service fee option:
Often a shipowner will require a COFR Guaranty even though no trade to the US is planned in the short to medium term. In such circumstances, to make this situation cost effective for the member, SIGCo will arrange the Guaranty (and CG5585 application, if requested) for payment of only a $500 “service fee”, sufficient to cover our administration costs. In the event that the vessel enters the US before expiry of the annual period, we will then charge the full premium, less the service fee, which will then have effectively been a deposit towards the full premium.
SIGCo liability limits:
SIGCo's liability under OPA90 (which includes an element of CERCLA liability) is determined by the Act, and periodic updates to it. The current OPA90 limits are shown below, but in addition to those in the table are the limits under CERCLA, which in summary can be described as the greater of $5 million or $300 per GT, if a vessel is carrying hazardous substances as cargo.
For a comprehensive explanation of CERCLA, please see here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/9607 (42 U.S. Code § 9607 - Liability, sub-section C - Determination of Amounts).