Reykjavik, Iceland – Icelandic companies TM Insurance, Hefring Marine, and Whale Safari have joined forces to revolutionize safety and reduce insurance costs for high-speed boats. The collaboration involves the use of Hefring Marine’s Intelligent Marine Assistance System (IMAS) solution, which gathers real-time data from vessel motions, engines, and instruments to provide safety- and efficiency-optimized speed guidance as decision support to boat operators, significantly enhancing seakeeping and mitigating the risk of accidents to onboard personnel or damage to boats. All data is collected to the IMAS Console cloud, which centralizes fleet data for decision support, analysis, and reporting.
Whale Safari, an Icelandic tour operator specializing in whale and bird watching adventures, faced rising insurance costs due to the inherent risks associated with the operation of RIB boats. These vessels seat up to 12 passengers and achieve high-speeds, where g-force wave impacts experienced can be up to 9x greater in the bow, where the front-most passengers are seated, than in the stern, where the helm is typically located. To bolster passenger safety and better profile the risk of their operations, Whale Safari partnered with TM Insurance and Hefring Marine to install the IMAS system on their boats during the 2022 summer season.
The IMAS system’s onboard AI-powered solution predicts expected impacts and generates speed guidance to optimize speed for prevailing sea conditions while minimizing impact and vibration exposure. Furthermore, the system offers real-time insights and monitoring, data collection and reporting of fleet-wide activities, as well as supporting operator training. Following the successful implementation and use of the IMAS solution during the summer of 2022, all stakeholders involved agreed on access to detailed reports on the company’s trips and operations, allowing for a clear overview of the company’s performance, scope for improvement and milestones to be met for the subsequent seasons.
TM Insurance was confident in the system’s evident benefits and granted Whale Safari discount on insurance premiums and opportunities for further savings with milestone achievements for the 2023 season. Boating related risks are on the rise and so is the need for solutions like Hefring Marine IMAS. The average cost of boat insurance has increased globally in recent years, ranging from 25 to 80% depending on markets. In 2020, the US saw a 26% increase in boating accidents and a 25% increase in boating-related deaths, according to the US Coast Guard.
Karl Birgir Björnsson, CEO and co-founder of Hefring Marine, said, “Our partnership with Whale Safari and TM Insurance highlights the powerful impact of the IMAS system in enhancing safety and significantly reducing insurance costs for high-speed boats. We are committed to continuously showcasing the system’s capabilities in elevating safety, optimizing vessel performance and management, and minimizing operational expenses through data-driven insights and smart guidance.”
Reynar Ottósson, Captain and CEO at Whale Safari, added, “We’re proud to have partnered with Hefring Marine and TM Insurance to offer a safer, more affordable boating experience for our passengers. The IMAS system has already contributed significantly to reducing our operating costs through its data-driven insights and intelligent guidance, which have optimized vessel performance and management. As we continue to implement the IMAS system, we foresee even greater savings potential, particularly in the realm of fuel efficiency, further enhancing our commitment to providing an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and unforgettable experience for our guests.”
Methúsalem Hilmarsson, risk prevention specialist at TM Insurance, noted, “The IMAS system is a game-changer for us and for the boat insurance industry, enabling cost reductions while elevating safety in some of the most dangerous environments. The insurance industry has witnessed a steady increase in insurance premiums for boats, particularly high-speed passenger boats, which has posed a significant challenge. Hefring Marine’s innovative solution offers an excellent opportunity for TM Insurance to address this issue and continue providing value-adding, competitive insurance products to our customers. By leveraging advanced technology like IMAS, we can better manage risks and tailor our offerings to meet the evolving needs of the maritime industry.”
TM Insurance is an Icelandic insurer offering diverse coverage, including property, casualty, and marine insurance. The company is committed to providing innovative and competitive insurance solutions that cater to customers’ needs.
Whale Safari is an Icelandic tour operator running tourist RIB boats in Iceland for whale and bird watching excursions. The company is dedicated to ensuring the safety and enjoyment of its passengers while preserving the environment.
Hefring Marine is an Icelandic deep-tech company delivering advanced maritime solutions to professional fleet operators. The company’s flagship product, IMAS, is an onboard AI-powered and cloud-enabled system that enhances the safety and efficiency of maritime operations.
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