The Beginning of the JourneyDespite having been opened in 2016, Lightship Maritime's roots go back even further. Our founder, Brian Raby, is a second generation marine insurance broker having started his marine insurance career working for his father - Ron Raby. Ron had been in the marine insurance industry since 1966, first working for the Insurance Company of North America (INA, now CIGNA) as an underwriter in Tampa and then switching to become a marine insurance broker, relocating to Jacksonville. In his career he worked for a few different marine insurance agencies and even started and ran a few of his own, namely World Wide Marine Insurance, Inc. and then Maritime Insurers, Inc.
Creating A Legacy
In 1990, he relocated to Orlando and started Marine Underwriters, Inc. with a partner named Bob DiGirolamo who had his own agency, Ocean Marine and Excess, Inc. Marine Underwriters was a retail agency and helped clients directly while Ocean Marine and Excess was a wholesale agency and assisted other brokers with marine insurance requests. Brian joined his father in 1994 and worked his way through the agency learning the many different forms of insurance by typing policies, learning elements of risk analysis when clients requested insurance, learning who the underwriters were in different insurance companies and traveling with his father to meet clients and observe negotiations.
In 1999, he relocated to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in England to work with underwriters and claims adjusters at Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co. (now Sunderland Marine Insurance Co.), one of the leading specialty commercial fishing vessel insurers in the world. There he learned the uniqueness of commercial fishing vessel insurance. He spent a year in England and while learning with Sunderland he broadened his knowledge of insurance by sitting and observing underwriters on an Underwriting Box at Lloyds of London, taking the North of England's P & I Distance Learning Course and attending Marsh's Marine Insurance Course in Norwich. In 2000, he returned to the U.S. and Marine Underwriters.
Over the course of the next 9 years he worked with clients and built his reputation. In 2009, his father sold Marine Underwriters to Sunderland Marine Mutual, the very company he worked with and learned from in 1999. For the next 7 years he assisted Sunderland in growing Marine Underwriters and helping clients that needed insurance. During this time, Sunderland was also acquired by the North of England P & I Club (North). It was in 2016 that North did not see Marine Underwriters as part of their business model going forward. They offered it to Brian and a deal was struck. As of August 1, 2016, Marine Underwriters became Lightship Maritime, Inc.