Travelers to offer hybrid boat insurance discount

HARTFORD, Conn. – Travelers (NYSE: TRV) is introducing what it describes as “an industry-first” discount of up to 10 percent on hybrid boat and yacht insurance, it reported in a statement yesterday.

“Hybrid vessels are using the latest, state-of-the-art technology in the marine industry,” said Chantal Cyr, vice president of the Boat and Yacht Division for Travelers. “At Travelers, we closely follow the newest developments in boating so we can deliver the best marine insurance products and services to meet our customers’ evolving needs.”

The company pointed out that several marine manufacturers have recently introduced their versions of hybrid boats to the marketplace, including The Hinckley Company, which offers a hybrid power option for customers interested in its DS42 model; Scout Boats, which launched a hybrid model in late 2007; Frauscher Bootswerft, which introduced its hybrid to the United States in May 2008; and Island Pilot, which is debuting its DSe Hybrid at the 2008 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

“Travelers marine specialists thoroughly reviewed the functionality and operation of hybrid boats currently in the marketplace,” said Cyr. “Our research suggests boat manufacturers will begin incorporating hybrid designs into different models to provide a hybrid option similar to what’s taking place in the automotive industry.”

Travelers defines a hybrid boat as one that utilizes an integrated propulsion system that incorporates both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor in its original design. In this system, forward propulsion can be accomplished with the use of the electric motor with or without the use of the internal combustion engine, according to the company.

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