Meet the team

Sentinel Marine Underwriters Adds Talent Amid Industry Disruption

Sentinel Marine Underwriters (SMU), a specialty MGA dedicated to providing cargo-in-transit and cargo stock-throughput insurance for a variety of insureds in the global manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade industries, is pleased to announce that Samuel Chung has joined the company as a vice president and Maria Klein has joined as assistant vice president.  With these additions, the team now boasts more than 75 years of combined marine underwriting experience.

According to Mark Bernas, executive vice president and principal of Sentinel Marine Underwriters, these key hires are noteworthy. “At a time when the marine market is facing significant headwinds and both capacity and support for this class of business is shrinking, AmWINS Underwriting and Sentinel Marine Underwriters are expanding our sales and service capabilities to better serve our retail and wholesale clients.”

Samuel Chung will be responsible for overall production and underwriting for SMU’s growing cargo insurance portfolio. He joins SMU from CNA Insurance, where he was a product leader for the marine cargo business unit in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic territories. Chung has more than nine years of experience in the insurance industry and specializes in cargo and stock-throughput programs. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from State University of New York at Geneseo and his master’s degree in Enterprise Risk Management from St. John’s University. He is based in New York, NY, and can be reached at

Maria Klein has more than 30 years of experience in marine insurance. Maria will provide support to the company’s primary underwriters and will also market and underwrite accounts directly. Prior to joining SMU, she served as an ocean cargo underwriting consultant at CNA Insurance and senior marine underwriter at Allianz. Most recently, Klein worked with AXA XL as a senior marine underwriter. Klein received her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her master’s degree from Goucher College. She is based in Baltimore, MD, and can be reached at

Keith Blair, executive vice president and principal of Sentinel Marine Underwriters, is excited about SMU’s enhanced expertise. “Both Sam and Maria have outstanding reputations in the market and proven track records of delivering superior results in their respective disciplines,” he said. “Mark and I strive to build a winning culture at Sentinel Marine Underwriters that will stand the tests of time.  In order to do so we need folks who have superior expertise in this niche market, as well as strong trading relationships with producers.  In addition to bringing these vital characteristics, Samuel and Maria also bring the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, and work ethic each and every day they come to work.” 

Learn more about how Sentinel Marine Underwriters can help you and your clients navigate the complex world of marine cargo insurance for importers and exporters: