Marine Insurance - How to Choose a Surveyor

You should choose your marine insurance carefully. A marine survey is analogous to appraisals done on real estate and other items. Choosing a good marine insurance surveyor is somewhat difficult because there are no formal licensing requirements. Essentially, anyone can call themselves a marine insurance surveyor without any penalties.  Remember that you should not use a surveyor associated with marina or boat yard. This is because there might be a conflict of interest.

Accredited Surveyor

There are at least two organizations that accredit surveyors. These organizations are the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors. It is a good bet to find a surveyor through one of these organizations because their surveyors have met the organization’s technical, professional and ethical standards.

Marine Survey Businesses

If you choose to find a surveyor through a Marine Survey company, these companies might have many employees. Make sure you pick the right surveyor, not just the company. Request and review the surveyor’s resume and any other credentials the surveyor might have. Request a survey that the potential surveyor has done in the past. Make sure it is well detailed and clear. If they did not do a good job at the time, it is unlikely that he or she will do an acceptable job on your boat.

Finding a Surveyor

You should find a surveyor who specializes in the kind of craft that you want surveyed. For example, if you own a yacht, you should get a surveyor who specializes in yachts.

Professional Liability Insurance

You should find out whether or not the surveyor has any professional liability insurance. This is called Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. It is beneficial to you if your surveyor has this kind of insurance, because then you will have recourse if the surveyor made mistakes or acted in a negligent manner. You will have assets beyond the company’s to draw on in case of a bad survey.

The Right Kind of Survey

Be sure to inform your surveyor of the kind of survey you want completed. If the survey is for insurance purposes, then ask for a full condition and value survey (C&V survey). This survey approximates the current market value of the boat. It also contains a detailed description of the conditions of the boat’s major part. These parts include the hull, and the electric, fuel, machinery, and rigging systems.

Make sure that the surveyor inspects for compliance National Fire Protection Association, American Boat and Yacht Council, and U.S. Coast Guard safety standards. The marine surveyor will inspect the vessel visually, and through non invasive tests, such as sounding the laminate with a hammer. You should haul the boat before test, because the surveyor will be inspecting the bottom of the boat.

blog comments powered by Disqus