Month: July 2015

Marine Surveyors Uncovered – Claims!


Marine surveyors are used by Marine Insurance Companies for a variety of reasons.

Primarily following an incident and registration of a claim. The underwriters set out parameters that the insurers are required to meet throwing a number of questions into the arena.

Is the claim genuine? Are the estimates submitted deemed to be fair and reasonable? Are the companies submitting estimates for the repairs competent to carry them out to a high standard?

Is the geographical location of the vessel going to be suitable to effect repairs in an appropriate and economical manner?

It is the Marine Surveyor who establishes the facts and provides an unbiased report to the insurer.

Is the claim genuine?

This sounds as though we are being cynical but at times we deal with claims that are deemed to be fraudulent. There are however other parameters to be taken into consideration.

Often the damage claimed for appears to be enormous for a small incident. Marine surveyors will establish if in fact all the damage to the vessel was incident related or if some damage has occurred prior to the incident. Distinguishing these factors is important to establish if the whole of the claim is genuine. It also may be that a small impact for example can effect the vessel both structurally and cosmetically therefore restoring the vessel to pre-incident condition will be costly.

Often claims are made that are a repercussion of a third party incident. For example repairs to a vessel belonging to one of your customers have been made and paid for through insurance following an incident at the fault of a third party. It soon becomes apparent that the repairs are not sufficient. The customer contacts his insurance company explaining faults of the repair and that both the boat yard and the third party are not being cooperative. At this point a marine surveyor will very often be instructed to act on the insurers behalf to clarify the facts, and a route to rectification.

Are the estimates fair and reasonable?

Estimates are exactly that. There is often huge disparity in the financial and detail of works for the same task.

Some boat yards feel going into detail at this early stage is not a requirement. It is in my opinion the marine surveyors task to clarify the detail of works and the financial aspects. Often the more expensive estimate is awarded due to the amount of details and financials. Avoiding long lists of extra items at completion. A full and proper inspection at the beginning coupled with a rigorous estimate is vital.

Is the Yard Suitably Qualified?

There are many boatyards to choose from and consideration has to be given to their areas of expertise. Boatyards are very rarely good at everything. They may specialise in one particular area. They may also not have a specific skill. A GRP technician asking the local auto centre to blend gelcoat colours to complete a repair is without doubt cause for alarm. During quiet periods boatyards often say yes to anything. The marine surveyor has a duty to establish the suitability of the yard for the task at hand.

Yachtwork has an extensive portfolio of boatyards worldwide that can be recommended for different skill sets.

Geographical location.

Boats can be in many geographical locations and there is a high probability that at times accidents will happen in some challenging locations. The surveyor at this point is met with a few options that are generally lead by financials but must always have the safety of people and the craft at the forefront. For the present and the future. A damaged vessel in a location where the skill set is not available decisions have to be made by the marine surveyor. It may be possible to fly in a mobile team, repatriate the boat using logistic companies, effect temporary repairs and repatriate. To repair the boat using an unqualified or inexperienced operative is generally a false economy and will result in remedial works or complete re repair in the future.

Created by Yachtwork Director Jim Vintner

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