What are Marine Surveyors?

What are Marine Surveyors?

What is a marine surveyor and what do they do to propel ships throughout the marine industry? Marine surveyors play an essential role in how boats and ships travel and whether they can pass through channels safely. If you are in the insurance industry, you might have heard the term before but are not exactly sure what they do.

A marine surveyor is a professional who inspects boats and ships for insurance purposes. They document the condition of a vessel and provide an estimate of its value.

This information could help agents determine how much coverage to offer their clients. If you are interested in learning more about marine surveyors, keep reading!

What Do Marine Surveyors Do?

Marine surveyors are responsible for ensuring that vessels are safe and seaworthy. They perform various tasks, including hull and engine inspection and safety evaluation of cargo holds and passenger accommodations.

In addition, marine surveyors play a vital role in investigating maritime accidents. They provide valuable insights into what went wrong and how to prevent future incidents. As such, they are essential to ensuring the safety of both seafarers and the maritime industry.

Surveys That Marine Surveyors Conduct

Marine surveyors typically conduct a variety of surveys. 

Hull and Machinery Surveys

A Hull and Machinery survey is an inspection of a vessel’s hull and machinery to assess the ship’s condition. The survey includes evaluating the hull structure, decks, hatches, bulkheads, masts, rigging, propellers, rudder, and other underwater fittings.

It also assesses the condition of the engine, gearbox, electrical system, and other machinery. The surveyor may also check for corrosion or wear. Hull and Machinery surveys typically happen every five years.

Cargo and Freight Surveys

Surveyors can determine how best to load and unload the cargo. They identify potential hazards by looking at the contents of the vessels. Surveys help investigate insurance claims or resolve disputes between shippers and consignees.

Marine surveyors must be both detail-oriented and patient. They understand the shipping industry and the types of cargo commonly transported.

Damage Surveys

Marine surveyors are responsible for conducting damage surveys on behalf of their clients. It involves examining the vessel in question. Additionally, taking measurements and photos can provide value. They also prepare reports to detail the findings. 

Surveyors must thoroughly understand maritime law and the principles of physics and engineering. They must also be skilled at haggling since they often have to negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients.

Marine Insurance Surveys

Marine surveyors assess the value of a vessel for insurance purposes. Insurance providers can use their findings to determine insurance premiums. These results are also valuable for negotiating settlements in the event of a claim. 

Find a Qualified Marine Surveyor 

As an insurance agent, you may be called upon to find a qualified marine surveyor to investigate an accident or damage claim. You will want to check with your local maritime association. Also, it would help if you asked other insurance agents for recommendations. Chances are they have worked with a Marine Surveyor before and can put you in touch with a reputable one.

  • Contact the National Marine Surveyors Association (NMSA) for a list of their accredited members. All NMSA members must abide by a strict code of ethics and have extensive experience in the marine surveying field.

Why Would Insurance Agents Need Marine Surveyors?

Insurance agents need marine surveyors because they can provide an objective opinion on the value of a boat. Additionally, it can help in cases where the insurance agent is unsure of the vessel’s worth. They also help identify potential risks. Then, this information can help determine the most appropriate coverage for the boat. Surveyors can provide detailed reports documenting the condition of the boat. Thus, the insurance company can use this information in case of a claim. 

Marine surveyors are a vital part of the insurance process for boats and other watercraft. By understanding what marine surveyors do, agents can have a better ability to help their customers when filing a claim. 

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.