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INSURANCE DAMAGE SURVEYS FOR HULL SURVEYORS

Hull insurance covers damage to the vessels hull, fittings, its machinery and installed equipment. The insurance is mostly placed through brokers who arrange cover through a range of insurance companies.

 THE SURVEYOR’S ROLE

The surveyor’s role is to comprehend the facts and include them in his report. It is not his responsibility to worry about the liability attached to the insurance policy.

 SURVEYOR’S QUALIFICATIONS

Traditionally, surveyors have usually been seafarers with certificates of competency such as marine officers. Some may have had experience with small craft or apprenticed as a shipwright, while others are experienced engineers.

Additional skills required include:

  • Survey procedures ,techniques
  • Report writings and formats
  • Understanding the legal position concerning the surveyor’s role and conduct

THE PRINCIPLE PURPOSE OF THE SURVEY

They are to ascertain:

  • The nature of the casualty
  • the extent of the loss or damage
  • the cause of the loss or damage

 MARINE HULL INSURANCE

Marine insurance is largely an international business. Almost all corporate business is placed through intermediaries and the insurance brokers although both have direct access to insurance companies. Brokers act for clients to obtain the most satisfactory cover for the type of risk involved on behalf of their clients.

PLACING THE RISK

A broker approaches an underwriter who is considered the most suitable for the client’s insurance. He has a record of the agreed percentage on a slip. There is a provision of a central office to issue the policy which includes the terms and conditions of the cover and the percentage taken by each underwriter.

THE MARINE INSURANCE ACT 1906

The principle legislation which covers marine insurance in the UK is the marine insurance act of 1906. It covers all marine insurance. It forms the basis upon which much of the marine insurance legislation of many English speaking countries has been drafted. This act continues to play a very important part in marine insurance and where there is ambiguity in marine insurance contracts, the court falls back heavily upon some of the provisions of the act and its amendments. The act also makes it clear that underwriters may vary its provision in their own policies.

MARINE INSURANCE POLICIES

In some instances, policies are made to suit a particular client’s situation. Fortunately, the world wide insurance of ships relies on some fairly standard provisions. Some knowledge of case law is essential to assist in interpreting any ambiguities in any policy.

In keeping with the requirements of the Marine Insurance Act 1906, this document provides for the inclusion of certain essentials, such as the name of the assured, the name of the insurer, the ship, the cargo. It has a brief preamble indicating that in return for the premium the underwriters agree to provide insurance cover. Thus it provides for the schedule and the inclusion of such essentials as:

  • policy number
  • Name of assured vessel
  • Voyage or period of assurance
  • Subject matter insured
  • Agreed value
  • Amount insured
  • Premium
  • Clauses, endorsements, special conditions and warranties

THE CLAIMS PROCESS

This process is started after a notification of loss to the broker.

CLAIMS ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS

THE ORDER OF EVENTS

  • Owners report the casualty to reporters through brokers
  • Underwriters appoint their own surveyor and an average adjuster is chosen
  • The underwriter’s report is published and the owner’s representative decides on the type and extent of repairs required
  • Negotiations take place with the repairers over the proposed repair contract
  • The surveyor prepares a further report to the underwriters on progress and details of the owner’s proposals for repairs.

Assuming that the underwriter accepts the claim,

  • The surveyor submits his official report to the owner .He is expected to submit his fees for his services along with his report.
  • Accounts will be sent to the owner for payment and is further passed on to the average adjustor
  • After annotating them, the surveyor signs the account and submits he report with additional comments to the underwriter who passes them on to the average adjustor
  • The adjustor then considers to what extent the costs claimed account to and any specific terms and conditions of the policy which may exude certain costs
  • The claim is adjusted and detailed in the average adjustor’s statement of claim which is passed to the ship owner who hands it to the underwriter through is broker
  • The underwriter then makes settlement of the adjusted claim

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