ROLE OF MARINE SURVEYORS IN MARINE INSURANCE

From right: Senior Manager, Operations, Standard Superintendent Company Limited, Agha Kalu and other inductees at the event.

ROLE OF MARINE SURVEYORS IN MARINE INSURANCE

PRESENTED BY: MRS. F.OLADIMEJI
ON BEHALF OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL
NIGERIAN INSURERS ASSOCIATION

AT THE INDUCTION CEREMONY OF THE GUILD OF MARINE SURVEYORS.
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Let me start by thanking the organizers for the opportunity provided to me to make a presentation at this induction ceremony.
I bring to you the greetings of the Director General of the Nigerian Insurers Association Mrs. Yetunde Ilori who wishes to be here but for her busy schedule could not make it. I met with her few days ago and she said I quote LET THE SURVEYORS KNOW HOW NIA VALUES THEM AND ARE WILLING TO CO-OPERATE WITH THEM AT ALL LEVELS.
Marine surveyors play very important role in the business of marine insurance. Marine Insurance business consist of three broad arrears namely marine cargo, marine hull and machinery and marine liabilities. In determining the acceptance of any marine business, an underwriter will depend on the report of the marine surveyor. Survey is intended to assist insurance underwriters in making underwriting decisions.

The nature of each survey will depend on the class of the business.

THE ROLE OF CARGO SUPERINTENDENTS
A Superintendent acts as an Underwriters’ Risk Management analyst. He plays a vital role on behalf of underwriters, during sea and air transit of cargo insured . He monitors the cargo from loadind on board theseaor air vessel untill final delivery at insured’s warehouse.
Their function begins as soon as they are in possession of the Marine Insurance Certificate and relevant Bill of Lading/Air Waybill, which give evidence that the goods have been shipped on board the Vessel/Aircraft.
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DUTIES OF SUPERINTENDENTS

To liaise with the Brokers and/or the Insured in order that necessary information concerning the carrying vessel is obtained prior to her arrival within Nigeria.
To inspect and report on the condition of hatches, holds and storage whilst the vessel is lying alongside the berth.
To supervise the discharge and report any case of loss or damage or shortage, noting the seal numbers on the container(s) at the point of discharge ex vessels.
To witness custom examination and ensure that container(s) are properly padlocked and the contents are properly protected.
To witness delivery of containers/consignment from the Ports, Supervise the unstuffing of the container(s)/consignment at the final Warehouse and reporting the extent of loss or damage, if any.
To hold the negligent party responsible for any loss or damage on behalf of the Underwriters or Cargo
MARINE SURVEY OF VESSELS

The role of a marine surveyor is an extensive, encompassing tasks such as inspections and examinations of marine vessels.

It is the duty of the marine surveyor to asses, monitor and report on the condition of the vessel, ensuring its safety and sea worthiness.

It is vitally important for both new and existing vessels to comply with necessary safety and certification standards. It is the responsibility of a marine surveyor to determine the certification of a vessel through conducting detailed surveys. The marine surveys are not exclusive to the vessel itself but also the equipment held on the vessel. Generally a marine surveyor’s examination will include the structure, machinery and equipment of the vessel to ascertain its condition.

While the duties of a marine surveyor are broad in nature, the essential function is to assess the entire marine venture to determine the potential risks

The survey has two primary purposes:
(1)to identify the vessel, its equipment, condition and general value
(2) (2) to identify defects, damages or hazardous conditions that pose a potential threat to the safety of the vessel and its passengers, or any other such condition that is likely to result in loss or damage.
(3) Insurance surveys should never be provided to a client who is purchasing a vessel for the purpose of making a purchase decision. It should be for risk assessment management
It is fundamental to a proper survey report that the surveyor should clearly state in a narrative format or by an appropriate form all such areas which were inspected and which were not inspected.
Surveyors must use their own judgment when making reference or recommendations for compliance, based on the surveyor’s perception of hazard.
Insurance surveys should contain the following information:

A statement of the purpose of the survey
Date and location of survey plus status of vessel either afloat or hauled
Builder, model (if any), and year of construction completionVessel type, such as flying bridge sport fisherman, open fisherman, aft cockpit sloop, center cockpit ketch, etceteras.
Identifiers should include hull number, registration number and engine serial numbers
Specifications should include principle dimensions, machinery parameters such as model number, horsepower, turbo charged, transmissions, etc., plus fuel capacitiesA general statement describing the vessel, whether its production or custom built, major alterations, additions or refits, major builder add-ons such as bait & tackle centers, towers, custom tops, exterior seating arrangements or any other major features that significantly affect the value of the vessel.

Avoid ambiguous words and phrases such as “proper,” “good marine practice,” “safe,” “certified,” “approved” and “qualified marine technician”, without describing what these terms mean. Certified or approved by whom? Qualified by whom? Proper according to whom or what standard? If a particular standard must be met, describe or provide a copy of the relevant standard. Otherwise simply state, “repair or restore to original condition” since the prior condition will be obvious.

Judging by the length and numerous pages of many reports, some surveyors apparently feel that the more pages a report contains, the more thorough the report will appear. Perhaps, but busy underwriters may have to review many reports every day. They will be more appreciative of the surveyor who understands what information is needed and is able to convey that with an economy of words and paper.

Long, flowery descriptions of the vessel, its systems and equipment should be avoided, particularly for production built boats, or boats built of conventional materials and design. Custom or foreign built boats which are likely to be unknown to the underwriter deserve additional description that should be brief and to the point

The most important feature of the report is that it should be well organized and concise.

Describe conditions and recommendations completely. Avoid the use of linguistic short hand or unnecessarily abbreviated descriptions. Pages should be numbered similar to “Page 1 of 7” so that end user will know whether all pages have been received.

Surveyors should not make statements such as “this vessel is considered to be a good marine insurance risk.” Surveyors are not underwriters and they have no basis for making such statements and should avoid doing so. A simple reference as to whether the vessel appears to be suitable for its intended use, and whether there are conditions which affect the safety of the vessel are sufficient.

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When receiving a survey report, most likely the first thing the underwriter will look at is the Recommendations section, for this is the section that tells him most about the condition and insurability of the vessel. The recommendations section should consist of statements of fact pertaining to any and all deficient, substandard or dangerous conditions as would affect the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel or its passengers. The recommendations should include a statement of generally how a deficient condition should be restored to acceptable condition

The surveyor’s report is his work product that represents to the industry the degree of his professionalism and competence, and upon which his work will be judged

CONCLUSION
As partners in progress Underwriters and Marine Surveyors should work hand in hand for the success and enhancement of Marine business in Nigeria. NIA is ready to assist the SURVEYORS in whatever way they can .

THANK YOU

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