Insurance-related Surveys

Surveys required to obtain or renew insurance

Many insurance companies require you to supply them with a survey report prior to offering or renewing vessel insurance.

This is often the case when a boat changes ownership or reaches a certain age (usually 20 years), after which the insurance company may require a survey every 5 years before agreeing to renew your insurance.

When conducting a survey for insurance purposes, we inspect all essential elements of the vessel, including the structure, machinery, rigging, and steering system.

As part of a survey required by your insurance company, it may be advisable to include a sea trial, comprehensive photo documentation or valuation.

Following completion of the survey, you will be provided with a basic Vessel Condition Report for insurance purposes which may include a limited number of photos to illustrate specific areas of interest. If requested prior to the survey, we can also carry out comprehensive photo documentation of the survey.

Damage assessment surveys for insurance claims

We recommend carrying out an independent assessment when submitting an insurance claim for damage sustained to your boat.

Assessments made by insurance companies prior to authorisation of repairs are not impartial, and the assessors carrying out the inspection may not have a sound knowledge of boats or adequate experience to be able to identify all areas of damage.

As a result, repairs authorised by your insurance company may not include all damages, with additional costs becoming apparent over time. This is particularly relevant in the case of older wooden boats, where hidden damage may extend well beyond the immediate area of impact.

Once we have carried out a thorough inspection of the damages, you will be provided with a Vessel Condition Report for insurance purposes focusing on the damaged area and any peripheral damage. This report may include a limited number of photos to illustrate specific areas of interest. If requested prior to the survey, we can also carry out comprehensive photo documentation of the survey.

As part of a damage assessment, it may also be advisable to include a sea trial or valuation.

If repairs are required, we are also available to project manage and supervise any repairs.

Read our Terms and Conditions

Sea Trials

As part of a pre-purchase or insurance-related survey, we can conduct a sea trial of the vessel as an additional way of comprehensively assessing its condition and seaworthiness. Testing the performance of the boat in real operating conditions allows us to examine the functionality of the motor and the condition and shape of the sails when set.

During a sea trial, we bring the motor up to temperature, then run it at high speed under load for long enough to check for any signs of overheating, leaks, poor alignment or other problems.

We hoist the sails, assess their condition, monitor how they set and check their shape when under way. We also assess the state of the running rigging, the state of the winches, and the performance of the steering system in action.

The results of the assessment will be included in the Vessel Condition Report for your pre-purchase or insurance survey.

Comprehensive Photo Documentation

In addition to a pre-purchase or insurance-related survey report, you may wish to request comprehensive photo documentation of the survey. This is particularly useful for clients unable to visit the vessel in person.

When carrying out standard surveys, we take photos of particular points of interest for our own records and to facilitate the drafting of the Vessel Condition Report, but these will not provide a full overview of the vessel in context. If requested prior to the survey, we will comprehensively document the survey through photos, providing a balanced and objective view of the vessel and its overall condition.

Comprehensive photo documentation of the survey includes a CD with 50 or more detailed, high-resolution photographs of the exterior and interior of the vessel taken with a high quality telephoto lens. The cost for this additional service is $50.

If required urgently, lower-resolution versions of the photos can be emailed in the first instance and discussed over the phone, followed by postage of the CD with high-definition photographs.

This service must be requested prior to the survey.

 Valuation

As part of an insurance-related survey, we can carry out an independent valuation of the vessel. .

As well as taking into account the condition of your vessel as assessed through the survey, providing an accurate valuation requires us to undertake thorough online research of the market. We review current advertisements for boats of a similar type and age where available, and may need to carry out additional research for uncommon or unique boats.

The result of the valuation will be included in the Vessel Condition Report, and must be requested prior to the survey.