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Old 02-28-2012
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Insurance survey vs purchase survey

Hello,
My insurance company wants me to get a survey of my boat. Although I have had a number of surveys done on various boats with a view to purchasing or not, this is the first time I've owned a boat long enough for the company to ask for an insurance survey. Would there be any difference in the approach to the survey on the part of the surveyor? Is there likely to be specific things that the insurance company wants done or that I should pay extra care about? I'll be contacting the broker about this, of course, but would like to hear from other people on this. Is there anything I can do pre-survey to ensure that it is more likely to come out ok first time so that I don't have to deal with deficiencies post survey, like bring my flares etc. up to date etc.?

Also, if anyone can recommend a surveyor in the Vancouver B.C. area, I would like to hear from you.
Cheers
Ross
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Old 02-28-2012
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I had and insurance survey done on the Cal 29 after the refit with a local SAMS® AMS® person and you have to careful with who you pick as while you do not want anything dangerous on the boat what ever they write down can become a requirement to keep your insurance

There are so many things on newer boats like high water alarms that are really NOT going to matter on on a boat kept on a mooring
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Old 02-28-2012
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Ross-
Your insurer may want you to use a surveyor who is on their own list. Doublecheck before you hire someone.
Do you have the option to get a "courtesy inspection" from a coast guard or other affiliated group up there? (In the US it would be a free courtesy inspection from the USCGAux, either you win a decal or you get a todo list, no penalty for lacking things.)
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Old 02-28-2012
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Good idea about the CG inspection. Do any of my fellow Canadians know about anything like this in Canada?
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Ross, The following is from the SAMS website:
Pre-Purchase Survey
This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical systems, the propulsion system, the fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, and overall maintenance as well as an out-of-water inspection and a sea trial.

Insurance Survey
This inspection is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats. They will also want to know the vessel's fair market value.
So it'll be be an in water inspection, here's their wwebsite:
The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, Inc. - (SAMS®)
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Old 02-28-2012
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It should be possible to get a CG courtesy inspection.. you'd have to contact the station at False Creek to see what the deal is there.. I know that often various Yacht clubs arrange on-site inspections on an annual basis and the CG attends and checks those boats participating.

However that is unlikely to satisfy an insurance co's request.

The irksome part about the mandated insurance surveys is that by the time they are required there's really nobody besides yourself as familiar with the boat. I virtually dictated my own insurance survey last year and got to pay $450 ($10/minute!!) for the privilege. Still, it's one of those hoops we all have to jump through.

I can tell you that the surveyor I used for that would not be one I'd call on for a serious pre purchase survey. But since as far as I'm concerned, an insurance survey for continued coverage is a 'rubber stamp' I don't suppose it matters who does it; what you need is that persons' 'stamp of approval'.

There may well be a list of approved surveyors so check with your carrier before booking a survey. Make sure your fire extinguishers and flares are up to date before you have the guy over... and that all your lights work. They may well not look far beyond that...
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Old 02-29-2012
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A few years back my insurance company, ACE USA, asked me to do a " self survey". It consisted of answering a couple pages of questions and taking a dozen or so specific pictures of the boat. Got back a letter with about 3-4 recommendations.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RossC32 View Post
Hello,
My insurance company wants me to get a survey of my boat. Although I have had a number of surveys done on various boats with a view to purchasing or not, this is the first time I've owned a boat long enough for the company to ask for an insurance survey. Would there be any difference in the approach to the survey on the part of the surveyor? Is there likely to be specific things that the insurance company wants done or that I should pay extra care about? I'll be contacting the broker about this, of course, but would like to hear from other people on this. Is there anything I can do pre-survey to ensure that it is more likely to come out ok first time so that I don't have to deal with deficiencies post survey, like bring my flares etc. up to date etc.?
I have just gone through having my second Insurance Survey in 10 years which seems to be a common requirement for yachts more than 10-15 years old. The insurance survey is largely intended to establish a reasonable estimate of the value of the yacht; and, to ensure that there are no blatant violations of ABYC guide-lines or hazardous conditions aboard the boat that might lead to a claim. Among things to keep in mind are having the proper CG required safety gear and equipment aboard and in good order and up-to-date. This is particularly so with regard to Fire Extinguishers and the like which need current test/certifications or, in the case of dry chemical extinguishers, are no older then the manufacturers use date (also a good idea if one needs them in an emergency). Whomever you use for the survey, ensure that he/she understands the survey is for valuation purposes and ask them to skip the "it would be a good idea" comments which, if seen by one's insurer, can become a post survey requirement. I did not know about this aspect during my first insurance survey and had to spend rather a good deal on someone else's opinion as to "good ideas". In any case, insure that the yacht is in good order at the time of the survey, clean and with a dry bilge. Prepare a list of your equipment to be given to the surveyor before hand so that he can include it in his/her report. Surveyors generally will not do the kind of detailed inspection required in a pre-purchase survey and hidden equipment, such as a second refrigeration unit or a costly inverter/charger that are in lockers or difficult to access compartments will be overlooked.

Ensure that batteries are well secured, electrical connections on the backs of switches protected with cable boots or in another manner to avoid shorts etc., that cables are well secured and that hoses, particularly to thru-hulls are double clamped with good (not rusty) hose clamps and that the valves open and close easily and have appropriately sized soft-wood plugs attached to a lanyard secured to the valve so that they are immediately available if ever needed.

The list of advisable steps/measures continues but the foregoing should give you the idea.

FWIW...
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Old 03-01-2012
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Thanks to those who replied.
Here is a little information I was able to get regarding my situation. My insurance company requires an out of water survey. My friend who is in the same situation as I am reported: "My insurance company was wishy-washy about in or out of water and said they likely would ask for an out of water after seeing the in-water; she couldn't answer what 'likely' depended on....". I found that interesting!

Regarding undertaking any recommendations that came out of my survey, my agent said that I had to comply with them but did not have to report back. However, "If there happens to be a loss related to a recommendation that was not completed, Underwriters may deny the claim."
Clearly, it is better not to have any recommendations since it might be hard to show after the fact that they have been carried out.
Thanks to all of you who made specific suggestions re pre-survey jobs.
Ross
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Old 03-01-2012
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"they likely would ask for an out of water after seeing the in-water; "
I'd send them a written reply stating that I'd pay for ONE or the other but not both. If they felt that set criteria on the in-water survey would then require an out-of-water, I would want those criteria in writing, up front, so I could determine which survey would be necessary and only pay for the one correct survey. Diplomatically, of course.
Maybe suggest that you could have a USCGAux Courtesy Inspection at no charge, and if the insurer presented a list of written criteria, have those inspected at the same time, so there were objective criteria to determine what private survey would be needed and eliminate duplicate costs.

Of course the GCAux courtesy inspection is a good idea in any case, since they give you one of those "Go away, this guy isn't worth bothering" stickers if you pass. :-)
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