The insurance survey will concentrate on those items which are most likely to cause or mitigate insurance claims: the general structural condition of the hull, seacocks, engines and fuel systems, steering, gas systems, as well as masts, rig, sails and safety equipment. It does not cover items such as electronics, domestic plumbing, furnishings and sails, however these items will be reflected in the final valuation.
This Shea Marine 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 boats older than 20 years. They will also want to know the vessel’s fair market value. An insurance report is specifically formatted for underwriters; being factual and to the point but indicating that a comprehensive inspection of the vessel has been undertaken.
As with a pre-purchase survey, the vessel may need to be out of the water. As moisture readings are not usually taken for this type of survey (unless a full osmosis assessment is specifically requested), GRP vessels will only need to be out of the water for the period of inspection, and do not require drying-out time beforehand.
We often find owners resent the cost of an insurance survey believing that their boats are in good working order. However it is rare for us to carry out an insurance survey and not find something that will affect the insurability of the vessel.
Under marine insurance law an un-seaworthy vessel would make your policy null and void.
The cost of an insurance survey is therefore worthwhile if only for peace of mind that your boat is seaworthy and therefore insurable.