Most UK insurers will state that any vessel over a certain age, normally 20 years old, will require an insurance survey to be conducted on a periodic basis; usually between three and five years. Failure to comply would make your insurance policy void, so best to check it!
Some owners may feel that their vessel is sound, well maintained and seaworthy and that the insurance survey is an unnecessary expense. However, it is usually the case that an insurance survey will uncover one or more defects that the owner was not aware of.
An insurance survey inspects the structure and the vessel’s safety systems such as the gas and the fire fighting systems and others.
In summary, for compliance with your insurance policy, in addition to your own peace of mind, an insurance survey on a regular basis is essential and is not an unnecessary expense. Owners are often surprised at the extent of the findings that require action. Ultimately, the insurability and seaworthiness of the vessel is at stake.
Scope of insurance survey – An insurance survey covers the majority of the scope listed under the pre-purchase survey for either power or sail vessels but can omit certain non-structural items such as sails and covers, fresh water system, heads, electronic aids and heating / refrigeration. The underwriters are concerned only with risk and safety, and therefore the insurability of the vessel.
The insurance survey report is tailored to the needs of the insurance underwriters, and therefore is more concise than is required for a pre-purchase survey. Solent Marine Surveys have developed an insurance survey report template that UK underwriters have approved – this new & revised format enables faster reading by underwriters and a lower cost to the boat owner.
On the Rocks! This powerboat is clearly under 20 years old, when an insurance survey would be required, one cannot mitigate against all claims of course!
Moody Mild Steel Keel Studs, a frequent source of a recommendation following an insurance survey