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Old 04-18-2016, 11:12 AM   #1
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Insurance Survey

So in order to change insurance carriers, I need an in water survey. The boat is a 1988 46 Jefferson in what I would consider good condition. I'm in Memphis, so I don't have a lot of choices when it comes to surveyors. Called for my first quote and it seemed pretty high at $800. Is that an average rate? I guess I was anticipating someone coming over, knocking on the hull, looking around the engine room, and telling the insurance company that it floats and appears to be in good condition. The surveyor said he would spend 5 or 6 hours on board, which sounds more like a pre-purchase inspection than an insurance survey. Are my expectations out of line?
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:18 AM   #2
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They are expected to do all they would in a purchase survey. In a way the insurance company is making a purchase, they are purchasing the risk.

$800 is $17.39 per foot. I would have expected at least $16 for an insurance survey, $18-20 for a pre-purchase survey. So, it doesn't look out of line to me. I'm assuming they are both surveying and providing a valuation.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
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In a way the insurance company is making a purchase, they are purchasing the risk.
Since they are "the buyer", they should pay for the survey

I do hear what your saying, thanks for the sense check.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:24 AM   #4
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I don't know how long you've owned the boat, but if you've owned it for several years and had it insured all that time, you might get them to waive the survey requirement. It partly depends on the valuation you're looking for.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:28 AM   #5
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Some surveyors have offered less rigorous and expensive Condition and Valuation services in the past, but I get the sense that it's less common than it used to be. I suspect that many insurers are insisting on the standard survey, for understandable reasons.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:01 PM   #6
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" I suspect that many insurers are insisting on the standard survey, for understandable reasons"

Its been 11 years since a Hurricane , so there is a huge supply of boats waiting to be sold to the insurance co's.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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I had to have one required by Insurance carrier several years ago. It was out of water (did it at annual haul out) and took several hours and $600. I had to pay
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:29 PM   #8
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" I suspect that many insurers are insisting on the standard survey, for understandable reasons"

Its been 11 years since a Hurricane , so there is a huge supply of boats waiting to be sold to the insurance co's.
That seems like a little bit of a relative statement. Maybe 11 years since there's been one in your area??

Hurricane Irene: 2011
Hurricane Sandy: 2012

My abacus returns 5 years and 4 years respectively

Both of these hurricanes caused damage. Sandy was labelled a 'SuperStorm'.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:33 PM   #9
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Memphis had Hurricane Elvis in '03. Lack of hurricanes is a small offset to not having coastal cruising grounds out the backdoor.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:07 PM   #10
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Maybe a current surveyor or insurance rep can clarify...but it wasn't too long ago that insurance surveys were very different ...... a retired USCG friend wanted me to get into the biz with him.

He said all they required for smaller vessels (less than mega yachts) was an hour or less poking around a few common issues. And charging was left to be appropriate for the vessel....well les than a pre-purchase.

I have since heard similar stories...but haven't gotten into the biz or need an insurance survey.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:42 PM   #11
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A little better than 20yrs surveying and have never done anything but one level of survey regardless of whether called "Condition & Valuation", "Insurance" or "Pre-purchase".

I don't understand how you can come up with an accurate value or statement of condition without doing a complete survey.

There are quite a few surveyors in Ontario who will only do abbreviated insurance surveys and charge a cut rate, I'm sure they are worth every penny but I don't want to be associated with abbreviated check list surveys.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:59 AM   #12
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The explanation to me was that the insurance survey was more verification of standard than discovery.

I understand it is really a glossing over but insurance is based on risk and probably feel they have enough data to gamble with less than a full survey.

I have heard that some people reported that the insurance company arranged and paid for surveys. The other difference is they can be either or surveys, on land or in the water but hauling out isn't necesary, nor is a sea trial.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:15 AM   #13
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I'm suddenly very interested in this post. My insurance company accepted the pre-purchase survey when I first signed up, but now they've merged and the new company is asking for a survey. My agent sent along the original one, now over three years old, and is hoping that will suffice.

I'm terrified that it won't. With less than a month to go before getting underway on a 4-month trip, and with lots of wiring yet to be completed and re-bundled neatly, and some fiberglass work ongoing, there's no way it would pass right now.

I also assume any good surveyor can find SOMEthing wrong with a 36-year-old boat. We're in the middle of the busiest season of the year for boat mechanics. Any remediation the insurance company requires wouldn't be finished for months. And I have to leave before Memorial Day or the whole thing won't work.

I'm pretty upset with my agent for springing this on me now. We met with her in the winter, went over the whole route with her, and thought this was all taken care of!

I may be in the market for a new insurance agent soon. But I also realize any new company will have the same requirement, so I'm sort of stuck.
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Old 04-19-2016, 02:14 PM   #14
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I'm suddenly very interested in this post. My insurance company accepted the pre-purchase survey when I first signed up, but now they've merged and the new company is asking for a survey. My agent sent along the original one, now over three years old, and is hoping that will suffice.

I'm terrified that it won't. With less than a month to go before getting underway on a 4-month trip, and with lots of wiring yet to be completed and re-bundled neatly, and some fiberglass work ongoing, there's no way it would pass right now.

I also assume any good surveyor can find SOMEthing wrong with a 36-year-old boat. We're in the middle of the busiest season of the year for boat mechanics. Any remediation the insurance company requires wouldn't be finished for months. And I have to leave before Memorial Day or the whole thing won't work.

I'm pretty upset with my agent for springing this on me now. We met with her in the winter, went over the whole route with her, and thought this was all taken care of!

I may be in the market for a new insurance agent soon. But I also realize any new company will have the same requirement, so I'm sort of stuck.
Ask your insurance company for a list of surveyors or what they require for both insurance survey and surveyor....

Then call around and explain your situation to the surveyors....I have come a cross several that prefer boaters to insurance companies and as long as your boat isn't in a position that could burn them for sure...they might just work with you on some issues.

I know one locally to me that would help in a minute.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:39 PM   #15
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I just went through an insurance survey

$600 bucks for my Hatteras, the surveyor Steven McNear spent better than 9 hours on my 48LRC. Sometimes it's good to have a fresh pair of expert eyes look over your boat. One of the pleasant surprises was a evaluation of replacement value based on boats sold recently. Like all 40 year old complicated boats he found issues, some of which will require correction within a few months a and others noted but not requiring immediate attention. Wing nuts on battery terminals, some wire not secured every 18 inches, and some terminals not protected by boots. These need correction immediately. I have a few small areas that sound delaminated in the salon roof and foredeck. These are on the watch list and at some future time I'll address them when I repaint the deck. Steve took many photos as well as notes. The surprise was the current value of my boat was 70k more than I thought. His survey noted all electronics and equipment and observed function of all equipment. There should be no argument from the insurance company as to whats is on the boat should there be a loss.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:14 PM   #16
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Scary

I like your response to the insurance survey, even without the surprise valuation. You used it as an informative activity. The information is valuable.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:21 PM   #17
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We just had a survey done for insurance purposes. We initially sent the survey to them that the PO had done for his insurance a year ago but they wanted one commissioned by us in our name. They were fine with it being an in the water survey.
The survey cost us $12/ft. He spent about 2.5-3hrs on the boat.
We didn't really mind though...I think hubby enjoyed it.
There were a couple of very minor things he noted. One had to do with lights and one had to do with some book.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:54 PM   #18
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In my experience it's not the insurance companies, but the surveyor cartel that is pushing expansive surveys. More time equals more $$$....and more inane things to put on their reports, which means more inane things to explain to an inexperienced person at the insurance company. Y'all are welcome to roll over and get screwed, but when you do so, you screw the rest of us.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:50 PM   #19
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In my experience it's not the insurance companies, but the surveyor cartel that is pushing expansive surveys. More time equals more $$$....and more inane things to put on their reports, which means more inane things to explain to an inexperienced person at the insurance company. Y'all are welcome to roll over and get screwed, but when you do so, you screw the rest of us.
I'm not sure there's evil intent, but I can see how a profession can get an over-inflated opinion of it's own value.

It's like asking the orthodontist whether or not your kids need braces. There's always SOMEthing that can be done to improve anything. And they're gonna wanna you to do it.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:59 PM   #20
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I'm not sure there's evil intent, but I can see how a profession can get an over-inflated opinion of it's own value.

It's like asking the orthodontist whether or not your kids need braces. There's always SOMEthing that can be done to improve anything. And they're gonna wanna you to do it.
Perhaps, but in the situations surveyors are normally used, there's a clear need by another party. That's insurance, class and purchases.

Now do some in the profession have an over-inflated opinion of their value? Absolutely. I know some who are so full of it, I wouldn't ever let then near my boat. I've read enough of their writings on the internet to know their biases and their lack of knowledge.

Curious if any of you have changed auto insurers and been required to let the insurer examine your car? I have known them to do so to make sure they're not taking damage over.
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