Hiring a Marine Surveyor

Posted on by David Graham

Hiring the right marine surveyor

There are a lot of boats for sale right now and it seems there are a lot of folks out looking to get into boating this year.
Anyone who has owned or purchased an older boat probably knows the pains of survey requirements. It’s one of the catch 22’s of owning an older vessel, and it’s often a tough pill to swallow in an all but otherwise enjoyable process.  You know the boat is in good condition so why should you have to pay somebody to tell the insurance company what you already know?

The reason is simple - Most insurance companies require it. They want a non-biased third party opinion on the overall condition and value of the boat to make sure it’s a good risk to insure.  So any third party person can do it right?  Just hire the cheapest company to come out and take a look and be done with it?  Well, not so fast…
Depending on the type of vessel it is, most carriers will not accept just any old survey.  Most insurance companies require that the surveyor be properly accredited and trained before they will accept his/her report.  So how do you know which surveyor is properly accredited?  Well there are two certifications that are universally accepted within the marine insurance industry.  Those are the NAMS and SAMS accreditations which stand for “National Association of Marine Surveyors” and the “Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors”.  Either of these stamps on a survey report carries the most weight within the industry and should be accepted by any marine carrier.  Also, you’ll likely receive a thorough and detailed report including a true market value.  In order to find a surveyor in your area belonging to either of these groups, you can search by zip code at both of their websites. www.namsglobal.com & www.marinesurvey.org
There are great surveyors that are not NAMS or SAMS accredited of course as well, and they certainly may be accepted, but be sure to ask your insurance agent first to verify that they would be accepted.  Paying for a survey that the insurance company does not accept is not fun. 
We hope this information helps in your next survey endeavor.

Don’t forget to call us when you get that new boat!