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Understanding Marine Warranty Surveys

When it comes to marine operations, risks are inherent. From transportation to offshore installations, marine projects carry significant investments and potential liabilities. This is where the Marine Warranty Survey (MWS) steps in, serving as a pivotal component in ensuring the safety and viability of marine projects.

But first, let’s debunk a common myth: A marine warranty surveyor’s main purpose is to audit the assured for the insurer.
True or False?
The answer? False.

This is a frequent misconception. In reality, Marine Warranty Surveys (MWS) are crucial tools for de-risking marine operations. Their primary goal isn’t merely auditing; it’s ensuring that operations are conducted safely and efficiently. Therefore, they serve the interests of both the insurer and the insured party.

To delve deeper into the importance and role of MWS, let’s address four frequently asked questions:


1. What’s the purpose of a marine warranty survey?

The marine warranty survey is designed with a twofold objective:

  • Risk Mitigation: It aims to diminish the risk of loss or damage in high-value marine projects, both onshore and offshore.
  • Adherence to Procedures: The survey ensures that operations align with the procedures laid out in the method statement.


2. Which types of marine operations require an MWS?

In general terms, MWS are a must for complex, non-routine marine construction projects, as well as those requiring transportation of large preassembled parts and components.

Some examples include:

  • Offshore installation and pile driving
  • SURF installation
  • Rig moving and locations approval
  • Offshore lifting by heavy-lift vessels
  • Gravity based structures (GBS)
  • Transportation of heavy objects on deck (e.g., project cargo, vessels).
  • Towing of vessels, barges and other floating structures.
  • Decommissioning operations

In conclusion, when it comes to marine operations, situations often arise that challenge conventional standards. These scenarios can occur when:

  • The cargo or its handling and transportation procedures are atypical.
  • Previous experiences without an MWS proved to be unsatisfactory.
  • There are no prior experiences, such as when transporting new items or prototypes, or using new vessels or ports.

In such circumstances, it may seem that project, engineering, logistics, and risk and insurance management teams are speaking different languages. This is where the need for an MWS expert becomes clear.


3. When does an insurer request a marine warranty survey?

Insurers usually ask for a marine warranty survey when:

  • The assured has high-value equipment.
  • The assured is involved in high-risk marine or offshore tasks.
  • The insurer desires to ascertain that their risk exposure is within acceptable parameters.
  • The insurance policy stipulates a warranty necessitating MWS endorsement.

4. How can a marine warranty survey benefit both the insurer and the assured?

Although marine warranty surveyors are engaged by the insurer, their job is to provide an independent third-party review and approval.

Their involvement helps to minimise the risk of a casualty occurring. Which is the first advantage both parties reap from having an MWS performed.

And here are some more:

  • The assured can improve their procedures thanks to the marine warranty surveyor’s operational experience.
  • Operations are less likely to suffer incidents, delays and downtime, due to the marine and engineering knowledge contributed by the marine warranty surveyor.
  • The insurer benefits from extra quality assurance and risk management, which results in fewer claims and a decrease in the costs associated with high-value operations.

The Marine Warranty Surveyor

The surveyor serves as an indispensable ally for technical teams across the spectrum of transport management. They assist in pinpointing and evaluating associated risks, collaborate in crafting protocols and procedures, and provide expert analytical insights. Their adeptness ensures the project runs efficiently, optimizes resources, and meets insurance contract specifications.

Delivering a top-notch certification service mandates a technically adept team with vast experience both domestically and internationally. These experts are flexible, adapting to specific operations and projects, and are proficient in both documentary inspections and fieldwork for validation and technical evaluation.

Technically speaking, backing from a technical advisory committee, inclusive of leading insurance companies, is crucial in assuring service excellence and relevance.

While all marine surveyors possess a vast knowledge of marine operations, marine warranty surveyors specialize in evaluating the risks associated with specific marine operations or projects, ensuring they align with the method statement and adhere to insurance stipulations. Their expertise lies in de-risking marine ventures for both insurers and the insured, whereas other marine surveyors might focus on vessel condition, valuation, or cargo inspections.

It’s essential for a Marine Warranty Surveyor to have a deep-rooted understanding of marine operations, both theoretically and practically. Typically, they should possess relevant marine engineering or naval architecture degrees, coupled with practical experience in marine construction or operations. In addition, certifications or endorsements from recognized maritime bodies can be an added advantage.

To sum it up, marine warranty surveys are pivotal in minimizing claims and enhancing non-standard operations for all involved. At Claimar, our global network of seasoned marine warranty surveyors is poised to safeguard your marine operations. Contact us.

We are Claimar, your Third Party Administration (TPA) management partner, skilled and expert in marine services.


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