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Warranty surveys

Warranty surveys arise from the desire of underwriters to limit their exposure to risk.

Faced with insuring a tow project, the underwriter may feel happier if he knows that a competent surveyor has physically inspected the tug and tow and approved the arrangements. So the underwriters insert in the marine insurance contract a warranty, obliging the assured, i.e. the tow owner, to have all arrangements approved and to comply with any recommendations made by the surveyor.

A good example of this is to be found in the wording of a warranty commonly applied by underwriters concerning towage and reads "Warranted tug, tow, towage and stowage arrangements be approved by a named surveyor and all recommendation complied with".


Towage approval

This warranty, a common wording for which has been included above, requires the assured to arrange, at their own expense, for the independent surveyor to carry out the necessary approval surveys to satisfy the requirement.


Lay-up

This too, being a warranty survey, has much in common, in principle, with towage surveys. Lay-up surveys are usually a requirement of a hull underwriter or of a P&I club, and very possibly of both. When trade falls off and a ship becomes temporarily surplus to requirements, or when she is taken out of service awaiting a buyer, an owner will often lay her up. In all cases where she ceased to be manned there are two basic requirements: the lay-up berth must be safe and secure for the vessel; the ship, machinery and equipment must be secure against intrusion and deterioration.


Recommissioning / Reactivation

These survey are the reverse of lay-up and serve to satisfy, again usually underwriters, that proper steps have been taken to return the vessel to a suitable state in which she can resume trading. Unless the right steps are taken machinery, in particular, can suffer unfortunate consequences. Amongst other benefits surveys of this nature will help to ensure that crew negligence, following resumption of service, does not play a major part in any subsequent machinery problems.

 

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