The purpose of these surveys is to assess the degree of damage, determine the cause of the loss and recommend a course of action to minimise or repair the damage. The successful achievement of this objective is dependent upon the experience and efficiency of the surveyor undertaking the survey.

For this type of work it is essential that the surveyor has a good working knowledge of the commodity he is engaged to report on and is familiar with any treatment necessary to minimise the loss.

They should also understand ships and how cargoes can get damaged. The causes of damage are rarely clear and the surveyor must be prepared to investigate to establish the actual cause of the loss. The surveyor should also have an understanding of the workings of the marine insurance act and the York Antwerp rules. However, it is not the surveyor's job to apportion liability. This is for the underwriters to decide.


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