A Vessel Insurance/Appraisal Survey is typically used for Insurance or Financing purposes. This type of marine survey, which is sometimes called a condition and value survey, is not as complex as a pre-purchase survey. This type of survey includes a full visual inspection of the vessel and focuses in on the seaworthiness and safety aspects of the vessel. This survey also includes an appraisal of the vessel’s Fair Market Value.

The “Fair Market Value” is the most probable price in terms of money which a vessel should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions essential to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

This type of survey can be performed either in or out of the water, but it is best to check with your insurance company to see if they require the vessel to be hauled for an inspection of the underbody of the vessel.

Most often during the Insurance Survey, the marine surveyor will examine the vessel in a static non-operating condition to determine the general overall condition.  The survey report will contain a summary statement and an estimate of the present Fair Market Value.  

Occasionally your insurance company may ask the marine surveyor to perform a Loss Prevention Survey on your vessel which is similar to the survey above but in this case the surveyor is working directly for the insurance company.

A Vessel Insurance Survey usually does not include any examination of wetted surfaces and underwater machinery nor does it include a sea trial.  Usually, the engines and generator will not be operated. If the insurance company specifies that a hauled survey is required to inspect the underwater surfaces please notify the surveyor in advance so that arrangements can be discussed.

The overall condition of the vessel will be determined using the American Boat and Yacht Council Standards and the Code of Federal Regulations as guidelines.  This condition rating will then be used with other factors to determine the overall Fair Market Value of the vessel on the date of the marine survey.