An IRCM customer had commissioned a surveyor to inspect his vessel pre-sale. During the survey a cracked ballast plate was spotted and the surveyor immediately condemned the vessel as being unseaworthy and asserted that the damage was the result of a latent defect. The owner contacted IRCM, submitting a claim for his insurer’s consideration. Whilst latent defects of this nature are not covered by insurance policies it is possible that the resultant damage could be insured. Consequently, IRCM liaised with their client’s insurer who agreed to the appointment of a second surveyor to inspect the vessel. The insurer’s surveyor concluded that the fault was not a latent defect but more likely to be the result of impact damage sustained whilst grounding out. The conclusion was the claim was allowed to proceed rather than suffer rejection, which was, of course, good news for the owner of the yacht.
The case illustrates the importance of both a relationship of trust between insurer and broker. Furthermore, it demonstrates the benefit of a marine insurance broker having the technical expertise to understand the subject matter of the insurance as well as the policy wording.