Insurance C&V Survey
An Insurance Condition and Valuation (C&V) survey report is typically used for insurance company requirements, but may also be used to satisfy bank financing requirements. This type of survey is a limited inspection intended to identify any readily detectable defects or conditions that may make the vessel a greater risk when compared to other vessels of similar size, class and age. Essentially, insurance companies are interested in data about the vessel that could cause them to suffer financial loss. So the main focus of the inspection is on things that could cause the vessel to catch fire, blow-up, sink, etc. The information contained in an insurance C&V survey report is not sufficient to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of the vessel.
An insurance survey is mostly a visual inspection, with operational testing limited mainly to navigation lights, horns, bilge pumps, and possibly electronics. Mechanical, fuel and electrical systems are inspected for condition and compliance with current standards, where accessible for inspection. Hammer percussion soundings and moisture meter analysis of the hull and deck structures are not typically part of an insurance survey. The mast and rigging of sailboats are inspected from the deck level only. Sails stored on booms and roller furling gear are not hoisted or unfurled for inspection, and sails stored in bags are inventoried but not removed from their bags.
An insurance survey typically takes between two and four hours to complete. The presence of the owner is not required but is encouraged. Whether the vessel is inspected in the water or out of the water is at the discretion of the insurance underwriter. Vessel’s over 20 years old are often required to have an out-of-water survey.
The vessel’s fair market value is developed using assumptions about the condition and serviceability of the engines and equipment. If the survey is conducted with the vessel in the water, assumptions are also made about the condition of the hull bottom, through hull fittings, running gear, keel, etc.