claim event. Therefore, it may be helpful
for the inspection to focus on obtaining
information to differentiate older damage
from more recent damage. Newer breaks
and bends in underwater metal structures
may appear to be bright and shiny as compared to older damage that may appear to
be dull, corroded and covered with debris.
5. Review construction and
A dive inspection can be tailored to document construction and installation methods to gather information about factors
that may have contributed to the claim.
Instead of limiting the focus on the damage, the diver will document the components used in the structure and how they
were assembled. The as-built structure
can then be compared to the original
blueprints and manufacturer’s specifications. The information may have subrogation implications or may be relevant to
the defense or prosecution of a construction defect claim.
For example, distance and angle of
moorings can be checked to determine
if the anchor locations meet the design
specifications. Anchor mooring systems
are typically designed such that each
mooring works in conjunction with the
remaining moorings to evenly spread
the load across the moored structure.
If any of the moorings are out of place,
the load will not be evenly spread across
the structure, which can lead to damage
from even minor events which could
have been avoided if the moorings were
Recent marina inspection
Several docks in a marina were damaged
by a storm event. Due to the age of some of
the docks, damage was also observed that
pre-dated the storm event. The above-wa-
ter components were inspected to identify
those damaged by the storm event, and a
scope of repairs was prepared based on
the identified new damage. A dive inspec-
tion was conducted and focused on the
damaged areas identified from the above-
water inspection (other areas were also
spot checked) to distinguish old damage
from new damage. The dive inspection
removed any doubt as to which damages
were new versus old, supporting the de-
fined scope of repairs, which allowed for
the claim to be resolved.
Dive inspections can be a valuable tool,
especially when tailored to meet claim
specific issues. If an inspection is needed,
early consideration should be given to de-
fine the scope of the investigation based on
the nature of the claim. The scope should
be reviewed with the diver and his team to
ensure they are properly equipped and are
able to efficiently conduct the inspection.
Jim Smith and DJ Tyler are with Marine
Specialties Limited, which has been
providing expertise to insurers when
responding to marine related damage and
defect claims since 1996. They can be
contacted at info@marinespecialtieslimited.
com. Michael Culbertson, CPCU, AIC, is an
insurance consultant based in Columbia, SC.
ALL TYPES OF PROPERTY LOSSES SINCE 1962
RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND CATASTROPHIC CLAIMS