The Surveyor and Loss Assessor are experts in many fields. In addition to a thorough knowledge of technical and insurance and of the area in which they work, they can advise both the insurance company and the policyholder on repair and replacement techniques. After discussions with the policyholder, the Surveyor and Loss Assessor's report to the insurance company enables the company to process the claim without delay.
Appointment of the Surveyor and Loss Assessor is mandatory for the Insurance companies as per Section 64UM,(2) No claim in respect of a loss which has occurred in India and requiring to be paid or settled in India equal to or exceeding twenty thousand rupees in value on any policy of insurance, arising or intimated to an insurer at any time after the expiry of a period of one year from the commencement of the Insurance (Amendment) Act, 1968, shall, unless otherwise directed by the Authority, be admitted for payment or settled by the insurer unless he has obtained a report, on the loss that has occurred, from a person who holds a license issued under this section to act as a surveyor or loss assessor.
The Surveyor and Loss Assessor will visit the policyholder, within days after submission of the claim form, to discuss the circumstances of the claim. The Surveyor and Loss Assessor will verify:
« That the loss or damage falls within the terms of the insurance policy
« That the sums insured on the policy are adequate
« That the amounts being claimed are fair and reasonable
« That all valid items of claim have been included and nothing omitted
The Surveyor and Loss Assessor are able to advise how home security or safety could be improved to avoid a further incident. The Surveyor and Loss Assessors can often point to aspects of the claim which the policyholder may have overlooked. They can advise on repair techniques, such as the matching of a damaged carpet or bathroom suite. They will know of specialist firms in the area who can undertake work in connection with the claim.
The Surveyor and Loss Assessor reports his findings and recommendations to the insurance company. The company is then in possession of full facts on the matter and is able to make a decision.
THE MAIN OBJECTS
1) To promote quality in profession of Surveyors and Loss Assessors through education and training facilitate introduction of best practices amongst its members and to disseminate technical information amongst its members to upgrade their skill and knowledge.
2) To conduct Professional examinations relating to the profession of Surveyors and Loss Assessors.
3) To promote research and studies in loss control and minimization techniques and measures and share the same with Insurance Industry and general public and to update its members on application of new technologies for improving service to the users and consumers.
4) To bring out guidance notes, instruction manuals, periodicals for the use and benefit of members and others connected with the profession of surveyors and loss assessors.
5) To develop and administer code of conduct and ethics from time to time with the concurrence of the IRDA and ensure compliance of the same by its members and also ensure that the members maintain/adhere to high standards of integrity, transparency, discipline, and professional conduct.
(B). THE OBJECTS INCIDENTAL OR ANCILLARY TO THE ATTAINMENT OF THE MAIN OBJECTS :
1) To organise, present, manage, superintend, conduct and participate at any place or places talks, lectures, seminars, conferences, and other educational and professional development functions on insurance or other appropriate or insurance related subjects like loss mitigation, loss prevention, loss assessment , and risk management and to establish, promote and maintain libraries, and reading and writing rooms, and to furnish the same respectively with books, reviews, magazines, newspapers and other publications; and to issue, print, publish and/or sell any publications, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, books, reports or leaflets that the company may think desirable for the promotion of its objects and diffuse among its members of the profession of surveyors and loss assessors information on all matters affecting the profession of surveyors and loss assessors, and to improve and elevate the technical and general knowledge of persons engaged in or about to engage in the profession of surveyors and loss assessors or any employment in connection therewith.
2) To study and promote all matters enhancing the profession of surveyors and loss assessors, and issue diplomas or certificates under it own authority subject to prior sanction of appropriate Government.
3) To establish reciprocal relations and or arrangements with allied or kindred Companies in India and else where and concert and promote measures for the promotion of the Profession of Surveyors and Loss Assessors.
4) To make and from time to time alter, revoke, re-enact and enforce regulations for the benefit of and binding on its members, and if and so far as may be requisite or expedient, for the making, passing and enforcement of the regulations in the interest of the profession of surveyors and loss assessors.
5) To buy, purchase, take on lease or in exchange or on hire, or otherwise acquire any movable or immovable property of any tenure or description and collect any estate or interest thereon and any rights or privileges which the Company may think necessary or convenient for the promotion of its objects, and to construct, maintain and alter any buildings or erections necessary or convenient for the work of the Company.
6) To sell, let out , lease, mortgage, exchange, gift, dispose of, manage, develop, build or alter or improve or to account all or any of the property or assets of the Company as may be thought expedient with a view to the promotion of its objects.
7) To receive and accept donations or contributions in cash or kind for the furtherance of the aims and objects of the Company and upon such terms and conditions as the Company may in its absolute discretion determine.
8) To invest the surplus moneys of the Company not immediately required in such securities in such manner as may from time to time be determined.
9) To engage, employ and remunerate persons other than members of the company for carrying on the work of the Company - on such terms as may be determined from time to time.
10) To raise money by way of subscriptions, fees or other lawful means from its members for the purposes of the objects of the company.
11) To provide/institute scholarships, prizes, medals or other awards connected with the examinations generally or any subject or subjects thereof conducted by the Company or otherwise in relation to the profession of surveyors and loss assessors.
12) To co-operate and share information with any other national and/or international educational organizations whose objects are similar or similar in part to the objects of the company.
13) To amalgamate, any other association or institute or body whose objects are similar or in part similar to the objects of the company, with the company the establishment or promotion of which may be beneficial to the company.
The role of the Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors
(1) A surveyor and loss assessor shall, for a major part of the working time, investigate, manage, quantify, validate and deal with losses (whether insured or not) arising from any contingency, and report thereon, and carry out the work with competence, objectivity and professional integrity by strictly adhering to the code of conduct expected of such surveyor and loss assessor.
(2) The following, shall, inter alia, be the duties and responsibilities of a surveyor and loss assessor:-
i. declaring whether he has any interest in the subject-matter in question or whether it pertains to any of his relatives, business partners or through material shareholding;
ii. Explanation: For the purpose of this clause â€˜relativesâ€™ shall mean any of the relatives as mentioned in Schedule IA to the Companies Act, 1956;
iii. maintaining confidentiality and neutrality without jeopardizing the liability of the insurer and claim of the insured;
iv. conducting inspection and re-inspection of the property in question suffering a loss;
v. examining, inquiring, investigating, verifying and checking upon the causes and the circumstances of the loss in question including extent of loss, nature of ownership and insurable interest;
vi. conducting spot and final surveys, as and when necessary and comment upon franchise, excess/under insurance and any other related matter;
vii. estimating, measuring and determining the quantum and description of the subject under loss;
viii. advising the insurer and the insured about loss minimization, loss control, security and safety measures, wherever appropriate, to avoid further losses;
ix. commenting on the admissibility of the loss as also observance of warranty conditions under the policy contract;
x. surveying and assessing the loss on behalf of insurer or insured;
xi. assessing liability under the contract of insurance;
xii. pointing out discrepancy, if any, in the policy wordings;
xiii. satisfying queries of the insured/insurer and of persons connected thereto in respect of the claim/loss;
xiv. recommending applicability of depreciation and the percentage and quantum of depreciation;
xv. giving reasons for repudiation of claim, in case the claim is not covered by policy terms and conditions;
xvi. taking expert opinion, wherever required;
xvii. Commenting on salvage and its disposal wherever necessary.
The standards of professionalism and integrity demanded by the Institute have led to its members being respected throughout the insurance world.
The services of surveyor and loss assessors benefit the insurers and insuring public on technical excellence and a very wide variety of fast and professional responses to the losses. The surveyor and loss assessors have always strived for an amicable, cost effective and fair settlement between the parties involved. The surveyor and loss assessors are independent specialists who will add value to any insurance or business sector.
The primary function of a surveyor and loss assessors is to investigate, negotiate and agree the conclusion of insurance and other claims. Core skills include communication, negotiation and the ability to acquire and assimilate relevant information. The surveyor and loss assessors must also posses a sense of what is fair and act with even handedness. This must be backed up with a sound knowledge of the law, insurance contracts and general and specific knowledge of those areas likely to feature in claims. Added to this surveyor and loss assessors must be practical problem solvers â€“ in other words people who can settle claims. Different skills are needed for different types of claims and a surveyor and loss assessor will often work alongside with the relevant field experts also.