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What does an Insurance Surveyor do?

An insurance surveyor assesses and manages risk on behalf of insurance companies. They inspect properties, businesses, or items to be insured, determining the conditions and potential risks involved. This helps insurers set accurate premiums. Curious about how they calculate these risks? Let's delve deeper.
Matthew Brodsky
Matthew Brodsky

If someone wants an insurance company to insure a property or some other asset, one of the insurance professionals with whom he may come in contact is the insurance surveyor. The surveyor collects data on insurable properties and makes recommendations that are used to determine whether the item should be insured and, if so, for how much. Insurance surveyor can specialize in particular kinds of properties such as homes, boats, airplanes, or buildings.

An insurance surveyor can specialize in four different areas. Theoretically, he or she could be an expert in all four categories, but typically, surveyors specialize in only one or two of these areas.

An insurance surveyor might determine if a home is able to withstand hurricane winds.
An insurance surveyor might determine if a home is able to withstand hurricane winds.

One specialization involves determining the resilience of properties against certain perils, such as fire or flood. For instance, when an insurance surveyor looks at a home, he or she will determine whether the house is built to code and protected from fires. Along the coast, the surveyor might determine if the home is able to withstand hurricane winds.

Another focus for an insurance surveyor is to determine if property creates a potential liability or is unsafely constructed. The surveyor gauges whether there are aspects of the home that could lead to accidents or harm for its residents or for passers-by. This inspection includes examining the electrical system to make sure that it is not a fire hazard, as well as any machinery on the property.

An insurance surveyor might also do engineering surveys of buildings, industrial sites, and even home offices. The function in this specialization is the detection of any structural deficiencies.

Analyzing burglary or crime risk of a property is another task that falls to an insurance surveyor. For this job, he or she looks closely at the surrounding neighborhood and determines if the area is dangerous and what security measures are in place to protect it.

Typically, the insurance surveyor is hired by the insurance company that may insure the property. Independent surveyors can also be called in by prospective insurance buyers to give second opinions as some insurance buyers might not trust the work of the surveyor provided by the insurance company. The insurance company is not obligated to consider the report or recommendations of the independent surveyor, however, when determining whether to insure the property.

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    • An insurance surveyor might determine if a home is able to withstand hurricane winds.
      By: Brian Nolan
      An insurance surveyor might determine if a home is able to withstand hurricane winds.