Insurance surveyors carry out surveys of buildings, machinery, transport or whatever is to be insured, and produce reports to help underwriters decide on the terms and conditions of insurance policies.
Insurance surveyors usually specialise in one of the following areas:
Fire and perils - insurance surveyors look at the risks to a building and its contents. They examine the building’s plans and gather information about its construction, its fire protection and security systems and the overall management of the business.
Accidents and liability - insurance surveyors look at the risks to employees, customers and visitors to the site. They examine machinery and equipment, health and safety systems and the protection available for employees.
Engineering - specialist engineering surveyors examine mechanical and industrial plants, machinery and equipment, looking for obvious faults.
Burglary and theft - where insurance against burglary or theft is involved, insurance surveyors examine the premises, assess security arrangements, check how goods are stored and check the structure of the building.
Insurance surveyors usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, unsocial hours and short periods of time away from home to suit the needs of the job may sometimes be necessary. A current driving licence is essential.
Insurance surveyors are usually office-based or can work from home, but will spend much of their time visiting sites. Conditions on site vary, but can be dirty or involve working at heights.
To be an insurance surveyor you should:
Insurance surveyors are employed by large and medium-sized insurance companies, specialist insurance surveying firms, risk management consultancies, and increasingly by brokers. These can be based anywhere in the country. Engineering surveyors usually work for specialist engineering insurance companies.
There are some opportunities to work abroad. Self employment is possible.
Promotion to senior surveyor or head of department may be possible. Some surveyors move into other insurance specialisms such as loss adjusting, although this is not common.
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