MARINE INSURANCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SCOPE OF DUTIES FOR ALL SUPERINTENDENTS
We are pleased to confirm your appointment to supervise the discharge of the goods covered by the above Certificate.
The scope of your duties includes:-
- To liaise with the Brokers and/or the Insured in order that necessary information concerning the carrying vessel is obtained prior to her arrival within Nigeria Territorial Waters.
- To inspect and report on the condition of hatches, holds and storage whilst the vessel is lying alongside the berth.
- To supervise the discharge and report any case of loss or damage or shortage, noting the seal numbers on the container(s) at the point of discharge ex vessels.
- To witness custom examination and ensure that container(s) are properly padlocked and the contents are properly protected.
- To witness delivery of containers/consignment from the Ports, Supervise the unstuffing of the container(s)/consignment at the final Warehouse and reporting the extent of loss or damage, if any.
- To hold the negligent party responsible for any loss or damage on behalf of the Underwriters or Cargo interest by a duly signed letter of protest addressed to the carriers or Nigerian Port Authorities.
THE ROLE OF CARGO SUPERINTENDENTS
A firm of Superintendence, being Underwriters' Marine Insurance Risk Management Mechanism, plays a vital role on behalf of his employers, the underwriter, during sea and air transit of cargo insured by his employers until final delivery at insured's warehouse. Their function begins as soon as they are in possession of the Marine Insurance Certificate and relevant Bill of Lading/Air Waybill, which give evidence that the goods have been shipped on board the Vessel/Aircraft.
Their accurate and reliable Reports facilitate Marine claims investigations and settlement.
- Upon the receipt of Marine Insurance Certificate, we would normally approach the assured and request for the relevant shipping documents e.g Bill of Lading. At first approach, it is vital to do so in writing and copy the underwriter with the letter.
- Prior to arrival of the vessel, the superintendent would normally signify interest on the coming vessel by writing the local ship's agent, notifying them of their role and the action they intend to take as soon as the vessel arrives at berth.
- Item No. 2 above would enable the carrier's agent give the Superintendence free hand to inspect the hatches of the vessel upon arrival and if not satisfied with the stowage condition of the cargo in which they are interested or discovered that the cargo has been affected by humidity, sea water, ect. they would immediately give written protest to the master of the vessel.
- During discharge of the vessel, the Superintendent should stand by to watch out for any item that may suffer loss overboard or land at the quay apron with noticeable damages. At the end of discharge, should there be noticeable discrepancies, the superintendent will not hesitate to raise a protest letter for which the master of the vessel or the ship's agent will sign.
- The Superintendent would stand still until the goods are transferred from the quay apron into the shed or stacking area and ensure that the goods are properly kept. If not, they should complain to the authority concern. Any damage to the goods during this period will also be recorded against the agency.
- Once it is time for custom examination, the clearing agent notifies the Superintendent to be present. If it is a container shipments, the Superintendent take that opportunity to see the condition of the goods inside the container and if not satisfied, would raise a protest inviting the ship's agents and NPA to be present during unstuffing of the container at delivery point. And if they insist that the unstuffing should be done at the port/container-terminal, then they have to provide the labors and conducive environment to do so. On the other hand, if the container's seal was found tampered with during custom examination, then all parties having interest /bailees will be invited to be present on a day agreed so that the container may be unstuffed in the presence of all. Any loss/shortage discovered would be the responsibility of either the NPA or Ship's agent depending on how the case is established, and appropriate protest is lodged holding the negligent party liable.
- During delivery, the Superintendent will be informed and should be present if possible at both end (Port & Consignee's Premises/Warehouse) through out the period of delivery. This will enable the Superintendent to take note of any damage or shortage during delivery and raise protest where necessary.
Where the Superintendent raise a protest concerning discrepancy of any sort, they must copy the Underwriter so that the underwriter is kept abreast of current development regarding any incident that may result in claim. This will enable the underwriter to have advance knowledge of a potential claim before the assured or broker reports it. And it also enable the marine underwriter to know in advance which reports of the Superintendent will contain discrepancy or not.
The above represent the legitimate, practical function of the marine cargo superintendents. But there are much more that a capable superintendent that is well funded, can do to protect the interest of his principal throughout the period.
Having said the above, there are many advantages in employing a firm of superintendence whose chief Executive especially has verse knowledge of Marine Insurance and Marine Claims & Recovery experience. Such knowledge compels them to take all necessary steps to protect Underwriters interest with a view to securing recovery prospect after the claim has been settled and Subrogation Right obtained from the assured.
THE ROLE OF MARINE CARGO SURVEYORS
Unlike the superintendence service whereby one plays more of a supervisory role during discharge/delivery of the goods with a view to taking appropriate action in order to protect underwriter's interest, in Cargo Survey there are more intricate, highly technical jobs to do on behalf of the underwriter, while remaining unbiased and independent in reporting and assessment of loss. The PHOTOGRAPHS of the affected item or goods involved should support the Survey Report on damaged items. A good Survey Report makes recovery exercise a lot easier and successful for underwriters.
Survey Report are normally presented on the standard form Questionnaire internationally recognized. The Lloyds of London has a standard Survey Report form which is used all over the world and our Computer system has it for our use, which is usually followed by the Surveyor's written Report.
The written Report should specifically inform the underwriter of some basic information needed to deal with the entire claim in absence of the surveyor; and thereafter assist underwriters to pursue recovery where necessary. Therefore the report should be specific and definite in some areas such as: -
- The quantum or actual loss after professional assessment of the degree of loss in terms of percentage or depreciation (Consignee's views and opinion may sometimes be stated in the Report for underwriters' consideration).
- Adjustment/Calculation of claim, showing the Insured Value of the entire loss.
- The Proximate cause of loss and what could have possibly been done to avoid or minimize the loss.
- Laboratory Test and analysis to ascertain the type of water or nature of the chemical causing the damage.
- The negligent party or the custodian of the goods when the event resulting in claim occurred, against whom recovery or recourse action could by taken.
- Remarks on the packaging, if conventional or not.
- Recommendation for improving the risk if necessary, in order to prevent reoccurrence in future.
- Chances of recovery, as well as salvage prospect (if any)
- If the underwriter needs more than a Survey Report and want the Surveyor also to adjust the loss, then the question of indemnity vis-à-vis the terms of the Marine Insurance Policy, would now be considered and reflected in the Report. (Some underwriters may prefer the loss adjustment on a separate sheet) The Surveyor should state if the loss or claim is recoverable or not under the terms of the policy. And if the claim is not covered, yet the Surveyor feels that some form of 'exgratia' offer could be made for some reasons, he should then make his recommendation stating those reasons, and what offer he feels is reasonable if he already have the claims experience or have the Statistics/Loss Ratio of the account. This will enable the Marine Underwriter to reach a sound conclusion on the claim.