May. 1 2019

Marine Warranty surveyors are the eyes and ears of underwriters when it comes to insuring offshore projects. 

Melanie Raven Senior Energy Underwriter Ark Syndicate

Melanie Raven
Senior Energy Underwriter
Ark Syndicate

Working hand in hand with underwriters, marine warranty experts are entrusted to protect all parties’ interests and bridge the gap between clients and insurers. MatthewsDaniel is Bureau Veritas’ leading provider of insurance services, and a longtime partner of Ark Syndicate. Melanie Raven, Senior Energy Underwriter at Ark Syndicate, details the importance of a strong partnership between underwriters and marine surveyors.

The Gulf of Mexico is known for powerful hurricanes that can shut down offshore projects. Perhaps nowhere are marine surveyors more vital, helping ensure that a critical load-out isn’t in the path of any oncoming severe weather patterns. Marine surveyors are on-site to provide that safety check for offshore companies. “Everyone has the common goal of achieving a successful project, says Melanie Raven, Senior Energy Underwriter for Ark Underwriting.It’s a three-way dialogue between insurers, our clients and surveyors.

A symbiotic relationship

Ark is a Syndicate at Lloyd’s of London that underwrites a balanced and diversified portfolio of insurance and reinsurance business, and has a particularly strong presence in the Energy industry. The underwriting process begins with a client’s project submission, detailing their insurance needs. Once reviewed, an underwriter like Melanie will then reach out to an experienced surveyor. The surveyor’s role is then to assess the risks associated with the agreed upon marine construction operations, and ensure that risks are reduced to an acceptable level in accordance with best industry practice.

MatthewsDaniel, a founding member of the Society of Offshore Marine Warranty Surveyors (SOMWS), is one of the most technical marine warranty surveyor companies in the world. As such, it counts a significant number of SOMWS’ 150+ members among its ranks. “It’s good for your company’s reputation if you employ a number of surveyors who are SOMWS-accredited,Melanie says. “It serves as a big endorsement to underwriters, knowing the surveyors we choose have certification from the society. It tells us immediately that they’re someone experienced, with the necessary qualifications, who we want to work with.

Melanie has worked with MatthewsDaniel surveyors for decades.They’re a real constant in the industry,she adds. “Even as the market fluctuates, they maintain great reliability, always professional, upfront and transparent. They create that solid connection with clients and build confidence.

Business picking up

That relationship will be all the more important in the near future. Though Offshore oil and gas projects slowed to a crawl when oil prices plummeted in 2014, there has been an upward trend over the last 18 months. “We’re starting to see an increase in rigs being used, as well as wells coming on stream,Melanie says.With more stable oil prices, there’s greater confidence in the market. Underwriters and marine surveyors are not inundated yet, but the uptick in the number of offshore wells being drilled and projects in the pipeline is a very good sign of a more active future.