For insurance business, a surveyor is an important organ. Without surveyor, a company cannot make payment for the claims at all. After the estimation of; loss in the site of the incident, insurance companies can make the payment of the claim, to the insured.That is why the role of the surveyor is important in the insurance.
Many times, common insured mistakes the surveyor as an employee of the company. So the surveyors are blamed to be working in the favour of company many times. But the surveyors are an independent being, to whom the company provides remuneration for the work of estimation, in which they are specialized. Insurance board has generated the code of ethics for the surveyor. Surveyor has to operate, being within the limit of such code.
Insurance act has made the arrangement of insurance surveyor. The act has defined the insurance surveyor as an individual, permitted for making the monetary estimation of the damaged property. The Same word is supposed to signify the adjuster and the person who make a valuation of losses.
As per the statistics of the board, up to last Shrawan 15, the number of surveyors taking license institutionally has reached 56. Even though 831 have taken the license as a personal surveyor, 286 are in operation up to last Chaitra month. This year only, 31 individuals took the surveyor license, says the board.
The starting of “Surveyor” practice in Nepal
The starting of insurance business in Nepal was from 2004 BS. At that time, Nepal Insurance Company was started under Nepal Bank. At that time, it used to operate only General Insurance Business only. The insurance business was new at that time. That’s why, while accepting and paying the claim, a surveyor was not used at that time. The officer level individual Nepal Government used to work as surveyor at that time. Likewise, only in the cases of big claims, surveyors were called from India.
The practice of employing technical governmental employees as a surveyor in simple claims and calling Indian surveyors for the big claims went for a long time. But, while calling employees from India, the operation of a company was slow. Indian surveyors wouldn’t come in time too. India, itself, had a large insurance market. So, for them, work in India was enough. So, they didn’t keep interest come to Nepal. That’s why; the claim-acceptance system took a long time. Slowly, then, the underwriting department started working as a surveyor. In some cases, even, the photograph, shot by some individuals was taken for estimation, on the basis of mere belief.
Likewise, in 2025 BS, Government insurance company, Rastriya Beema Sansthan was established and insurance act was enacted. Slowly, the Neplaese insurance market started to expand. Need to produce the surveyor in Nepal was felt thereafter. As a result, in 2039 BS, insurance board started demanding the surveyors. But at that time, surveyors did have less charm over the people. Even though, late-Madhav Bahadur Thapa, Puspadas Shrestha and Raghubir Basnet took the license of surveyor from the board, first of all. 1st class license was taken by Late Madhav Bahadur Thapa , 2nd and 4th class license was taken Puspadas Thapa and 3rd class license was taken by Raghubir Basnet.
Madhav Bahadur thapa was an automobile technician. He used worked at the office of Tata in Nepal. After getting the license of surveyor from the board, he started his company “Nepal Claim Bureau’. Puspdas was an working employee in the marketing department of Rastriya Beema Sansthan. After that, he did automobile engineering from India and took license of surveyor from the board. After taking license, he started United surveyors and Loss Adjusturer companies.Raghubir Basnet was however the major of royal Nepal Army. He was a Mechanical engineer. After taking the license of surveyor, he started his own company named Sunita Claim. Thereafter, when Nepalese took surveyor license, for doing survey of any incident, along with Indian surveyors, Nepalese surveyors were also involved.
This way, the charm of people began rising for the surveyors. Seeing the job opportunity in the surveyor sector, the unemployed engineers at that time even took the license on hear-basis. This resulted in the import of distortion in this sector. That’s why; the old surveyors demanded the classification of surveyors. In accordance to it, by 2050BS, surveyors were divided in A, B, C and D class.
Those, whose time period of taking license had reached 15 years were “A”. “B” for those whose time period of taking license had reached 10 years. “C” for those whose time period of taking license had reached 5 years. “D” for the new license takers. In this way, the division was made. This brought relief in the work too. Along with it, to bring unity among the increasing numbers of surveyors, an organization named, Association of surveyor and loss adjustment was opened in 2055 BS. The leadership of it was done by Puspadas Shrestha. But, the surveyors, being busy in their own business, the institution couldn’t work actively. The organization dissolute within itself. But, in 2060 BS, Nepal Surveyor Association was opened. Now 160 surveyors are associated with this association.
The qualification of being Surveyor
As per the insurance regulations, an individual who has worked in office level post of any insurers office for not less than 10 years, experienced in insurance business, attained the minimum of bachelors degree in engineering, attained to the minimum of bachelor degree from any institute, affiliated with the international chartered insurance institute or like institute or those who have passed chartered accountancy examination, can apply for the surveyor license. The qualified applicant, prior to getting the license of surveyor, should have participated in the training, related to surveyor conducted by the board and should have the certificate of completion of training; surveyor should renew the license every year.
Challenges for the surveyors.
- No protection of professional rights.
- No specific explanation of surveyors work, duty and right in act.
- Using own employees as surveyors for the claims up to 3 years.
- No guarantee of work.
- Due to lack of awareness in insured, negative attitude towards surveyors.
- No clear provisions of some plans.
- While doing the insurance, limiting the clear and specific information to the insured by the company.
- The time period to submit report being just 15 days.
- No timely payment.
- No remuneration when the claim is not accepted.
- Non working surveyors too, in A class.
- Surveying various insurance by a single surveyor.
Surveyor should fix the area of survey too, on the basis of study. (Based on conversation with surveyors)