Risk surveyors, also known as risk engineer, risk control surveyors, risk analyst or risk consultant or risk advisers, work for general insurance companies, reinsurance companies, brokers or independent firm specialist surveyors.

The main role of surveyor is to find the fact about the risk, advice about the quality and impact of the risk based on technical knowledge and good practice. Surveyors conduct detailed risk surveys of the item or site to be insured and then advise the clients and Underwriters about appropriate improvement to lessen the risk. This involves visiting a wide range of sites, which could be property, engineering plant, construction site and then producing reports and analysis for the Underwriter to take position whether to insure the risk.

Surveyors spend about half of their time visiting and interviewing the client before conducting site detailed survey. Interview is an important stage to get first hand information about risk condition and how the client perceives or implement the concept of risk control and safety attitudes.

Typical work activities involve:

  • Collating and assessing risk information on site, using templates to record the assessment and collecting photographic evidence. All surveyors are expected to be competent in the main areas but they would call on specialists for complex cases, Eg: those that showed a heavy liability risk or complex Business Interruption risk.

  • Preparing detailed reports to include recommendations to the Underwriter, Eg: additional fire exits, installation or replacement of sprinkler systems or burglar alarms, health and safety improvements, installations of smoke detectors, etc.

  • Advising clients on site and discussing with them opportunities and requirements to improve the level of risk, persuading the Insured of the value and need of their risk improvement programs.

  • Allocating quality grades to the client once improvements have been completed.

  • Accompanying Underwriters on site visits to help with their training and development.

  • Liaising with other professionals, Eg: Underwriters, Brokers, client representatives, inspector of health and safety.

  • Keeping up to date with technical aspects affecting risk, Eg: trage processes, legislation, and hazardous materials.