Professional Consulting Services

Damage Claims Investigations / Inspections

We know that you often need an experienced set of eyes and ears (and sometimes a good nose) on site when a damage claim has been filed. Determining a cause of loss can be quite a puzzle even when you are standing in front of all the pieces. We strive to provide a thorough and timely report for your claims handling needs. The scope of work can include a cause of loss investigation right on through the repair estimates, supervision of the repairs and final inspection, depending on your needs. We regularly serve more than a dozen large insurance companies.

Cargo Damage Claims / Freight Damage Claims Inspections

Marine surveyors are uniquely qualified to provide thorough and competent nature, cause, and extent reporting to insurance companies, logistics companies, and shippers for freight and cargo by ship, rail, or truck.

In my years of claims investigations, I have inspected everything from pallets of butter to multi-million dollar custom-built machinery, experimental aircraft to scrap metal shipments.

Click here for more information about freight / cargo claims

Estate / Legal Valuations – Appraisals

Marine surveyors are generally recognized as experts in estimating a fair market value for marine vessels. While there are very few that are certified appraisers, we are taught and continually study the appraisal practice for guidance in providing a defensible valuation. Our valuations are relied upon by our clients, the banks who finance boats, and the insurance companies who insure them. We are also called upon to provide valuations for estates in probate, divorce cases, tax deduction for donations, and federal bankruptcy cases. These services are performed at an hourly rate.

Prior to starting SMS&C, Geoff Grainger worked for three years as the Senior Litigation Paralegal for a Milwaukee law firm. Much of this legal work involved providing and negotiating market valuations for personal property. Geoff also spent five years in a support role where identifying and locating stolen equipment was part of his job.

Geoff Grainger attended and passed the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) exam, a standards and ethics course developed by the American Appraisal Foundation. The American Society of Appraisers is one of eight major appraisal societies that, in 1987, founded The Appraisal Foundation, a national nonprofit organization created to establish uniform criteria for professional appraisers.

In addition to being a member of The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and the American Boat and Yacht Council, we are also members of the International Association of Marine Investigators, an organization which focuses on providing training and on disseminating information about vessel accident investigations, damage claims, and theft claims.