Maritime adjusters body promotes profession
Kwan-Hai Mao, chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters of the United States, has urged those interested in a maritime career to consider becoming an average adjuster, saying that the number of people involved in this activity is shrinking.
The association recognizes that the profession of average adjuster is not well-known to the public.
“When there is a maritime disaster, the average adjuster becomes the impartial general manager of the entire situation, or he can assist the various parties involved to establish what we call the particular average,” Mao told the association’s annual meeting in New York Thursday.
He noted that, with the consolidations in the shipping industry and fewer careers available at sea and on shore, “this profession allows vast use of a fine education and will fill international needs within the waterborne commerce industry.”
“While not a lawyer, surveyor, engineer, or salvage expert, we are at the center of all these professional functions,” Mao added. Average adjusters work with vessel owners, maritime lawyers, the judiciary, underwriters and brokers.
Mao said that accidents of different kinds are very common at sea and happen every day.
“Different ship parts are broken due to heavy weather, or wear and tear, or are due to crew negligence,” he said. “Ships collide and run aground. Ships sink.”
While accidents are always investigated and paid for by the insurance companies and underwriters, “it is seldom that governments or authorities get heavily involved, except in deadly accidents, collisions, grounding and oil spills, where criminal liability may come into play,” Mao said.
The Association of Average Adjusters of the United States has over 700 members.