NDT & insurancesStefano Beltrando
Far from being a mere financial issue, the boat health is for the sailors a matter of life and death. That’s why Q.I. Composites is proud to be the first choice not only for the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard, but especially for the VOR and Cup sailors – as the statistics of the past editions show, the wide majority of America’s cup and Volvo team has asked Q.I. to take care of the NDT on their boats. Besides the technical reliability of the NDT performed, part of this trust by the sailors comes from the absence of conflicts of interest: as a matter of fact, Q.I. doesn’t supply projects, materials, boat building or rigging services.
In the beginning of my career I was invited to present my work in an office of Generali insurance in Trieste. I arrived well in advance, so I was kept waiting for half an hour. Walking up and down the corridors I ran into a huge book placed in the middle of the way and opened on a random – I guess – page. I read the whole page, then the following, then I started going from page to page eager for news. It was handwritten, very minute and tidy tables, clear and faultless introductions and commentaries. It was a report of hailstorms, dryness periods and thunderstorms in Veneto region through some years of the 1800s. There were comments about the influence of weather on cereals and fruit harvest, and graphs of the annual trends of temperatures and rainfall, and of course of the economical impact of those on the accounts of the insurance company.
The insurer is a bettor staking on something aleatory, increasing his or her own chances to win thanks to a weapon: statistics.
Statistics feed on one thing only: DATA. The more numerous, precise and accurate, the better. The vastness of the data significantly reduces the margin of error in the forecast, thus the sample has to be so wide and heterogeneous as possible.
At Q.I. we’ve got the largest and most detailed database in the world about boats and masts real condition.
The largest, because we have 9 operators always in action around the world, working full time exclusively as surveyors, thus without conflicts of interests.
The most detailed, because we don’t just follow a procedure, but we investigate through ultrasounds, infrareds, chemical tests, and interfacing all the time designers and builders.
And above all, in our database the real condition of boats is described, not the one described in brochures, nor the one of the building plans, but the condition resulting from the usual countless changes, mistakes, and corrections.
Closing the eyes and pretending that statistics – and thus the dimensions of the sample tested – are not fundamental, simply means exposing the insurance company to a higher risk.