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Get Covered - Your Guide to Cargo Insurance

You have car and house insurance why not have cargo insurance. If something does happen, then you will be covered. Otherwise, you will be severely out of pocket as Carriers are only covered for limited liability.

Cargo insurance is a specific type of insurance policy which protects your goods whilst they are in transit.

What does cargo Marine Insurance cover?

Most policies cover international shipments by road, rail, air, and ocean freight.

It includes damage from loading and unloading, weather, accidents, and other dangers that affect ships and airplanes.

What’s not covered?

Most insurance policies offer comprehensive damage cover, however, they may not cover all the specifics. You must check the policy or speak to a broker if the following applies:

  • Special freight: hazardous cargo, specific electronic devices, and other high value or delicate goods. Some goods may be inherently difficult to insure due to their nature, for example fresh food which will spoil if delayed in transit.

  • Damaged by poor packaging: Your insurance company might not cover any damage to your goods if they are linked to poor packaging.

  • Flawed products: You might not be covered for cargo damage that could be caused by faulty products in your package.

Guidance: Typical Claims for Damaged / Lost Cargo

If you want to make claim for loss or damage to cargo, there is a proper procedure which ensures the correct parties are notified and the appropriate insurance coverage is provided to right people.

All international carriers around the world have a limit to liability, which means that the full value of the goods may not be reimbursed. We know insurers spend a lot of time trying to find ways of not paying out. It is important to follow the correct procedures to give you the best chance of recovering your losses.

Please note the basic thinking:

I) If the cargo is properly insured, then the full value of a successful claim will be paid by the owner’s insurer in accordance with the policy.

II) No other party (this includes the carrier) should pay a claim. The carrier is pursued by the cargo owner’s insurers. This is the correct and standard procedure used all over the world and widely throughout industry.

Suggested outline and timeframe for claims.

1. The cargo owner should not expect any payment to come directly from the carrier, instead they will be paid by their insurer.

2. As soon as damage / loss is discovered the cargo owner should contact their insurers right away. The cargo owner should check all policy documents and contracts carefully.

3. Assuming a claim is possible, the cargo owner should send a ‘Notice of Claim’ letter to the carrier immediately. This must be done within a certain time frame, usually 14 days. The insurance policy number and contact person should be provided.

4. The carrier should notify their insurer and provide the contact details to the cargo owner so that the 2 insurance companies can contact each other.

5. The cargo owner should request their insurers carry out a cargo survey by a loss adjustor at the earliest possible opportunity.

6. The loss adjustor should contact the carrier and if appropriate the carrier will request a joint survey with their own adjustor.

7. The 2 insurance companies will consult on the claim and arrange payments against the claim if they are able to come to an agreement. Please note that the above procedure outlines the actions required by the carrier and the cargo owner and has no bearing on whether the cargo owners’ insurance will pay on the claim. The cargo owner should pursue their own insurer for payment for the loss or damage.

8. Payments to the carrier for freight and other services should be paid as usual. The cargo insurer should cover these costs as part of the settlement.


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