DO I NEED CARGO INSURANCE?
If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll require marine cargo Insurance, ask yourself whether you’d be able to cover the cost of replacing the goods if they were to get lost or damaged in transit.
Despite the common misconception, your carrier won’t compensate you for the full value of your goods or belongings in the event of loss or damage. Shipping companies are only liable to pay you a sum up to the amount specified in their trading conditions – a figure that may be as low as £1,300 per tonne.
What’s more, without marine cargo insurance you may be liable for the damage or loss of other people’s goods thanks to General Average. The law of general average is a legal principle of maritime law in which all parties in a sea venture proportionally share losses resulting from voluntary sacrifice to save the ship’s entire cargo in an emergency situation. This means that if such a situation were to arise on the shipping vessel, customers whose cargo survives the voyage would be required to compensate anyone whose cargo was abandoned to protect the cargo vessel.
So whether you’re a business shipping products to foreign customers or buying goods from abroad, or a family starting a new life overseas, if you are transporting goods overseas and you are not happy to risk paying thousands of pounds for the damage or loss of your own (and someone else’s) shipment, you are going to need cargo insurance cover to protect your goods in transit.