International Shipping Insurance Can Be Complicated

International Shipping Insurance

If your business is engaged in any way in shipping goods abroad, you are going to need international shipping insurance from the UK. Wherever goods are being shipped there is always the chance of the cargo being damaged, being stolen, or being abandoned.

Whenever cargo is being shipped, the carrier is contracted to move it from point A to point B, and this may be by road, rail, sea, air freight, or an inland waterway, or any combination of those. There may also well be more than one carrier involved in the movement.

Unfortunately, when you enter into a contract with a haulier, freight forwarder, transport company, or any other carrier, you are not fully covered by insurance. Certainly, they will have some insurance, but this is for their benefit and not yours.

If you think about it logically, a carrier or freight forwarder is in no position to provide insurance for everything that it ships. One day they may be carrying goods that have a low value, while the next they could be asked to carry items that are valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds. If they were obliged to carry insurance to cover everything, they would have to charge astronomical rates in order to cover the premiums. Furthermore, the cover for very high-end goods may only be required for the odd shipment here or there, so the simple fact is that when you ship goods you need to take account of the insurance yourself. That is, unless it is in your terms and conditions that the insurance of the goods is the liability of the purchaser once they have left your control.

Part of the problem is that there are so many things that can happen to cargo when it is being shipped from one place to another. It can get handled badly. It may be badly packed. It can get stolen. It can get lost. It is under constant different possible forces while in transit.

For instance, on a road vehicle the cargo may be subject to gravitational force, friction force, vibration, random acceleration and deceleration, and centrifugal force. Much the same thing applies when a cargo is on board a ship. The ship can be subject to roll, pitch, yaw, sway, surge, and heave. All of these can cause cargo inside a container to move about if it is not fully secured. The container itself may move about because of the various forces to which it is subject.

There are so many different types of cargo claims. These include physical damage, which accounts for 28% of claims, theft, contamination, infestation, shortage, wet, containers lost overboard, and sinking, among others.

As a manufacturer or intermediary who needs to get goods to the buyer, you probably never consider all the possibilities, but the fact is that they exist. From your point of view, you are concerned with getting the goods to the buyer and getting paid for them.

Goods can get damaged, lost, or stolen at any point during the journey from the supplier to the end receiver. This can happen as follows:

  • while cargo is in the possession of the seller,
  • while cargo is being packed into a container,
  • while cargo is being loaded onto a truck,
  • while cargo is in transit by sea, road, air, or rail,
  • while cargo is being offloaded at delivery,
  • while cargo is in a warehouse,
  • while cargo is in the possession of the buyer,
  • etc., etc., etc.

When you need international shipping insurance from the UK, talk to us at The Insurance Broker. There are many different policies, and they cover certain eventualities some of which may, or may not, be relevant to your individual situation. For instance, if you are only shipping one lot of goods abroad you won’t need what is known as open cover which provides cover for a period of time during which you can make as many shipments as you need to provided you advise your insurance company if anything changes. You would only need single cover.

You might want to insure against all risks, although even then there can be one or two exceptions. You might only want to insure part of the shipment, and not all of it.

We can advise you and find the right cover that fits with your needs at the best possible price.