Why your cargo has to be insured
Some individual shippers view insurance of their cargo as an unnecessary expense. It is only after their cargo has been damaged or stolen in transit that they begin to see the value of adequate insurance cover. Cargo insurance is usually the responsibility of the owner of the cargo. Most first time shippers have a wrong assumption that once cargo is handed to the freight agent, their cargo is automatically insured by the freight company.
Due to the internal and external factors that may affect the movement of cargo from point A to point B, there is no guarantee for safe delivery of the cargo, there is always a room for or a possibility for damages, theft and cargo loss.
The most disturbing thing is that the carrier of the cargo may not be responsible for the cargo loss or damage by the terms of the contract or as matters of the law. For example, with ocean carries there is no guarantee that there will be responsible for any loss or damage of the cargo during sea transport since there will be protected under the maritime law. Some of the carriers might be very reluctant to cover or replace damaged or lost goods during transportation and even if a strong follow up is made it may take time for the cargo to be replaced.
With all this being noted it is very important to get your cargo insured so that whenever there is any damage or loss of the cargo you are able to claim from your insurance.
A cargo insurance policy gives indemnity to the cargo interest in the event of loss or damage of the cargo due to all the dangers it is insured against while at risk under the policy some insurance policies are all risk basis meaning that the cargo will be covered for all the risks that can be faced
Dangers covered by insurance policies may include;
1. Theft – loss of the cargo to thieves and other unlawful takers
2. Voluntary dumping of some cargo to relieve a vessel in distress
3. Loss or damage of the shipment due to maybe criminal , fraudulent or wrongful act on the ship controllers
4. The risk of fire both direct and consequential damage from steam smoke or efforts of extinguishing fire.
What you must do before you ship your cargo?
A good freight agent will always give you the options of taking insurance. Marine insurance for sea freight, e.g. for your car or container. Air Cargo insurance is also possible for airfreight services.
Always ask for the terms of insurance cover before you ship your cargo.