International Shipping and Marine Freight Insurance

Participating in international shipping can be exciting, but it can also come with a list of difficulties. While chances are often good that things will go smoothly, given all the technological advances in the industry, there are times when issues will spring up. This certainly applies to anyone who is shipping goods abroad.

Anyone in the business can attest that accidents happen. That’s why purchasing marine freight insurance is such an important part of the process. Shipping goods internationally is safer and more efficient than ever, but there are still numerous reasons freight could be damaged in transit, or worse, stolen and never recovered. Investing in marine cargo insurance can protect you in the event there is damage or loss.

Who bears the responsibility?

Damaged goods are the shipper or consignee’s responsibility. International shipping laws favor the carrier, not the shipper or consignee. Limiting carrier liability helps promote trade between nations, which is good for our economy. When you prepare to ship your cargo, make sure your goods are packed as securely as possible to minimize your risk.

Most marine freight insurance policies are offered as all-risk and can be tailored to your particular exposures. Make sure that you fully understand your policy and the policy language. A common mistake when reading an all-risk insurance policy is to assume that the policy will automatically cover any accident involving your goods. This is not necessarily always the case. If you read carefully you will find that most all-risk policies lay out a specific set of situations they do not cover. Any occurrences, other than those listed as not covered, should generally be covered under an all-risk policy.

One option often made available is to insure through your freight forwarder or third-party shipper, an intermediary service that oversees shipping between businesses and vendors or customers. Your shipper would then help in training you on how to pack your goods in such a way in order to avoid breakage during shipping.

Anything can happen in transit, from natural disasters, to theft, damage, accidents, fire, containers falling overboard, collision or other unforeseen problems. If you experience a loss of any kind you’re going to need the protection provided by marine freight insurance to get the compensation you deserve.