Are you running a business that involves the transportation of goods? Whether it's by sea, land, or air, shipping products is an essential aspect of your operations. But have you thought about what would happen if your cargo got lost or damaged during transit? This could cause significant financial losses to your business.

You do not need to worry though! Freight Insurance comes in to protect you here. It is a type of insurance policy that covers loss or damage to goods in transit, thereby giving peace of mind to both shippers and consignees. In this topic, we will explore what freight insurance is, how it works, and why it is important for businesses that transport goods.

How does Freight Insurance help your business?

A freight insurance policy will provide you with additional protection in addition to your basic carrier policy. This type of insurance protects your shipment against potential losses during transit. It provides coverage for your goods while they are being shipped. This type of insurance is essential for businesses that rely on shipping to move their products. Without it, you would be responsible for any damages or losses that occur during shipping.

A standard carrier policy only covers the blanket amounts, not the value of the freight. Your shipment will be compensated for in full and your financial liability will be taken off your shoulders with freight insurance. Essentially, it will provide you with peace of mind. Additionally, claims are easily settled between the insurer and the insured.

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Types of Freight Insurance

There are two main types of freight insurance: all-risk and named perils.

  1. All-risk freight insurance

It provides the broadest coverage and includes protection against all risks except those specifically excluded in the policy. The term "all-risk" is a bit of a misnomer, as no policy can cover every possible risk. However, an all-risk policy is designed to provide broad coverage for a wide range of perils, including damage caused by accidents, theft, weather-related events, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Under an all-risk freight insurance policy, the insured goods are protected from loss or damage while they are in transit, as well as during loading and unloading. The coverage may also include storage at transit points, such as warehouses or terminals. All-risk policies typically exclude certain perils, such as loss or damage caused by war, terrorism, nuclear incidents, or intentional acts. Additionally, coverage may be limited or excluded for certain types of goods, such as hazardous materials or fragile items.

2. Named-perils freight insurance

It is a type of cargo insurance policy that provides coverage only for the specific perils or risks that are listed or "named" in the policy. This means that coverage is limited to the risks explicitly included in the policy, and any loss or damage that occurs due to a cause not included in the named perils list will not be covered.

The named perils may vary depending on the insurer but typically include common risks such as fire, collision, theft, and natural disasters such as storms or floods. Coverage for certain perils may also be excluded or limited, such as loss or damage caused by terrorism, war, or nuclear incidents. Named peril insurance policies are generally less expensive than all-risk policies, as they provide narrower coverage.

How to Make a Claim for Damaged or Lost Goods?

If you are shipping goods domestically or internationally, it is important to have freight insurance to protect your business in case of damage or loss. Here's how to make a claim for damaged or lost goods:

1. Check your policy to see if you are covered. Freight insurance policies vary, so it's important to check yours to see if you are covered for damage or loss.

2. Gather all the documentation you need. This includes the bill of lading, invoices, packing lists, and any other documentation that will help prove what was shipped and the value of the goods.

3. File a police report, if applicable. If your shipment was lost or stolen, you will need to file a police report in addition to your insurance claim.

4. Notify your insurer as soon as possible. Once you have all the documentation and information gathered, reach out to your insurer to start the claims process.

5. Be prepared to provide supporting documentation. Your insurer will likely request additional information and documentation from you to process your claim. Be prepared to provide whatever they ask for in a timely manner.

Things to be Considered when claiming Freight Insurance

Considering the following points would help you settle your claims smoothly-

  • Please note that to be eligible for a claim, it is usually necessary for the loss or damage to have been caused by the carrier's fault. However, the policy also covers damage resulting from weather-related issues, inadequate packaging, and loading errors when the carrier is not at fault. In addition, if the damage was caused by the carrier, it should be mentioned on the delivery receipt.
  • It is crucial that you inform your freight agent of the loss or damage as soon as possible, including your shipment's details. You will be able to understand what will be compensated and what should be done to initiate the claim smoothly, and the freight insurance agent will help you through the process.
  • Ceramic, glass, pottery, marble, tiles, granite, and other breakable items must all be professionally packed. For the insurance company to release the claim amount, you must provide a receipt for professional packing services, pre-shipment photos, and original manufacturer packaging.
  • Make sure you provide detailed and accurate information about your consignment. Taking pictures of your cargo before transit will serve as authenticated proof when your insurer examines your claim for damage or loss. At claim time, if the amount declared differs from the true value, then the claim settlement may be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

Freight insurance is an essential component of any business’s operational procedures, as it helps protect your goods and services in transit. With the right level of cover, you can ensure that your shipments are protected from a wide range of events and losses. Hence, you can continue running your business without worrying about potential financial strains.