Cargo Insurance

Understanding and Maximising Benefits of Cargo Insurance

Introduction to Cargo Insurance

For sea shipments, if the carrier was to sink or your goods were to get damaged, carrier liability is not enough to cover the losses. And for land freight, if your vehicle is to get in an accident, you would lose your goods and the vehicle.

These are just two instances highlighting the importance of getting cargo insurance for all your domestic and international shipments. Investing in the right cargo insurance policy will ensure that you endure a minimum loss if your cargo is damaged or lost. 

In this article, let’s look at what cargo insurance means, its importance, types, and more.

What is Cargo Insurance?

Cargo insurance is meant to protect your organisation from any possible financial losses due to damaged or lost cargo. It’s a provision to get the amount you’re insured for in the wake of an event that affects your freight. 

Events covered in insurance are generally natural disasters, customs rejection, piracy, wars, vehicle accidents, and cargo abandonment. It’s vital to note that insurance is different from carrier liability. 

Why Cargo Insurance is a Key Component in Logistics

Unexpected difficulties are not uncommon in the logistics industry. Cargo insurance is essential for protecting companies in these situations. Imagine a situation in which expensive devices are lost at sea or medication spoils because of a power outage. There may be a big financial impact on a company. Businesses are left vulnerable because, despite carriers’ best efforts, their liability coverage might not entirely cover the value of the goods. This is filled by the added coverage, financial stability, and piece of mind that cargo insurance offers.

Additionally, cargo insurance encourages effectiveness and confidence in global trade. Businesses may negotiate better terms, acquire funding, and participate in international transactions with confidence when risks are reduced. In the end, cargo insurance is a resilient investment that guarantees companies can handle the challenges of logistics, even during the most challenging of times.

The Different Types of Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance is categorised into two main types, namely land and marine cargo insurance. Marine cargo insurance also covers air cargo. 

Let’s look at different types of cargo insurances: 

Land cargo insurance

As the name suggests, land cargo insurance is for the goods moved by land transportation inside trucks and other vehicles. The insurance covers risks such as collision damages and theft. Usually, its scope is limited to domestic cargo as land transportation mainly happens within a country. 

Marine cargo insurance

Ocean and air freight are covered in marine cargo insurance. It’s used for international shipments and covers damages due to unfavourable weather conditions, piracy, and other ocean and air freight risks. 

Following are the different kinds of marine cargo insurance policies: 

  1. Open coverage

Open coverage policies insure freight for a particular period, and several shipments can be included in that one policy. If you ship goods regularly, this is a convenient way to manage risks. It’s further divided into two types: 

  • Renewable: A more suitable option for single trips and voyages, the policy can be renewed after a shipment is delivered. 
  • Permanent: The policy is in place for a specific period and covers unlimited shipments within that stipulated time frame.
  1. Single coverage

As the name implies, the policy covers cargo on a per shipment basis. It’s also known as specific coverage policy. 

  1. Contingency

In some cases, the consignee is responsible for the insurance and not the shipper. If the consignee receives damaged goods and tends to avoid the liability by not accepting the goods, the shipper needs a backup. 

While the shipper can rely on the legal system, taking that route can prove costly and time-consuming. An efficient way to minimise the loss in such cases is to have the contingency policy. 

It is useful when the customer fails to insure the goods and is cost-efficient for the shipper too. 

  1. All risk

As far as the goods are not prone to loss or damage, an All Risk policy covers most causes of damaged or lost freight shipments.  Crucially though, it doesn’t include the following grounds:

  • Damage or loss due to civil unrest, wars, strikes and riots.
  • Negligence on the part of the shipper/consignee
  • Delays and rejections in customs 
  • Damage or loss due to natural disasters (acts of God) 
  • Unpaid goods, i.e. if the consignee fails to pay or the shipper fails to collect the payment. 
  1. Free from particular average

This policy covers only significant damage or loss to the goods unless partial damage or loss has resulted from the collision, sinking, burning or stranding. The policy covers risks excluded in an All Risks policy such as acts of God, harsh weather conditions, collision, sinking, piracy, derailment and non-delivery of goods. 

  1. General average

The general average policy is one of the primary requirements for ocean cargo and only covers partial losses of your shipment.

Under this policy, if some cargo is lost or destroyed due to a problem at sea, then owners of all freight onboard that ship must contribute to all the losses incurred. By principle, the policy requires you to pay for other shippers’ coverage too even if your shipment isn’t affected. 

The Importance of Cargo Insurance in Supply Chain Management

In the complex world of global supply chains, products go across borders and face a number of difficulties. Not only is cargo insurance a useful addition, but it is also a practical requirement. It assists in keeping your company’s operations running smoothly by shielding your shipments from unforeseen dangers that can result in losses.

Protecting Your Shipments: Risks and Coverage

Cargo insurance plays a vital role in mitigating risks and ensuring financial security throughout your supply chain journey. While basic carrier liability offers some protection, it often falls short of covering the full value of your cargo, leaving you exposed to significant losses. Here’s why cargo insurance is essential:

Common Risks

Unexpected circumstances can cause havoc with your shipments and money from the time your items leave the warehouse to their final destination. This is where cargo insurance comes into play, serving as your defence against a wide variety of possible dangers.

Physical Loss or Damage: During a storm, your containerised goods can be lost at sea, or rough handling could break delicate equipment. Perishable commodities on a truck could be delayed by customs, resulting in spoilage and financial losses. These are a few instances of supply chain hazards that could cause sizable losses.

General Average: In the event of a major incident at sea, like a fire or grounding, the general average requires all cargo holders to contribute proportionally to salvage costs. Cargo insurance can protect you from bearing the full burden of these shared costs, ensuring fairer financial distribution.

Delays: Beyond physical loss or damage, unexpected delays can also be problematic. Missed deadlines may lead to lost profits, penalties, and dissatisfaction among customers. Legal fees from disputes or salvage costs can further strain your finances.

Coverage Options:

Knowing the many kinds of coverage that are available is essential to navigating the cargo insurance market.

Named Perils: Named perils policies offer a more cost-effective approach, covering specific risks explicitly listed in the policy document. However, this limited protection leaves you vulnerable to any mishap not explicitly mentioned.

All-Risks: For broader peace of mind, all-risks coverage serves as a more comprehensive shield. This type of policy protects against any physical loss or damage to your cargo, excluding only those specifically listed in the policy. While the premium for all-risks coverage is higher, the financial security it provides can be invaluable.

Case Studies: How Cargo Insurance Saved the Day

Aligning Insurance with Your Shipping Needs

Selecting the appropriate cargo insurance is essential for protecting your company and guaranteeing the seamless operation of your shipments. Here’s a closer look at the important variables to take into account, along with further details to aid in your decision-making:

Value and Type of Goods:Your requirements for insurance are greatly influenced by the value and kind of items you ship. Think about specialised coverage like “specie” or “fine arts” insurance for high-value cargo like jewellery, artwork, or technology. These policies provide more comprehensive defence against certain dangers connected to these priceless objects. Similar endorsements for “limited breakage” or “perishable cargo” are beneficial for delicate items like glassware or delicate equipment. Extra coverage is offered by these endorsements against any spoiling or damage during transit. For bulk items such as chemicals or grains, regular shipping insurance may be adequate. However, depending on the nature of the goods, look into supplemental coverage for particular risks like contamination or infestation.

Mode of Transport: The chosen mode of transport also plays a significant role in determining your insurance needs. Although air freight reduces inherent hazards and enables faster delivery times, it is important to consider covering for potential delays and temperature variations that may affect cargo that is sensitive. When selecting coverage for ocean freight, keep in mind the potential for piracy in certain areas and choose for general average contributions, which entails splitting the cost of salvage operations in the event of significant maritime mishaps. Theft and collision risks are more common with ground transportation. Take into account expanded coverage for particular routes or car classes, like refrigerated trucks for perishables.

Route and Destination: The route and final destination of your shipment can influence your insurance needs in several ways. If your shipment travels through regions with political instability, request coverage for war, civil unrest, and political confiscation. Additionally, research the weather patterns along the route and at the destination, considering storm damage and natural disaster coverage if necessary. In today’s globalised world, customs delays can occur unexpectedly. Opt for coverage for potential delays due to customs inspections or political disputes to minimise financial disruptions.

Budget: Finding the right balance between affordability and adequate coverage is essential. Compare quotes from different insurers and brokers, considering factors like the level of coverage offered, deductibles, and your claims history. Premiums will vary depending on these factors, so it’s crucial to shop around and find the best value for your needs. When choosing a deductible, consider your risk tolerance and the potential financial impact of a claim. A higher deductible translates to lower premiums, but be prepared to cover the deductible amount in case of a loss. Additionally, consider excess coverage (also known as stop-loss) for high-value shipments or to cover gaps in your primary policy, protecting you from catastrophic financial losses.

Additional Considerations: Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) clarify who is responsible for insurance at different stages of the journey. Understanding your agreed-upon Incoterms will help determine when your insurance coverage needs to begin and end. Choose an insurer with a clear and efficient claims process to ensure prompt settlements in case of losses. This can make a significant difference in minimising disruptions to your business operations. Finally, consider consulting a specialist cargo insurance broker. These professionals possess the expertise to tailor a policy based on your specific needs and negotiate competitive rates, saving you time and money while guaranteeing optimal coverage.

GoComet’s Role in Enhancing Cargo Security

It is critical to protect your goods in the complex realm of international trade. GoComet is a game-changer since it provides more than just creative methods for tracking freight. By actively enhancing cargo security, they reduce risks and promote peace of mind along the whole supply chain.

How GoComet’s Cargo Tracking Solutions Complement Insurance

Conventional shipping insurance is essential for reducing monetary losses brought on by unanticipated circumstances. But GoComet’s real-time tracking system provides an extra degree of security that is preventive, greatly lowering the likelihood that such incidents will occur in the first place. How to do it is as follows:

Enhanced Visibility: GoComet’s solutions let you quickly see possible hazards like unauthorised deviations, or unexpected delays by providing real-time location updates and environmental monitoring. This gives you the ability to respond quickly to rectify the situation and stop damage or theft before it starts.

Decreased Risk, Lower Premiums: GoComet’s technology demonstrates a reduction in the risk profile of your cargo by actively averting probable incidents. This may result in reduced insurance costs, providing a worthwhile return on investment in addition to monetary savings.

Faster Claims Processing: GoComet’s comprehensive tracking data offers unquestionable proof for insurance claims in the unfortunate case of a loss. In addition to reducing financial disturbances and guaranteeing faster payments, this can speed up the claims procedure.

Real-Time Visibility: A Game Changer in Cargo Safety

Conventional freight tracking frequently offers little data, making companies susceptible to unanticipated circumstances. GoComet’s real-time tracking solutions provide you with an all-encompassing picture of your shipment, enabling proactive risk management and improving cargo security in general.

Benefits of Real-Time Visibility

There are multiple benefits of real-time visibility which include: 

Improved location tracking: Track the whereabouts of your shipment in real time, taking into account any potential detours from the planned path. This can facilitate a quicker recovery if needed and also discourage theft attempts.

Enhanced visibility for precious cargo: Keep a close eye on the whereabouts of valuable objects to give yourself peace of mind and maybe lower the chance of losing them.

Remote access to data in the past and present: View details about the whereabouts of your package and previous travels at any time, from any location, using any device. This makes it possible to make well-informed decisions and respond to possible problems more quickly.

Proactive security measures are essential in the dynamic global trade scene of today. GoComet’s real-time tracking solutions give companies an unmatched level of visibility into their shipments, enabling them to reduce risks, streamline operations, and guarantee the safe and secure delivery of their priceless cargo.

Customer Testimonials: GoComet in Action (If Available with us):

Instead of taking our word for it, hear straight from companies that are using GoComet’s cutting-edge technologies to change their operations. These client endorsements demonstrate the practical effects on visibility, effectiveness, and general satisfaction:

Improved Visibility and Communication:

“With GoComet, we can easily track shipments and share real-time status with our customers,” says Mr. Iqbal Noormohamed, Senior Director of Demand Planning & Logistics at Glenmark Europe. “This transparency has significantly improved customer satisfaction and trust.”

“GoComet centralises all communication and information in one place,” says Stuti Bhageria, Special Project Manager at Filatex India Ltd. “This makes it much easier to find information and make informed decisions about our shipments.”

Enhanced Efficiency and Collaboration:

GoComet has streamlined our internal processes and improved collaboration between teams,” says Carl Hollins, GM at Polymers International. “Gathering quotations, negotiating with forwarders, and tracking shipments are now much faster and more efficient.”

Improve your business operations, mitigate risks, and gain complete control over your shipments with our real-time tracking solutions. Contact us today to see how GoComet can empower your business.