There are many cases in which you need to make sure your assets in transit are protected, a few instances to consider might be: when you are traveling to a jobsite with lots of materials, inventory and equipment you are shipping and or exhibiting at a tradeshow, and transportation of a good to or from a wholesale operation. Some of the cargo items to think about when considering this coverage are: plants, trees, shrubs, sod, fertilizers, chemicals, equipment, and construction materials. You may also maintain inventories and/or purchase specialty items for an individual project, such as outdoor kitchens, that will not be covered under your typical property policy. Cargo insurance provides coverage for physical loss or damage to cargo while in transit, either internationally or domestically. To get started, you will need to verify who is responsible for the goods that have been purchased and/or sold.
“But isn’t the carrier responsible for any losses while they’re in possession of my cargo?”
This common misconception can lead to huge financial losses for business owners. The shipper sending the product to a specific destination, often assumes that the carrier is responsible for transporting the product in perfect conditions, or compensation if the product is somehow damaged. However, the fact is that carriers cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss incurred by natural disasters. Natural disasters are unpredictable and, although they don’t happen all the time, the fact is that your goods could get damaged or wet on board. Owners and shippers have to make sure that the consignments are packed well, but also need to buy adequate cargo insurance coverage in case the unexpected happens.
Relying on the coverage offered by the carrier or the supplier is not enough. The liability of most carriers is severely limited by law and/or tariff restrictions. Generally, an ocean carrier is only responsible for up to $500 per package. An international air carrier has a minimal per pound (or kilo) limit under whichever convention is adopted by the destination country. Domestic air carriers are only liable for $.50 per pound for any shipment, and ground transportation can be much lower than that. Obtaining separate cargo insurance gives the owner control of the type and amount of protection.