The BOC Blast 235 –  A Challenge to Shippers Who Would Never Dream of Controlling the Insurance

 A Challenge to Shippers Who Would Never Dream of Controlling the Insurance

Shippers who rely on suppliers to furnish cargo insurance or who rely on their carriers to take responsibility for losses may be in for a big surprise. Protecting your investments by insuring your goods provides peace of mind.

Buying CIF: Who’s really responsible if your product is lost or damaged in transit? According to internationally accepted trade terms, referred to as Incoterms, suppliers selling “CIF” (Cost, Insurance, Freight) are responsible for arranging cargo insurance. But just because your supplier has the obligation to arrange insurance under CIF terms, it doesn’t mean that they are ultimately responsible if your product is lost or damaged during transit. The ultimate burden of loss falls upon you, the buyer. This is why many experts recommend importers change their buying terms to EXW, FOB, FCA, CFR or similar terms in order to control the selection, and thereby the quality, of insurance coverage.

How much is that insurance really costing you? Foreign suppliers and their forwarding agents often tack on placement fees to the insurance costs. Those added fees often inflate the cost of insurance well beyond market pricing for the same coverage purchased in the United States. Find out how much you’re really paying and then compare quotes received from BOC International.

Is the coverage your supplier purchased for you adequate? Importers relying on their suppliers to arrange insurance run the risk of having inadequate insurance coverage. Cargo insurance policies can vary widely in levels of coverage, deductibles and special restrictions. Ask your supplier for a complete copy of the insurance policy or for a certificate of insurance detailing all the policy terms and conditions

What’s the financial health of your supplier’s insurance company? Recent financial and catastrophic events have exposed the vulnerability of insurance companies to sudden economic devastation. Importers are encouraged to make certain their suppliers use insurers with a favorable financial rating supplied by a respected financial rating service. A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s are among some of the world’s most respected. BOC’s insurance company, underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, has an A.M. Best financial rating of A (Excellent).

How will your claim be handled? If insurance is arranged overseas, will you be forced to  deal with an inexperienced, sub-contracted independent adjuster unfamiliar with the assessment of transportation related losses? Ask your supplier for a list of insurance claims adjusters contracted by the insurance company. Adjuster and surveyor networks approved by Lloyd’s of London and AIMA are among the most credible. BOC has a vested interest in your insurance needs and will directly handle cargo claim documentation requirements to ensure prompt processing and timely settlement.

Every Shipper Needs Cargo Insurance

Global trading involves risk; however, broad insurance coverage minimizes your financial risk. Don’t leave your livelihood up to chance! Statistics show that one ship sinks each day and you will experience a General Average loss every eight years. If you are depending on the carrier to cover losses, their responsibility is limited by law as follows:

Ocean Carriers  $500 per shipping unit

A shipping unit may be defined as one ocean container.

Air Carriers  $9.07 per pound

Truckers  $.50 per pound

The insurance we offer is competitively priced and insures approved merchandise against physical loss or damage from external causes. By purchasing cargo insurance, you can avoid inconvenience and frustration. Contact your BOC Representative at 617-345-0050 for your free quote.

What Every Shipper Needs to Know About Declared Value vs. Cargo Insurance

In the transportation industry, the words declaring and insuring are often interchanged resulting in great misunderstanding and confusion among shippers. Here’s an explanation of what to expect when declaring value with your forwarder/carrier versus purchasing cargo insurance.

Declared Value Coverage

Declared value coverage is not insurance for shippers. One of the most significant distinctions of being paid on a claim under declared value is that the shipper must prove that the carrier’s negligence directly resulted in the loss or damage to cargo.

Declaring value simply raises the financial legal liability of the carrier beyond the limitations stated on the carrier’s or forwarder’s freight bill, tariff or other contract of carriage. For example, many domestic forwarders and carriers limit their liability to 50 cents per pound. Declaring value takes that amount up to the amount declared.

The majority of these transportation providers have transferred that risk to an insurance company who issues an insurance policy that gives shippers the option of upping the carrier’s liability by declaring value and paying premium.

Although subject to the transportation provider’s policy conditions, shippers rarely see the insurance policy containing important facts such as deductibles, exclusions, warranties and policy limits.

In the transportation industry, the words declaring and insuring are often interchanged resulting in great misunderstanding and confusion among shippers. Here’s an explanation of what to expect when declaring value with your forwarder/carrier versus purchasing cargo insurance.

Declared Value Coverage

Declared value coverage is not insurance for shippers. One of the most significant distinctions of being paid on a claim under declared value is that the shipper must prove that the carrier’s negligence directly resulted in the loss or damage to cargo.

Declaring value simply raises the financial legal liability of the carrier beyond the limitations stated on the carrier’s or forwarder’s freight bill, tariff or other contract of carriage. For example, many domestic forwarders and carriers limit their liability to 50 cents per pound. Declaring value takes that amount up to the amount declared.

The majority of these transportation providers have transferred that risk to an insurance company who issues an insurance policy that gives shippers the option of upping the carrier’s liability by declaring value and paying premium.

Although subject to the transportation provider’s policy conditions, shippers rarely see the insurance policy containing important facts such as deductibles, exclusions, warranties and policy limits.

  1. What are some of the things not covered when we declare value?
  2. Three significant areas not addressed by declaring value are: (1) that the shipment is not covered “door-to-door.” Declared value is valid as long as cargo is in the care, custody, and control of the transportation provider; (2) other losses commonly not provided for include “Acts of God” and any other incidences outside the control of the carrier; and (3) reimbursement of freight charges, packing expenses, forwarding fees and similar costs are also not covered when buying declared value vs. cargo insurance.
  3. We’ve been shipping for years without a serious loss. Isn’t it throwing away money to start buying coverage now?
  4. No. Experienced risk managers will tell you that insurance shouldn’t be purchased only when a company can afford to sustain a significant loss. Think of the maximum value of a shipment. Imagine that entire load being destroyed in an airplane crash or truck overturn. Picture your company being without that money forever. If the shareholders can sustain that kind of loss along with all the other little nuisance losses that occur throughout the year, and can do it without a sleepless night, then your company may be a good candidate for self-insuring.
 Declared Value vs. Cargo Insurance At-a-Glance Cargo Insurance Declared Value
Provides door-to-door protection Yes No
Pays whether or not transportation provider’s negligence is proven to have caused the loss Yes No
Pays for losses occurring outside control of the carrier Yes No
Pays shipper for the full invoice value of cargo lost or damaged plus freight and other associated costs Yes No
Can pay for expediting replacement goods Yes No