As a shipper, you’ve likely heard of cargo insurance and recognize it as a measure to protect your business from financial implications due to damaged, lost or stolen cargo. But there are multiple options — like cargo liability and shipper’s interest insurance — that offer varying levels of protection.
One of the most well-known varieties of cargo insurance is cargo liability, which is a policy purchased by carriers to cover damage or loss that was caused by the carrier’s negligence. While these types of policies do provide a level of protection for the shipper, the coverage is limited.
That’s where shipper’s interest insurance comes in. This optional cargo insurance coverage policy provides your business with broader financial protection.
What is shipper's interest insurance?
Shipper’s interest insurance is a first-party coverage option that safeguards the cargo owner with greater protection in the event that freight is lost, damaged or stolen. Shippers can add this coverage without requiring establishment or acceptance by the carrier. The cargo owner is reimbursed for their losses directly by the insurance company. This type of shipper’s insurance is an all-risk insurance policy, meaning it covers any loss or damage resulting from external causes, unless explicitly omitted in the policy.
Why is cargo liability not enough?
Today, carriers are not legally required to obtain a cargo liability coverage. However, GlobalTranz does require this of the carriers in our network. That means every load you move with us has a level of protection, but it still has its limitations.
Cargo liability is subject to multiple exceptions and varies in coverage. And since this coverage is obtained and held by the carrier, the shipper has limited control or say over the level of protection.
The primary limitations of policies include:
- Limited coverage: These policies do not cover the total value of your freight, and they are limited to a per pound amount.
- Liability exceptions: Claims are only paid out when liability can be legally proven. Cargo liability is subject to multiple common law exceptions, meaning a carrier can decline a cargo claim if fault is deemed out of its control.
- Delayed claims: Claims can take 30 days to acknowledge and up to 120 days to resolve.
What are the benefits of purchasing shipper's interest insurance?
In most cases, we recommend shipper’s interest insurance because it goes a long way in ensuring that your business is fully protected from losses, whether the carrier is negligent or not. It’s especially recommended for freight that is considered high value or high risk. When you add on this supplementary coverage, you benefit from:
- Full-coverage protection: As an all-risk insurance policy, it provides the broadest coverage available, with the option to cover the full value of your freight. Unlike cargo liability, it protects shippers even when the circumstances are beyond carrier control.
- Economical rates: Rates vary by mode and are based on the value of the freight. The additional cost is worth the value of the protection and peace of mind you receive.
- Quicker claims processes: The carrier is no longer the intermediary in the claims process. You’ll work directly with the insurance company that processes claims within 30 days.
- Peace of mind: You can rest easy knowing your business is fully protected in the unfortunate case of damage or loss.
Is anything not covered by shipper’s interest cargo insurance?
Compared to the exceptions and limitations of cargo liability, this type of all-risk insurance policy .offers superior coverage However, as we mentioned above, it is subject to limitations that are explicitly omitted in the policy. While the value of most shipments will be fully covered by shipper’s insurance, there are still some exceptions, including:
- Mexico shipments
- Precious metals
- Live animals
Coverage limits are:
- Up to $3 million on any one conveyance
- Up to $250,000 on fine art
- Up to $500,000 for cell phones, laptops, tablets, handheld devices, smart watches, computer memory chips, modules, server racks and perishable goods
It’s important to evaluate your coverage prior to shipping your freight. We help customers look at each shipment to ensure the proper level and type of shipping insurance is purchased.
How does GlobalTranz help with shipper's interest insurance?
Understanding cargo insurance can be confusing. GlobalTranz takes out the guesswork. We work with customers to ensure they know what type of cargo insurance policy is right for their needs. As a GlobalTranz partner, you benefit from:
- Insurance expertise: We handle a variety of shipments across different industries and modes. Our team has the expertise to make sure you purchase a policy that covers your potential risks.
- Technology integration: Our transportation management system makes it easy for shippers to purchase the right type of policy. Shippers also can attach insurance policies to specific shipments, so everything is tracked in one place, making potential claims that much easier.
- Competitive rates: We leverage our size and relationships with insurance companies to offer competitive rates for our clients.
- Faster claims processing: Our best practices help keep claims processing within the 30-day window, with the average payment being made in 15 days.
- Loss prevention measures: We don't just help with insurance and claims, we aim to help prevent theft, damage and loss from happening in the first place. Some of our prevention measures include packing specifications and standards, security standards and route evaluation.
Freight insurance can lead to greater financial protection for your business. On top of purchasing the right cargo insurance policy, it’s also crucial that you know what to do in the case that a claim is required. GlobalTranz can help you gain peace of mind with experts in your corner should a dispute arise.
Reach out to GlobalTranz today to speak with an expert and let us help ensure your shipments are fully covered.