About two hours ago I was sat waiting for my ferry at Cherbourg watching the HGV’s and Carriers Vans driving past with what must be hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of goods, this made me think about the Carriers Insurance.

Now sat in the comfort of my cabin I thought I would put pen to paper, well finger (one fingered typing that is – I’m not that good) to keyboard. What’s exciting about goods being carried you may ask, well I guess not a lot unless it’s your goods that are on that vehicle and might but uninsured or underinsured.

As a business you might rely on the insurance of the carrier you use to protect your goods against loss, this might be through theft or damage by accident for instance. But are you entirely sure that the cover being provided by your carrier adequately covers your goods.

My carrier fully covers my goods whilst in transit

That’s great then, but do they? What is the arrangement you have with your carrier, if you are not buying their additional insurance then you may be sadly mistaken that that your carriers are insuring them on your behalf to their full value.

Usually a carrier will be carrying your goods under some sort of conditions, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) conditions as an example is very common, and depending on exactly which conditions these are you might only get a very limited amount of cover, even as low as £1300 per ton.

Great if they are moving lumps of concrete or other heavy, low value items, but not so great if your products are at the opposite end, light but high value products?

So, think about your goods for a moment, how far will £1300 per ton get you? Yes thought so, read on.

Is additional or Top Up Insurance available to fully cover the goods in transit?

In a word yes depending on your carrier, they can usually allow you to buy the additional insurance to fully protect your items being transported.  This would need to be arranged with your carrier but there are options to this, sometimes you can have the cover already in place or it can be added to your own business insurance policy for additional cost.

Most businesses where they manufacture or have goods in their possession and need to transport them would usually have a combined business insurance policy, often referred to as a commercial combined insurance. Most policies such as these have a Goods in Transit section included which provides cover for when Own Goods are being moved, this cover can easily be extended to include the Senders, these being the carriers that you use.

 Is the insurance cover better arranged with the carrier?

There are a number of factors here that would determine which way a business might go when considering insuring their goods being moved by a carrier.

  • Is the maximum amount the carrier is offering sufficient enough to adequately cover the value of goods in their possession, remember the value covered against the weight?
  • Do you just buy the carriers insurance as and when you think the value of the goods your carrier is moving is likely to be a problem.
  • Do you come to an agreement with the carrier that your goods they are carrying is fully covered each time they move something for you?
  • What is the cost of the additional cover with the carrier and is it worth the additional effort to make sure that the cover is in place each time?

What is the advantage to extending the cover on your business insurance policy?

If you already have Goods in Transit insurance on your main business insurance policy then adding cover to include your products whilst in the possession of carriers is just a formality, it’s easy to add and usually the cost is much less than that offered by the carriers themselves.

The obvious advantage is that once added to the policy it is there whilst the policy is in force, no worries about what the cover is.

What about goods that are going overseas?

If your goods are travelling overseas then this is slightly different and Marine Insurance would be required, this is just as simple as arranging Goods in Transit Insurance, the benefits are the same as having the senders cover too and with premiums starting at around £100 it can be a very cost effective option for any business.

All that is needed is the estimated cost of the sending’s abroad, what the consignment limits might be and the terms on which the goods are being sent, CIF, FOB amongst others. The rest is quite straight forward.

Is Senders Insurance costly to cover Goods with Carriers expensive? 

This very much depends on the amounts being sent and the limits required, as with Marine Insurance is a very cost effective alternative to the carriers insurance.