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Everything you need to know about marine cargo insurance

Everything you need to know about marine cargo insurance

If you’re moving to a new home abroad, it’s important to ensure that your precious belongings are adequately insured. Even though we take every measure to ensure that we pack and securely transport your belongings we do recommend that loss or damage insurance is purchased; this is because in some rare cases shipments can be lost or storms might affect the contents of a ship’s cargo which can lead to damage.

Before you start you’ll need to calculate the combined value of your goods, which your Move Manager should be able to advise you on. We will also require a detailed inventory of all the items you wish to transport and how much each item is worth which will help us calculate a replacement cost should you need to make an insurance claim. 
Your inventory will also help you form a clear idea of what you have and what condition it was in before it left your care. If you notice damage that was not there when you inventoried your items this will make the claim process easier for everyone. Where possible a detailed description of your most prized possessions as well as a photographic inventory will help prove that damage has occurred in transit.

What kind of insurance is available?

The options vary and your move manager will be able to advise you according to your needs and budget but in summary the most popular options are below:  

  1. Total loss coverage. This is the cheapest option and it only applies to cases where items from your shipment have been lost, for example, by falling overboard during the journey. If your shipment is only partially affected then it’s likely that you won’t be able to claim compensation. Such cases though extremely rare, do pose a slight risk.

  2. Named perils coverage insures your effects against a number of incidents such as car accidents, fire damage and theft, but as in the case of total loss coverage, you’re only protecting your belongings against some level of risk and not all possible eventualities.

  3. Lump sum coverage insures part of your assets up to a specified amount. These amounts are based on guidelines set by the insurance industry for an average value per cubic metre. 

  4. Finally, there’s the option of all risk coverage. This can be pricier than the other two options but offers you the most peace of mind. It’s worth remembering that a container ship can tilt by up to 30 degrees as it’s sailing, which can lead to movement within the containers and it is this type of cover that can protect you against damage.  With this type of cover your belongings are fully protected, as long as they are packed by us, in order to ensure that the packing was done to a professional level, designed to withstand the harshest of weathers while at sea. It is advisable to go over your inventory with us, if in doubt, as shipments that are under-insured will only receive payouts based on the value of the items declared in your inventory. 

How much does marine cargo insurance cost?

Insurance cost can range between 1-4% of the total declared value of your goods and will also be affected by the distance to your destination. 
If you wish to keep your costs down, you should consider limiting the volume of items taken. It’s worth noting that we also offer storage options so you can rest assured your effects will be taken care of while you’re away. 

Is there anything else I should know?

When taking out Marine insurance it’s important to consider getting additional cover for issues that might not immediately spring to mind such as mould and mildew which protects against mould damage, a frequent risk factor in large shipping containers. 
Furthermore electrical derangement can mean that your electrical goods are affected by the journey and stop working without visible signs of damage; finally, you should consider the likelihood of Pairs cover, which protects against part of a set breaking, rendering the entirety unusable.

And for trivia fans...

Did you know that the term "Marine Cargo" applies to both sea and air as well as road transport and isn't just limited to goods shipped by sea? Confusing we know, but at least now you're fully versed on all things Marine Cargo Insurance.

For more information view our FAQ and insurance pages or contact us today.


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