Maritime transport is one of the safest channels for the movement of goods, however, inevitably there are certain risks that, during their transfer can generate damage or even total loss of cargo; and that is why it is recommended to contract or enforce transfer insurance for all goods.
The purpose of marine cargo insurance is to compensate the insured party for the damages goods may suffer, being these risks typical of maritime navigation.
By law, all shipping lines have the responsibility to offer maritime insurance, but these generally have limited coverage, which is why it is advisable to purchase an additional insurance in order to guarantee a more complete coverage.
TYPES OF INSURANCE COVERAGE
All risks coverage
It is the largest coverage that can be purchased. This type of policy covers most of the damages that loads may face during their transport, however, they are excluded:
- Errors generated during stowage.
- Damages produced in the merchandise as a result of negligence, such as bad placement of the load in the vessel or deficiency in the packing
- Rejection at customs, abandonment of cargo.
- Deterioration of cargo due to its nature.
- Losses due to non-payment.
Risk Identification Coverage
Unlike the all-risk policy, these only cover losses caused by situations specifically stipulated within the previously agreed policy.
It is defined by the Law of Maritime Navigation, article 347, as: "That act in which, in an intentional, reasonable manner, damage or extraordinary expense is caused for common salvage of goods committed to a sea voyage when these are all threatened by a danger ".
In this situation all losses caused during a major accident must be divided among those responsible for the cargoes on board; this means, as the owner of a cargo that has not been damaged, you would be responsible for financing compensation to cargo owners who have been damaged.
Is it important to have a general average coverage?
Yes, although it is rare, in legal terms all persons owning the goods on the ship would be responsible for contributing to the compensation. And in case of no damage, you would be obliged to contribute before being able to recover your cargo, and in case of denials, the shipping line would have absolute authority to keep your cargo as part of the payment
However, with general average coverage, your insurance company would be responsible for paying the compensation fee. It is important to note that, this is not included within any of the marine insurance policies, so it needs to be expressly included.
Finally, as general recommendations, it is advisable:
- Have full knowledge of all the details of the policy.
- It is recommended to insure the cargo for its real value.
- To have knowledge of the management procedures, considering mainly that each insurance company has its own clauses and stipulations.