UK, European, Air and Marine Cargo Insurance – what is covered?

If you are sending goods around the UK, to or from Europe or around the world, by road, sea or air you really must be aware of the different liability limits in place for each mode of transport.

  • UK freight £1.30 per kilo (RHA conditions)
  • European freight £9 per kilo (approximate rate based on 8.33 SDRs / CMR Conditions)
  • Sea freight £2.20 per kilo ( approximate rate based on 2 SDRs / BIFA Conditions / Hague Visby Conditions)
  • Air freight liability will be between £18 and £21 per kilo of lost or damaged freight depending on the airline and which air freight convention they apply, Warsaw or Montreal.

Compensation is based on the gross weight of the goods lost or damaged. If you have high value cargo, there could be an insurance shortfall based on the weight and value of the shipment.

For example, if you were sending a 500 kilo pallet to Australia by sea freight, the maximum you could claim in the event of damage or loss would be 500 x £2.20=£1100. If the pallet was worth £3000 and you did not have your own marine policy, the shortfall would be £1900.

Full comprehensive insurance cover can be provided on a shipment by shipment basis, or you or your preferred carrier could put in an all risks annual Marine policy based on the approximate annual value of goods transported.

In this example, a 500 kilo shipment worth £3000 could be insured on a fully comprehensive basis for as little as £30. The carrier’s insurers would pay you the £1100 in the event of a claim and you could claim the remaining £1900 on your marine insurance policy.

It’s advisable therefore to be aware of the value of each shipment you are sending and the carrier’s liability limit which will change according to which mode of transport is chosen.

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