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Is cargo insurance important when having goods transported?

Is cargo insurance important when having goods transported?

Doing business with a reputable transportation company is a wise choice when you have merchandise to send anywhere in the country or internationally. This option is still very popular with individuals and businesses. However, irrespective of the nature, format, weight and value of the items you have to ship, it is important to consider whether or not to take out cargo insurance.

In this article, you will learn more about freight insurance. This will better equip you when it comes to deciding whether or not to insure the goods you ship with a carrier.

Carrier liability: a factor to consider before taking out cargo insurance

Since the 1700s, carriers have been subject to strict liability for damage to transported goods.

This legal principle of civil liability has since been extended to road transport companies. Under this principle, a carrier who has custody of the goods is deemed to be liable for loss or damage to the goods.

Cargo insurance for greater peace of mind

Limitations on the carrier’s liability may be indicated on the pre-filled bill of lading, which shows the value of the goods shipped. This information is extremely important if the cargo is damaged. When declaring the value of a shipment, the carrier therefore does not automatically incur liability for the declared value.

In addition, even if the carrier you choose is subject to the strict liability regime, it may benefit from certain defences in situations where the notion of liability does not exist (force majeure, defect or imperfection inherent in the goods; default by the shipper or consignee, acts of enemies of the Crown or public enemies, acts of the public authority, riot, strike, etc.).

Therefore, declaring the value of the cargo is no substitute for cargo insurance.

The special case of international shipping

Unlike local shipments, for which the carrier is responsible for the goods in its possession, goods shipped internationally often remain the responsibility of the shipper until they reach the consignee. This is why it is recommended to take out transport insurance before sending items abroad. Even some sales contracts will require you to do so.

You will be covered against risks related to disasters, accident risks and risks related to wars and political situations.

The importance of getting information from carriers

If you are reluctant to take out cargo insurance, the best course of action is to check in advance with the various transport companies whose shipping services interest you. This will inform you of their insurance policy and allow you to make the right choice. You should also visit the websites of the companies you have selected. You may find relevant information about the protection of the items they transport.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about our merchandise delivery services, we will be happy to help you. We look forward to hearing from you!