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Transport

VEHICLES AND GOODS IN TRANSPORT

Insurance for goods

in transport
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Cover options

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French maritime insurers offer two cover options:

  • “All risks” insurance covers all material damage and losses affecting the insured items during transport (including lost weight or quantities), subject to the exclusions and limitations set out in the policy;
  • “Major events” cover, which is more restrictive, and provides cover for damage and losses resulting only from the events listed in the policy. These are the “major events” associated with shipping, such as shipwreck, collision, natural disaster, etc.

What information needs to be provided?

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  • The type of goods and how they are packaged;
  • The type of transport (primary and secondary);
  • The number and weight of the shipments;
  • The journey for which insurance is required;
  • The name of the ship (use of an old ship that does not comply with current standards, or a small vessel, increases the risk to the insurer; this may result in the insured party being required to pay an additional premium, or even cover being refused).
  • Insurance value: the business must state the total value it intends to claim in the event of total loss;
  • The main destination points of the goods.

NOTE

Insurance policies do not cover damage due to inadequate or defective packaging. In principle, the container should provide optimal shipping conditions “end-to-end”, i.e. without any form of manipulation from the point of departure to the final destination. It is also important to ensure that the goods are tightly packed in the container.

Risks

Regardless of the mode of transport chosen (road, railway, sea, river or air), goods are exposed to multiple risks, including deterioration, missing items or loss of weight, as a result.

Carrier’s responsibilities

If the recipient of the goods wishes to submit a complaint, they are not obliged to prove that the carrier is at fault: the latter is automatically presumed to be responsible if it is clear that loss or damage has occurred during transport. There are, however, cases where carriers are exempt from liability, in both domestic and international transport. In addition, their liability is limited: except in the case of gross or inexcusable negligence, they are entitled to reimburse only a proportion of the actual value of the damaged goods.

Given the limitations on carriers’ liability, it is sensible for businesses to insure the goods they are shipping themselves.

Transport by sea

The various risks that could affect the goods are:

  • specific damage;
  • general damage;
  • war and similar risks.

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