Cover options

French maritime insurers offer two cover options :

“All risks” insurance covers all material damage and loss caused to the insured objects during the trip (including lost weight or quantity), subject to the exclusions and limitations set out in the policy;

“Major events” insurance is more restrictive and covers damages and losses resulting solely from the events listed in the policy. These are the “major events” related to transport, such as shipwreck, collision, natural disaster, etc.


The type of goods and how they are packaged;

The type of transport (primary and secondary);

The number and weight of packages shipped;

The journey for which insurance is required;

The name of the vessel (the use of an old, substandard, or small vessel increases the risk to the insurer, which may result in the insured party being required to pay an additional premium, or even cover being refused);

The insurance value: the merchant must indicate the total value to be claimed in the event of total loss;

The main destination points of the goods.


Insurance policies do not cover damage due to inadequate or defective packaging. In principle, the container guarantees optimal “end to end” shipping conditions, i.e. when there is no handling of the goods between the point of departure and the final destination. It is also necessary to ensure that the goods are tightly packed when they are placed in the container (stuffing).

The risks

Whatever the mode of transport chosen (road, rail, sea, river or air), goods are exposed to various risks, such as damage, 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 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. They are entitled to reimburse only a proportion of the actual value of the damaged goods, except in the case of gross or inexcusable negligence.

Transport by sea

The various risks that may affect the goods are :

• specific damage;

• general damage;

• war and similar risks

Given the limitations on the liability of carriers, it is wise for the sender to insure the goods transported themselves.