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Cargo Insurance: Do I Need it?

Insurance for Cargo Shipments? Yes, it Exists, and Yes, You Absolutely Need it.

If you’re a small to mid-size shipper, a lack of risk management and cargo insurance coverage can quickly drain profits and damage reputations. “Game Over” is a high price to pay for getting tripped up by an unforeseen snag in your supply chain. To remedy that, cargo insurance is a beneficial tool that can be used to provide for some financial stability against cargo loss or damage. Additionally, it helps set clear rules for payment responsibilities between buyers and sellers in the event of damage, and lessens legal disputes.

Did you know that laws and tariff restrictions, such as The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA), limit the liability of carriers and the amounts carriers must pay in the event of cargo loss or damage? This further highlights the importance of the shipper obtaining their own cargo insurance.

One type of available coverage is called “All Risk*” insurance and it’s the broadest form of coverage available in the marketplace for shippers. It is a uniquely specialized insurance coverage designed to protect goods against all risks of physical loss or damage from any external cause during international and domestic transit. Coverage applies to all modes of transit throughout the supply chain on a global basis, and even carries a zero deductible for approved, general merchandise.

As with any insurance policy, there are some exclusions, such as for loss, damage or expense caused by delay, inherent vice, insufficient packaging, and pre-existing conditions.

With Insurance arranged by Crowley, there are also some special clauses and coverages that apply to All Risk insurance like:

Whether you ultimately decide to purchase All Risk insurance or another type of policy that meets your needs, the importance of protecting your cargo along the supply chain can’t be underscored enough and is a requirement of shipping. Whether it’s your personal or business property, you should be aware of liabilities and available options. To review a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this type of insurance, click here.

If you don’t currently have an experienced cargo insurance agent to guide you through the process, we invite you to consider Whitehall Insurance, a Crowley company for consultation before your next cargo move.

*All Risk is a term which describes a broad form of coverage. It does not cover every scenario. The policy comes with terms, conditions and exclusions. A copy of full policy terms and conditions is available upon request to