How Does Cargo Insurance Work?

May 31, 2022

Have you found yourself wondering about cargo insurance? Maybe you need it but don’t know how it works? Whatever reason brought you here today, we have the answer for you! 

Cargo insurance is a form of protection against losses caused by various events such as fire, theft, natural disasters, etc. The policyholder pays a premium to the insurer, who then covers the costs associated with these risks.

How Does Cargo Insurance Work?

Cargo insurance is usually offered by shipping lines, freight forwarders, and other third parties. These companies offer insurance policies to their clients at discounted rates.

This article will discuss cargo insurance, how it works, and why you need it.

What Is Cargo Insurance?

Cargo insurance protects your shipment in case something happens while it’s being transported. It can cover any number of things, including lost or damaged items, delays, fines, and even legal fees.

Why Is Cargo Insurance Important?

If you’re planning to ship anything internationally, you should consider getting cargo insurance. Here are three reasons why:

Theft Protection 

When you ship valuable items overseas, there’s always the chance they could get stolen. A good cargo insurance policy protects your goods from theft, providing you with replacement value if your items are ever stolen.

Loss Prevention

By insuring your shipments, you give yourself peace of mind that your valuables won’t disappear into thin air. You can rest assured knowing that if something goes wrong, you have someone to turn to who can help you recover your losses.

Damage Prevention

Even if your shipment arrives safely, it can be damaged during transport. In these cases, cargo insurance pays out to repair or replace your items.

Cargo insurance is a very important aspect of international shipping. Without it, you run the risk of losing your goods when your shipment gets damaged or stolen. 

If you want to avoid these problems, you need to do two things:

• Buy cargo insurance before you ship your goods.

• Use the services of a reputable freight forwarder.

By doing both of these things, you will reduce the chances of your shipment getting damaged or stolen.

Considerations When Buying Cargo Insurance

You need to consider the cost of buying cargo insurance. While most carriers charge around $50 per container, some companies offer free insurance. 

If you choose to use a carrier that provides free insurance, you should still buy cargo insurance from another company. This way, you won’t lose money if your shipment doesn’t arrive intact.

You also need to think about how much coverage you want to purchase. Some carriers only offer limited protection. 

For example, they may cover your shipment up to a certain value, but they won’t cover anything above that amount. Other carriers offer full coverage. They will protect your shipment no matter what happens to it.

In addition, you need to make sure that you have enough coverage to handle any potential losses.

You should always ask your forwarder how much coverage he recommends. He should be able to give you a good idea of how much coverage you need based on the size of your shipment and where it is going.

When choosing a carrier, you also need to look for one that offers 24-hour service. This means that they will respond quickly whenever you call them with questions or concerns.

Finally, you should check out their reputation. Ask other shippers who use them whether they were satisfied with their services.

If they weren’t happy with the experience, then you probably shouldn’t use them either.

Types Of Cargo Insurance Policies

There are many different types of cargo insurance policies available today. Some are more expensive than others, but each one has its benefits. Below are some of the most popular ones:

Full Replacement Value (FRV) Policy 

This type of policy provides full replacement value in case your shipment is lost or stolen.

It will cover the cost of replacing your items up to the amount specified in your contract. The benefit of this type of policy is that it offers the highest level of protection against theft and loss.

However, the downside is that it’s typically quite costly.

Partial Replacement Value (PRV) Policy 

This policy offers partial replacement value in case your goods are lost or stolen. It usually costs less than FRV, but it doesn’t provide complete coverage. Instead, it compensates you for a percentage of what was lost.

Excess Liability Policy 

This type of insurance policy allows you to collect money from an insurer even if your shipment is destroyed. 

If you don’t have enough insurance on your shipment, it’ll pay out the difference between the total value of your shipment and the actual value of the items themselves.

Delayed Delivery/Damaged Goods Policy

This type of cargo insurance policy compensates you if you need to wait longer than expected for your shipment to arrive at its destination. 

For example, if your package gets delayed by customs, it may take several weeks before it reaches its final destination. This type of policy will compensate you for any extra expenses associated with waiting.

Special Services 

Some companies offer additional services such as tracking and delivery notification. 

These services are beneficial because they allow you to monitor your shipment throughout its journey. They also make sure your goods reach their intended destination without delay.

Transit Insurance 

This type of cargo policy covers your shipment while it’s being transported through international waters. It’s important to note that transit insurance only applies when your item crosses borders.

Customs Clearance 

Many countries require that all shipments entering their country be cleared by customs first.

This means that your shipment must pass through customs to enter the country. If there are any problems with customs clearance, you could lose your entire shipment.

Cargo Insurance With A Deductible 

You can choose to add a deductible to your policy. This means that you’re responsible for paying part of the claim yourself. 

It’s always best to avoid adding a deductible because it reduces your chances of receiving compensation in the event of a claim.

Cargo Insurance With An Umbrella Clause 

This clause allows you to purchase additional insurance above and beyond your basic policy. For example, you might want to buy a $10 million umbrella policy to protect your shipment in case it’s damaged or stolen.

Cargo Insurance With A Loss Of Title Coverage

This type of policy protects your shipment from damage or theft after it leaves your hands. 

It pays out if someone else takes possession of your shipment without your permission. However, it doesn’t cover you if your shipment is lost en route.

How To Get Cargo Insurance

Follow the steps below to make sure you get the best possible cargo insurance:

Ask Your Shipper About Their Policies 

Before purchasing a policy, ask your shipper about their policies. Find out how much coverage they offer and which types of policies they accept. Also, find out whether they offer any discounts for multiple shipments.

Compare Different Policies 

Once you know what kinds of policies your shipper offers, compare them against each other. Look for different features within each policy so you can decide which one works best for you.

Contact The Insurer Directly

After you have chosen the right policy, contact the insurer directly to get started on your application. Make sure to provide all relevant information including the following:

• Your name

• Your address

• Your phone number

• Your email address

Complete An Application Online 

Most insurers now offer online applications. Simply log into your account and complete the form.

Pay Online 

Once you receive confirmation that your application has been approved, pay online using your credit card.

Receive A Certificate Of Insurance 

Keep this certificate until your shipment arrives at its final destination.

Cargo insurance is an essential part of shipping your goods internationally. By taking the time to research and understand the ins and outs of cargo insurance, you can ensure that your shipment reaches its intended destination safely.

How Much Does It Cost To Obtain Cargo Insurance?

The cost of cargo insurance varies depending on the amount of coverage you need. Here are some examples of prices:

Basic Policy (No Deductible): $50-$250 per $100K value

Standard Policy (With Deductible): $150-$500 per $100K value.

Umbrella Policy (With Deductibles): $300-$1000 per $100K value; $500-$2000 per $100K value with a $50,000 minimum.

Loss of Title Policy: $200-$400 per $100K value (with a $20,000 minimum).

Loss of Goods Policy: $50-$100 per $100K value ($25,000 minimum).

What Is The Difference Between A Basic And Standard Policy?

A standard policy provides more protection than a basic policy but only covers the risk of loss during transit.

If you ship via air freight, a standard policy will also include coverage for damage caused by weather conditions. On the other hand, a basic policy only includes coverage for damage caused by fire, water, and other natural disasters.


Cargo insurance is a must when shipping overseas. Without it, there is no guarantee that your shipment will reach its final destination in good condition.

So be sure to take the necessary precautions before making international shipments.