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One of the most dangerous things an international trader can fail to do is to fail to insure the cargo, or, having decided to obtain an insurance policy, but fail to ascertain whether the cover is adequate for all the risks involved. Even if the trader obtains an adequate cover, he/she must still understand and comply with the conditions of the insurance, and failure here may result in claims being rejected or underpaid.

All carriers, forwarders and cargo handlers have limited liability under their terms and conditions of trading, and in the case of international ocean and air carriers, limited liability under international conventions and national laws.

The trader has no physical control over the goods in transit once the cargo has left the warehouse or factory, and the cargo could be subject to General Average events, Wars, Strikes, Riots, Civil commotions, and other causes of loss and/or liability that can be covered by cargo insurance.

The only way traders can protect their interest is to take out ‘adequate’ transit cover, and ensure that they are aware of, and fulfil, their own responsibilities under the contract. ‘Adequacy’ can be determined by evaluating what the major factors and risks are and then ensuring your policy has the necessary clauses to cover them.

ASCL can advise on these issues and arrange cargo insurance at competitive rates.

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