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Helping you choose the right Insurance cover

04 of February 2014 | By Susan Brooks | Posted in Guides

Accidents do happen

Fortunately, damage to or loss of goods is rare. However, accidents do happen and some level of human error is inevitable, so it really does pay to think carefully about the right level of insurance for your goods before transit. In this article, we explain what factors you should consider and how you can avoid being out of pocket, should the worst happen.

Most couriers will include some level of goods in transit insurance as standard within their pricing but you need to consider whether this is sufficient for your particular needs. You also need to be aware that this standard insurance varies between transport within the UK and on the Continent.

All freight handled by National Pallets is carried under the Road Haulage Association's Conditions of Carriage for any part of the journey within the UK and under those of the CMR – the Convention relative au contrat de transport international de Marchandises par Route, the Convention on the contract for the international carriage of goods by road – whilst in transit in Europe.

Under the RHA conditions, the maximum liability of the haulier to the client is £1.30 per kilo, while under CMR insurance the maximum liability is approximately £8.00 per kilo (this rate varies due to currency fluctuations). These figures represent the Standard insurance that we offer by default.

Insurance Summary

UK

Product

Level of cover

Standard £1.30 p/kg
Additional £5.00 p/kg
Extended Insurance value up to £25,000

International

Product

Level of cover

Standard

£8.00 p/kg*
(variable) based on currency fluctuation.

Additional £8.00 p/kg
(variable) based on currency fluctuation.
Extended Insurance value up to £25,000

Weigh up your options

It is obvious, therefore, that you need to consider the value of the goods you intend to ship relative to their weight. While heavier consignments tend to be more valuable, there can, of course, be lightweight goods of high value – such as paintings and other works of art. If the value of your goods exceeds the £1.30 per kilo figure, you would be wise to take out Additional liability insurance or Extended insurance cover.

With National Pallets' Additional Insurance your goods will be insured at a rate of £5.00 per kg, whereas opting for our Extended Insurance means that your goods can be insured up to a value of £25,000. For goods valued at more than £25,000, we can provide a bespoke insurance quote. There may be some restrictions on these insurance products and National Pallets, for example, has the following restrictions on its Extended Insurance:

Important information

Restrictions

Product

Restricted level of cover

Extended It cannot be offered on over-sized pallets and goods on standard pallets cannot overhang the pallet in any way.
Goods must be wrapped and safely secured by the customer, hence we cannot offer the pallet and wrap service in conjunction with Extended Insurance.
Not available on collections from residential addresses.
Not available for Aga & Range cookers or Computers.
Available for goods collected on economy service with Premium delivery option within the UK or Europe.

Insurance checklist

As with all insurance cover, there are certain criteria that must be adhered to. If something untoward does happen and your load is insured, you will only be compensated for the loss or damage if you have taken adequate precautions in preparing your goods for transit and followed recommended procedures. Here's a quick checklist for claim success, should the unexpected happen:

  1. Pack properly – in order for insurance to be valid, you must ensure that your items are packaged sufficiently to avoid damage during transit and secured firmly to the pallet. If not and the goods are damaged, then your claim for compensation may well be unsuccessful. Check that your pallet is robust and not missing any boards or blocks . Remember, if you're taking out our Extended Insurance, goods must not overhang the pallet in any direction. Remember to cover or wrap your goods, if necessary, as they may be exposed to adverse weather conditions during loading and unloading on their journey. Take a look at our pallet packing requirements.
  2. Check out the law – if you think that your goods may be prohibited or restricted, you will need to research this or ask your courier's advice, as they may then not be covered by insurance policies. These goods include prohibited items – such as livestock and fireworks – and restricted items, including hazardous goods and alcohol. Although many of these prohibited and restricted items are common across all European countries, the specific items listed will vary from nation to nation, so you need to check the regulations for the countries through which your goods will travel.
  3. Take cover – if you calculate that you need more insurance, ask for it. The insurance provided by a courier company will normally be liability insurance only to cover for the haulier's liability to the customer as set out in the terms and conditions of carriage. If you require all-risks or comprehensive insurance, you should arrange suitable insurance directly with your own insurers.

Share your experience

In conclusion, damage is, thankfully, very rare if you use a reputable courier company that is part of a reliable pallet network and you take care in preparing your shipment. However, it is wise to think carefully about the insurance requirements of each individual load and to be totally transparent with National Pallets in order ensure that you have the right level of insurance cover you really need.

No doubt there will be people reading this blog who know only too well that accidents can happen and found themselves without sufficient cover, at the point of claiming, as a result of not reading carefully the terms and conditions of carriage or incorrectly assuming that unlimited cover was included as Standard.

To help others avoid the same problems, why not leave a comment below, if you've had cause to claim on your insurance policy when sending goods with us or another courier.

Susan Brooks

By Susan Brooks

Susan Brooks is Managing Director National Pallets. With a track record in delivering high levels of transparent customer care and satisfaction in the transport and logistics sector since 1988. Connect via Google+ or LinkedIn.

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