International Logistics: Shipping Basics
What cargo insurance do I need and where can I get it?
Cargo insurance offers important protection against delay in transit and losses or damage from bad weather, rough handling by carriers, and other common hazards. Either you or the buyer must insure the goods, depending on the terms of sale. If you’re responsible, you can take out your own policy, or insure the cargo under a freight forwarder's policy for a fee. If the foreign buyer has responsibility, don’t assume (or even take the buyer's word) that she/he has adequate insurance. You could still suffer losses if the buyer fails to obtain coverage or takes too little. You can’t look to the carrier either. For international shipments, the carrier's liability is frequently limited by international agreements, and the coverage is substantially different from domestic coverage. Check with an international insurance carrier or freight forwarder for options and advice.
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