There are a multitude of reasons why a commercial insurance buyer should consider purchasing Ocean Cargo insurance from their agent vs. the shipper or freight forwarder. Please review this list and let me know what you think.
Cost. If you are paying for Cargo Insurance through a Freight Forwarder, an agent can save you substantial money in most cases. This is especially true if you have at least two or three separate shipments for the year.
Choice of carrier. Like in life, it is good to have options. Your agent can compare and contrast multiple carriers to help you find the best fit.
Broader Coverage. Many times the coverage terms can be limiting or restrictive in the freight forwarders’ policies. Some of these differences are highlighted below. The items listed are usually included in a policy purchased through your independent agent. This is a generalization and you may find variances in some cases. Ask your shipper if these broadening extensions are included:
a. Pairs and sets clause
b. Consequential loss coverage
c. Brands and Trademarks clause
d. Shortage from container clause
e. Control of damaged goods clause
f. Contingent Interest clause
g. War/Strikes Riots Coverage
h. Air expediting coverage
i. Manuscript wording specific to your clients needs
Loss Control Services. Ocean Cargo companies love to work with clients to improve the risk, including working on items that could lesson your premium costs.
Bulk reporting vs. monthly reporting. Bulk reporting provides ease of reporting shipments by providing one figure vs. having to provide details of each and every shipment. Agents can also offer online reporting for a client that prefers (depending on the carrier).
Rate increases can be given if the forwarder’s underwriter requires an increase for poor loss experience of other clients. These increases are passed along to all clients by the forwarder regardless of the individual client’s loss history. Wouldn’t you like to be rated based primarily on your track record?
Has your commercial agent helped you determine if Ocean Cargo is a better option compared to freight forwarders insurance?
Note: Thank you to CNA’s Ocean Marine Division for contributing to this blog.
Joe Buick, CRM, CIC