When Moving Abroad, There Are Different Types Of Insurance Available


Many people who are going to send goods overseas, whether because they are moving home to another country, or simply need to send a few packages abroad for one reason or another, are under the erroneous belief that the freight forwarder who is shipping the goods for them is covered by insurance, so that they can recover the cost or value of those goods if they are lost or damaged in transit.

Now the freight forwarder is, indeed covered by insurance, but unfortunately that insurance will in no way cover the value of your goods. It may sound complicated, but the insurance is covered by international rules which mean that the amount you could recover will be very little.

What that means, in a nutshell, is that you need to cover the value of your goods yourself and buy marine insurance, which we can arrange for you at The Insurance Broker. However, this is where it can get complicated because there are different types of marine insurance available, but we can help you through the maze.

The good news is that, overall, it is unlikely that your goods will suffer any damage on the way to your destination, and shipping across the sea is the safest form of cargo transport. The World Shipping Council carried out a survey in 2017 and found that of 356,000 containers shipped in any one day between 2014 and 2016, only an average 3.8 containers were lost. But of course, you don’t want your goods to be in one of those 3.8 containers.

If you are moving abroad, the first thing to do is to decide to move as little as possible. The less items you ship abroad, the less the shipping is going to cost you, obviously. So, this is the time for a really good clear out, and to get rid of some of the accumulation of “stuff” that we all pick up over the years. There are plenty of online shopping platforms such as Gumtree, friends’ homes, or rubbish sacks that you can use to make things go away.

The next step is to value your goods, and you need to do this accurately. You can go online and get a good idea of the cost of replacement, which is what you need to insure for. You need to write down an accurate description of each item and the cost of replacement, and back it up with photos so that you can prove the condition when it comes to making a claim.

When it comes to the point of having to buy marine insurance, you need to know that there are different types of insurance cover available and to decide which you need.

The cheapest type of marine cargo insurance is called Total Loss, and as you might expect, only pays out if your goods are totally lost or destroyed. A more expensive, but still not overly so, type of policy is called Named Perils. This only pays for individual items that you name and cover on the policy, so it won’t pay out on anything that is not listed. If you are moving abroad, you only need what is called Single Coverage because you are only making the one trip, not shipping goods all the time.

Probably the better bet is All Risk insurance which covers you for most things, but it does exclude unusual things such as war and earthquakes. You may also want General Average coverage because this covers you if someone else’s goods are lost. When you ship by sea, if that happens, everyone else has to chip in to cover that cost. You might also want to choose Warehouse to Warehouse cover, which insures everything from the moment you drop it off to the point where you pick it up at the other end.

Talk to us at The Insurance Broker for more information and to select the right coverage for you.