Feature, Freight News, Sea

Ukraine insurance: time to check the small print

[ March 9, 2022   //   ]

Marine cargo insurance specialist, Ascend Broking, is urging those transporting goods by sea to check whether their routes are affected by the war in the Ukraine. 

Marine cargo specialist Matt Price says that any marine cargo that would ordinarily be using the Black Sea may well now not be covered by the original insurance policy, or have had the terms of the original insurance policy amended, to suit current circumstances. 

Even if a vessel can gain access to the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov, it may find itself facing war risks that would not be covered by a standard marine cargo insurance policy. Several vessels, flying under the flags of neutral countries, have already been damaged by missiles, he points out. 

It is not impossible to buy cargo cover that will be valid in war zones, but it requires a broker’s specialist help to find the right protection 

If a forwarder is now changing routes, the insurer should again be informed. Any change in route could also affect the goods being carried, especially if perishable.  

Matt Price adds: “If your goods are already in transit, you should be aware of what is happening to them, especially if the current crisis is likely to affect them.  Ensure your cover is not being invalidated. You may think all is well, but the knock-on effect of port closures in the Ukraine could impact on other ports, to which your goods are heading. 

“Remember that it is also good advice, at any time, to not rely on a freight-forwarder or shipper’s insurance policy, but to purchase your own cover. If not, should you need to claim, you might find big holes in your protection, of which you were unaware, or find yourself trying to pursue a claim in a foreign country and in a foreign language.” 

Ascend Broking says many importers and exporters are too trusting in the cover arranged by third parties and should ensure that cover is adequate and that insurers are always aware of any changes being made to declared routes and modes of transportation.