Can you insure yourself against stowaways?

Can you insure yourself against stowaways?
The damage caused by ‘stowaways’ is increasing all the time for the transport sector, and it’s no longer simply a case of cut tarpaulins, forced doors or broken locks. Damage to cargo, damage caused by a delay to the shipment and the loss of clients are causing increased costs. A shipping agent can insure himself against some damage, whereas other types of damage cannot be insured and must be covered by the shipping agent at all times.

Damage to lorries

Damage to lorries can be covered with a motor vehicle insurance, only this often involves paying an excess. This excess applies to each incident that occurs. So, if something happens ten times, you will have to pay ten times the excess. Some insurers have a lower excess if you meet the security requirements. What requirements these are depends on the type of goods being transported. Ask your insurance company for its terms and conditions

Damage to cargo

A carrier’s liability insurance covers damage to cargo, for which the shipping agent is liable, only this insurance doesn’t resolve all problems. Logistical liability insurances are based on the international CMR convention, which states when a carrier is liable for damage to its cargo and for what amounts. These amounts may be lower than the actual damage. In other words, the insurer won’t cover the total cost of the damage. You also have to contend with excess per incident.

Invible damage

When stowaways have been sitting among the cargo, the recipient often refuses the cargo, even if there isn’t any direct visible damage, because they don’t know what’s happened to the items. But an insurer only reimburses visible damage, which means that the shipping agent has to cover the damage. Although a shipping agent is not actually obliged to do so, in such situations he nevertheless feels forced to pay for the damage in order to remain on good terms with his customer. Damage caused by a delay to your shipment is not always included in your liability insurance, so please take this into account when taking out insurance. Damage such as the loss of clients cannot be insured.

Stowaways white paper

This article is part of the stowaways white paper, which we have written together with the Dutch trade association TLN. Would you like more information about the stowaway problems and how you can prevent stowaways in your truck or trailer? Then download the complete 'stowaway' whitepaper

More information on how to prevent stowaways?