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The importance of clear marking on export goods

When shipping a product overseas, the exporter must be aware of packaging, marking, documentation, and insurance requirements. Different products may require different markings for shipments. Exporters shall ensure their goods are clearly marked according to the shipping companies’ guidelines and insurance requirements to prevent any delay in shipping or in the worst case, delay in claim settlement.

Difficulties arise when damaged goods are unidentifiable either because of the lack of clear marking from the beginning or the loss of their identifying marks during the shipment. In such cases, insurers may need to handle the claim in a special way. Just take the below situation as an example to further elaborate how an insurer will handle such claim when the goods are unidentifiable at time of loss.

For cost saving purposes, it is common that a number of consignees may share cargo container space. Some goods, such as sugar or flour, are hard to distinguish if they are shipped in the same cargo shipment without proper marking. When there is any damage during the journey of transportation, the insurance company can hardly define the loss and therefore will need a surveyor to further investigate and assess the degree of damage. This will take a longer period of time for processing the claim. What’s even worse, all the consignees may consequently need to bear a portion of the loss according to the contribution clause.

Proper packaging in addition to clear and secure marking plays a critical role in the export process. They help minimise the chances of product shortage and ambiguity in loss assessment, which will then help speed up the claim process.

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