Claim case sharing

Loss of/damage to cargo caused by delay

Restaurant owner, Mr. Ha imported live lobsters from Australia and arranged freight forwarders to transport the cargoes by air to Hong Kong right after the Hong Kong International Airport commenced operation at Chek Lap Kok. However, due to the initial operational issues of the new airport, the lobsters could not be located until one week later. They were all dead when Mr. Ha received them. As Mr. Ha took out a cargo insurance policy on the shipment, he filed a claim to the insurance company and asked for compensation.

Can Mr. Ha successfully claim his loss?

According to the policy exclusions of Institute Cargo Clauses (Air), "loss, damage or expense proximately caused by delay, even though the delay be caused by a risk insured against" is excluded from the policy. As the immediate cause of Mr. Ha's loss was the delay in the delivery of the cargoes, therefore he cannot claim his loss from the cargo policy. Instead, Mr. Ha may file a claim to the freight forwarders or airlines to seek compensation.

If your customers are going to transport perishable products, no matter whether it is by sea or by air, apart from advising them to take out an appropriate cargo insurance, you can also remind them of the importance of looking for a reliable carrier who will usually take out adequate liability insurance to cover cargo owners' claim of loss of or damage to the cargoes.

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