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Shipment of private cars

With the booming economy in China, the number of private cars imported from foreign countries has been increasing. In general, there are two common methods of shipping private cars from one country to another: placing the private car inside a container or through a Roll on Roll off (RORO) Vessel.

First method: the private car will be placed inside a container. Ropes will be fastened on a fixed cradle on the ground to fix the position of the car. The private car will not be discharged until the container has been transported to the consignee's discharge port.

Second method: the private car will be driven into a Roll on Roll off (RORO) Vessel. The vessel is designed with side, and/or rear and/or bow entrances, all having a “let down” ramp which enables vehicles to drive into and out of the vessel.

For both methods, after arriving at the consignee's discharge port, a "T licence-plate" (if in Hong Kong) will be put on the private car and it will be driven by an authorised driver to the consignee's warehouse. If, unfortunately, the car with a "T licence-plate" meets with an accident on the way to the vessel or the warehouse, will the loss or damage be covered by marine insurance?

Unfortunately, if there is a car accident when an authorised driver is driving the car with a "T licence-plate" on the way to the vessel or the warehouse, as long as the car is being driven on the road, motor insurance instead of marine insurance will cover the loss or damage arising out of the car accident. This is because marine insurance covers loss or damage arising from maritime perils during "transport". The word "transport" does not include the insured property being used as a carrying conveyance.

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