Should I Insure my Freight to Europe?

Image credit: Kimo

Sending freight to Europe – or anywhere else – can be a costly business. You’ve got your packaging.  Your transportation and other related logistics fees. Your taxes. And then, there’s the question of insurance. Cargo insurance is optionable. There is no legislation in place stating that you must insure any goods that you are importing or exporting. And there’s a common expectation that good freighters provide their own insurance. But expectation often doesn’t match reality. And in most instances, carrier insurance will only cover a fraction of your potential loss.

Here are some of things you need to think about when deciding whether to insure your European freight.

Do I Need to Insure My Freight to Europe?

What does carrier insurance cover?

All reputable freight forwarders and shipping companies have insurance. However, very few will have the relevant insurance to cover the full loss of, or damage to, the goods that they are carrying. If the carrier is fully at fault for any loss that occurs, compensation should be covered by that carrier’s liability insurance. But where poor packing, inappropriate loading (made by the customer), warehousing, and ‘acts of God’ are concerned, your carrier cannot be held responsible.

What does freight insurance cover?

All freight insurance policies are different. Just like your home or business insurance, you can tailor your policy to your needs. But as a general rule, freight insurance will recompense you for any loss or damage to your goods. Regardless of cause. You can also factor in shipping delays for perishable or time-sensitive goods.

Do I need insurance for my European freight?

At Plexus Freight, we always recommend that you insure your freight, regardless of its destination. As freight forwarders, we work hard to deliver your goods in the condition in which we receive them. But you can never second guess when things might go wrong. At the beginning of 2021, three thousand shipping containers were lost at sea in just four months. Thanks largely to bad weather. So, if you are considering sending freight to Europe without insurance, it’s worth thinking about the following:

  • The value of your goods. Can your business afford to lose them? Or compensate your customers for their loss?
  • How fragile your items are. If you’re working with near-indestructible items, then you may be able to reduce your insurance costs by covering only loss.
  • Your packaging. Not all packaging is created equal. If you’re considering going without insurance, you also need to consider improving your packaging.
  • The desirability of your freight. If you’re dealing in low weight, high value products that are easily stolen and easily sold on, your freight is high risk. And insurance is a must.
  • How experienced is your freight forwarder? No logistics provider is infallible. But working with a company experienced in your logistics area can help to avoid losses.

As a business owner, you have a lot to deal with. And a lot of overheads to manage. Insurance can seem like one extra cost too many. But you can almost guarantee that the one time that you decide to skip it, will be the one time that you find you need it. So, when you’re sending freight to Europe, don’t forget to consider all the risks.

If you’re looking for a friendly, reliable freight forwarder, get in touch with Plexus Freight.


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