Irrespective of the transport mode chosen, high risk prevails in transporting cargo from one place to the other. Yet, the good news is that marine insurance is there to protect against all sorts of dangers. Whether it is loss or damage to cargo in transit or pilferage loss, marine insurance covers the inventory and in turns give you complete peace of mind. Acting like a cradle-to-grave insurance, the insurance policy covers your goods at every step.
In case there is any loss or damage to your goods, a marine insurance claim is required to be filed immediately with the insurance company. Then the insurer will check to ensure that the proper care was taken while transporting goods or not. It is done to ensure that no deliberate attempts were made to get an illicit insurance claim.
It is necessary to ensure that all facts are conveyed properly and accurately. Further, a simultaneous claim is also required to be made with the shipping company in order to inform them of the damages. For this, a formal acknowledgment is required to be received from both the insurer as well as the shipping company. If there are a theft and non-delivery, it is mandatory to file an FIR along with submitting general documents. Usually, marine insurance companies give a time window of one year from the date of discharge of goods to file a claim, however, it may change as per the marine insurance company’s regulations.
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Once the insurer receives the claim information, a surveyor is appointed who visits the site at which cargo was lost or damaged and then submits the report on the basis of the findings. It is strongly recommended to file the claim immediately after the loss or damage because at that time, the investigation process is much easier. Similarly, if you have bought the marine insurance policy from a broker or intermediary, inform them immediately about the loss or damage and include them in the entire claim process.
Here are some of the documents that need to be submitted
- Original marine insurance policy or certificate
- Copy of billing lading
- Survey report
- Original invoice and packing list along with the shipping specification
- Copies of correspondence exchanged with the carriers
- Claim bill
While filing the marine insurance claim, you may also require submitting an invoice and packing list along with a marine certificate if your goods are qualified as import cargo. You will also require submitting a copy of your monthly declaration of transit and a carrier’s consignment note. If your goods have been damaged, are partially missing or have completely vanished, you’ll have to fill up damage, shortage, or non-delivery certificate respectively.
Along with this, you will also require sending your monetary claim with a proof of dispatch or delivery. In case your claim is approved, you will require submitting a discharge voucher copy and a letter of subrogation. Usually, it happens before the issuance of a cheque. In case your claim amount is more than Rs 1 lakh, you would also require giving KYC documents as per government rules.
In the case of an exporter, it is necessary to ensure that the date of insurance precedes the date of dispatch of goods in order to make sure that your insurance policy is valid. Also, to safeguard yourself from the currency fluctuations, you can also align the insured goods with the type of currency as mentioned in the shipping invoice.
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Even though, you have a marine insurance policy, it is necessary to take all precautionary measures to minimise the loss or damage. Also, if at the time of taking delivery, any package is showing signs of outward damage, policyholder or agent must go for a detailed survey by the ship surveyors and file a monetary claim with the shipping company for covering loss or damage to the consignment.
Even at the time of delivery, if the outward condition of the package is looking fine, however, after reaching the warehouse, while opening the package, you find any damage to goods, act prudently. In such a situation, the insured or agent should inform the insurance company and also reach out to the ship surveyor for detailed survey. In any case, don’t make any delivery of goods and also not disturb the content in packing.
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