Transport of cargo by ships involves a lot of risks. However, there is the provision for sea traders to buy a suitable marine insurance. A marine insurance policy will help buyers to safeguard themselves against all possible risks. Marine insurance covers a wide range of situations be it theft of cargo in transit, pilferage, damage or loss of goods.
Many businesses engaged in the shipping and trade segment have a marine insurance policy. However, a lot of them often lose out because they are unaware of the process to file a claim. It is important to raise a marine insurance claim immediately when goods suffer damage, get destroyed, lost or stolen.
Steps To File A Marine Insurance Claim
The first step is to approach your marine insurer on an immediate basis in case of damage or theft of cargo goods during transit. The insurer checks whether adequate care was taken during transportation of the goods. This is done to ensure there is no illicit marine insurance claim. Also, it is important to inform the shipping company about the damages. Also, it is best to receive a formal acknowledgement from both the shipping company and insurer. In the case of theft, an FIR copy needs to be submitted to the insurer along with other documents.
Usually, a policyholder has a one-year time window from the date of discharge of goods to lodging a claim. However, this time frame may vary from one insurer to the other as per the insurer’s regulations. After lodging the claim, the insurer-appointed surveyor visits the site of the damage of the cargo. Thereafter, the surveyor submits a detailed report to the insurance company on its findings. If you are dealing with the insurance company via a broker, inform them immediately. Also, seek their advice on how to present the case to the insurer. A good broker can add huge value to improve your chances of successfully lodging the claim.
Proof submissions required
At the time of filing the claim, submit the invoice, and the packing list along with a marine certificate if your goods are qualified as import cargo. The insurer can also ask you to submit a copy of the monthly declaration of transit. Besides, submit a carrier’s consignment note when you file a marine insurance claim. In cases where the goods have been completely or partially damaged, you have to fill a damage, shortage, or non-delivery certificate.
Also, the policyholder requires submitting a proof of dispatch or delivery. In case your claim gets approved by the insurer, you will require sending a copy of the discharge voucher along with a letter of subrogation. In case where your claim is more than Rs. 1 Lakh, you will have to submit KYC documents as per the government rules.
K.S Steels, a firm founded in 2013, exported a consignment of steel pipes. However, after the arrival of the cargo, the buyer rejected delivery. The buyer claimed he received rusted steel pipes that were not as per the contractual requirements. As K.S Steel had bought marine insurance, the company approached the insurer for claim settlement, and the insurer appointed a surveyor to ascertain the damage.
The surveyor found out that despite good packaging, the shipment of steel pipe had suffered exposure to salt water during transit. K.S Steels is asked by insurer to submit a damage certificate along with a proof of dispatch because the goods were partially damaged. After receiving and reviewing all documents, the insurer approved the claim settlement. As the claim amount was Rs 5 lakhs, K.S Steels also submitted their KYC documents.