Marine Insurance

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It is imperative to approach your marine insurer on an immediate basis, in case your goods are damaged, destroyed or stolen during transit. The insurer will carefully check whether all safety measures were taken while transporting goods or not. This is done to ensure there is no illicit marine insurance claim. Also, you are required to inform the shipping company about the damages and receive a formal acknowledgment from both the shipping company and insurer. In the case of theft, an FIR copy should be submitted to the insurer along with other documents.

Usually, a policyholder has a one-year time from the date of discharge of goods to lodge a claim, though this may vary from one insurer to the other.  Once the claim is lodged, the insurer-appointed surveyor visits the site at which the cargo was damaged and submits a detailed report to the insurance company. If you are dealing with the insurance company via a broker, inform them immediately and 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.

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 and a carrier’s consignment note when you file a marine insurance claim. In the situation where the goods have been completely or partially damaged, it is required 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 your claim is more than Rs. 1 Lakh, you will have to submit KYC documents as per the government rules.

Case Study

K.S Steels, a firm founded in 2013, exported a consignment of steel pipes. However, upon arrival of the cargo, the buyer rejected delivery, claiming that steel pipes were rusted and 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. As goods were partially damaged, the insurer asked K.S Steels to submit a damage certificate along with a proof of dispatch. 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.