Most of the time, the policyholder approaches the marine insurance company to get storage cover at different storage places along with marine transit policy. Usually, such storages are done at transit sheds, port warehouses, railway platforms, etc.

A standard marine insurance policy covers movements of goods during the “ordinary course of transit”, and the policy is extended up to 60 days after the completion of the discharge over the side of the goods which are insured from the carrying vessel at the final discharge port.

As a result, it would comprise of the customary trans-shipments which are beyond the control of the policyholder. However, the marine insurance policy would get terminated where storages are made intentional, voluntary and avoidable. It means the marine insurance policy would terminate if there is a break in the “ordinary course of transit”. The marine insurance policy will also be terminated if the policyholder uses the storage place either=

  • For storing goods other than the specified course of transit, or
  • For distribution of goods

Storing goods other than the specified transit would happen, where for example, the movement of goods is intentionally stopped by the policyholder at an intermediate warehouse because the original warehouse is full or used for distribution or allocation to break the consignment into small units for the further transit. It means, contrary to the common perception, the 60 days- period is not the automatic storage cover. The policy would terminate as soon as goods would reach the final destination.

In a situation, where the policyholder wishes to store the goods during the voyage/transit, it is essential to bring this fact to the notice of the insurance company at the inception of the policy. The insurer can agree to extend the cover by including storages at extra premium rates and conditions as agreed.

Further, the cover during storage at a bonded warehouse, clearing and forwarding agent’s storage house would be offered if there are unavoidable reasons which compel the policyholder to keep the material therein, like a port strike, the strike of transport, delay due to the assessment of duty on the goods by the customs authorities, etc. In case of unavoidable circumstances, it is necessary for the client to approach its insurance company for extension of storage with the suitable reasons before the expiry of the marine insurance policy.

Marine insurance companies would be interested in issuing a marine policy for import/export of the shipment up to the intermediate storage points and even extend the cover to include transit risk for the onward journey once the storage period is over.

Read More: What Is Subrogation in Marine Insurance?

In case you want to get more information on the marine insurance coverage, it is strongly advised to read the policy document. You can also contact your insurer to seek clarification.

 Case

K.S Engineering is a renowned name in the engineering industry. The company has a long list of clients which are spread in different parts of the world. Considering the type of risk which can arise during business operations, the company has also purchased a marine insurance policy to get financial coverage in case something untoward happens.

Last year, it got a huge contract of exporting engineering items worth Rs 50 lakh to the buyer situated in Dubai. The consignment left for Dubai and reached the destination port on time. However, at the destination, the customs authority took a long time than expected in calculating duty on the goods, and it required to be stored. Due to which, the entire consignment got delayed. Though the buyer accepted the consignment after a delay, it asked for compensation.

As K.S Engineering had a marine insurance policy, it approached the insurer for the claim settlement and got compensation. The insurer appointed a surveyor who came to visit the site and found that the losses happened due to delay at custom authority and this event was beyond the control of the policyholder.

After scrutinising the situation, the marine insurance company agreed to settle the claim which was related to storage of goods because the situation happened due to unavoidable reasons.