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What is Commercial Cargo Insurance?


If your business is responsible for the shipment of goods, then you need to buy commercial cargo insurance. This type of coverage will ensure the products you ship are protected in case of any unexpected losses or damage.

Commercial Cargo Insurance Explained

Also referred to as motor truck cargo liability insurance, a commercial cargo insurance policy will provide coverage for any damage or losses to the various commodities that a company is shipping, while the goods are in transit. Any type of shipping business remains legally responsible for the goods they are shipping while they are still in their possession. This liability will typically begin as soon as the goods are taken into the possession of the shipping business until it reaches its destination and is signed for by the carrier.

Should a loss occur while any of the goods are still in transit, the shipping company will be covered, providing the event that caused the loss is listed as a covered event in their policy terms.

When you get a quote for cargo insurance, the policy is typically written depending on the specific commodities that are being shipped. It is usually for a cargo insurance policy to be adapted to meet particular demands and risks that a carrier will face. For this reason, the cost of buying cargo insurance and the policy deductibles will vary.

What is excluded from a business cargo policy?

Before you buy a cargo insurance policy, there are some limitations you should be aware of.  For example, it will not cover carrier liability. It is the responsibility of the carrier company to ensure the shipment arrives at its intended destination. However, if you are the carrier, then you will also need to buy carrier liability coverage.

The majority of freight and cargo insurance policies will come with a list of exclusions. While it is also best to check with a commercial insurance agency as to the specific limitations of any cargo insurance policy you are considering, here is a list of the most common policy exclusions.

  • Damage that is caused by faulty goods. If a carrier can prove that your product was flawed, and caused any damage, then they will not be liable for this.
  • Damage that results from poorly packaged goods. For instance, if water was to penetrate a product and cause damage to the goods, then the liability for this damage will be down to you.
  • Specific transportation modes could also be excluded. There are some freight and cargo insurance companies that will exclude trucking, freight trains, cargo ships, or even airplanes.
  • In some instances, there are also specific types of freight that will be excluded from your coverage — for example, particular electronics or hazardous materials.

Speaking with a commercial insurance agent can help you find the best type of cargo insurance for your individual shipping needs. Because policy exclusions and inclusions vary significantly across the industry, working with a specialist cargo insurance agent can often help you get the best policy in the least amount of time.

What are the different types of cargo insurance?

Depending on the type of business you own, you might ship goods internationally, domestically, or undertake a mixture of both. You may also use a range of different transportation methods, such as cargo ships, trains, trucks, or airplanes. As you can appreciate, every shipping company has its own unique specifications. On top of this, the goods you transport will also need to be considered.

Buying cargo insurance for your company may referent types of freight and cargo coverage. Here are just a few examples of the various options you have when you look for quotes for cargo insurance.

  • All-Risk Cargo Insurance
  • Contingency Cargo Insurance
  • FPA Coverage
  • General Average Insurance Coverage
  • Land-based Cargo Insurance
  • Marine Cargo Coverage
  • Open Cargo Coverage
  • Single-Trip Cargo Insurance
  • Warehouse to Warehouse Coverage

Choosing the Right Cargo Insurance for your Business

With so many variables to consider, speaking with a commercial cargo insurance expert can help you quickly establish the best type of cargo insurance for your individual needs. They can answer your questions and do a lot of the leg-work where finding the best insurance company is concerned. If you need to buy any other type of commercial insurance for your shipping company, they will be able to help you with this too.


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