Marine Cargo Insurance: Your Complete Guide to Shipping Wine

For shippers, marine cargo insurance shouldn’t be considered a ‘nice thing’ to have – it’s a must-have. If you ship wine to other countries, it’s a key component in the global shipping of any product and protects your business from financial loss in the event of loss or damage.

In the unlikely event of cargo loss or damage during transit, purchasing an insurance policy will make a big difference to your ability to recover if it occurs. Recent unforeseeable events have shown container vessels being stuck at ports or failing to reach the dock. Your marine cargo insurance can help protect you in case of unpredictable and uncontrollable events.

Still think it’s unnecessary?  Keep reading to learn why it matters.

What is marine cargo insurance?

A marine cargo insurance policy covers loss or damage to goods during transportation. This protection extends to cargo owners.

Aside from potential damages, insurance policies may also cover cleanup costs associated with spills or debris removal. 

The term “marine” is a bit misleading, since this insurance policy covers so much more. It covers not only water transportation but also other modes of transportation (road, rail, air. etc) needed to deliver the cargo.



Is marine cargo coverage necessary for the wine industry?

Yes. As wine isn't only consumed where it’s produced, transportation plays a key role in the growth of the wine industry.  A great deal of wine is consumed in large metropolitan areas. The State of New York, for example, consumes 68 million gallons of wine per annum from producers all over the world. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the USA is the world's largest wine importer.

Fine wine has a high degree of sensitivity. Before it reaches restaurants, distributors, auction houses or shops, it must be transported and stored with great care and at a controlled temperature. The wrong conditions can cause the wine to spoil before reaching its destination. A marine cargo insurance policy can cover this risk.

In addition, your marine cargo insurance protects you if you suffer a loss during the transportation of your goods due to:

  • Acts of God

  • Minor issues, such as label damage

  • Costs of salvage

If you take part in the import or export of finished goods or raw materials, events such as rough weather conditions, a sinking ship, an overturned container, collision, and overland theft can place your cargo at risk. Risks that can all be well resolved if you have marine cargo insurance.

When it comes to making a claim, a carrier’s liability will only go so far. When your goods are damaged during transportation, you have to establish the carrier's liability, which doesn't happen automatically. Some situations are out of the carrier’s control, such as natural disasters. They’re also bound by International conventions like Hague Visby. Under this set of rules, a carrier's liability is set at a minimal amount of $3 per kilogram. 

What to expect from your insurance company

Besides giving you a policy to protect your business from financial losses, your insurance provider can help you collate the documents you need to make and manage a claim. 

Your insurance policy doesn’t include product warranty. Bear in mind that it won't cover damages from the company’s own mistakes or intentional damage to the cargo. 

How much does an insurance premium cost? 

It varies depending on your needs. Use our handy tool to estimate your insurance premium. In case of fine and rare shipments of high value, we can create a tailored policy for you.

Choosing the right insurance coverage is an essential part of planning your shipments. Feel free to get in touch with us for more information.

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