It is an unfortunate fact that, despite every effort, an incident will occasionally occur during a relocation of assets which result in you making a claim under your insurance policy.
For example, incidents may include:
- A road traffic accident
- A vehicle or warehouse fire
- Theft or hijack
- General Average (seafreight only)
- Losses resulting from errors or omissions
If you have arranged insurance cover for your relocation with Aport, the insurance certificate/policy document you have been provided with will include instructions to guide you through the claim process.
During office hours, please don’t hesitate to contact Aport for advice about your claim.
Out of hours, you can contact the nominated Survey Agent whose details are shown on your certificate. If your relocation is international, the agent will be located close to the overseas destination. The consignee contacts the agent, who will survey the damage and report back to the insurers in the UK.
If the cargo is in the UK, insurers may decide to instruct a Marine Surveyor to deal with the claim. Smaller claims will be dealt with by the insurer in house.
Do not delay
Both your marine cargo policy and the trading conditions of your logistics provider contain clauses which require you to report a claim within a specified timescale. As soon as you become aware of the need to submit a claim, report it in writing to both your logistics provider, and your insurer.
Documentation is key
Your insurers will insist on receiving documents from you to support your claim. Some as evidence of the validity of your claim, and the value of your assets, and some to help them to piece together the series of events leading to your loss. These may include the originals of:
- Bill of Lading/Air Waybill (both sides)
- CMR Note
- Any other delivery note
- A formal, quantified claim
- Your insurance certificate or policy
- Commercial sales invoice in respect of the entire consignment
- Claused delivery note if the goods were delivered short or damaged
- Packing list
- Repair invoice
- Outturn report
- Correspondence holding logistics provider responsible
If the goods were not shipped in connection with a sale, some other form of valuation will need to be agreed on an indemnity basis.
The certificate is a negotiable document and the holder can make a claim under the policy – hence only one ‘original’.
If there has been a theft, insurers will ask for a police report or crime reference.
Start to gather the documentation immediately before anything is mislaid.
Hold your logistics company responsible
The loss or damage may be reported to you by your logistics provider, but you should still respond to them by holding them responsible, in writing, for any claim which may result. This relates to the clause within their trading conditions which will allows you only a limited time to make your claim. Failure to do this may prejudice your own claim under your marine cargo policy.
Know the trading conditions
Be aware of your logistics provider’s trading conditions: RHA, FTA, BIFA etc. These conditions limit their liability financially and in other ways, but they can also be overridden by international statutes such as:
- Subcontracted European Haulage - CMR
- Seafreight - Hague Rules
- Airfreight - Warsaw Convention
Proof of Delivery (POD)
The delivery note is a very important document. A clean POD is prima facie evidence that the goods have been accepted without reservation by the consignee. If the consignee has given a clean signature, and at a later date reports a shortage or some damage, they will need to give a good explanation for this discrepancy. The reason often given is that the packaging wasn’t opened at the time of delivery – if you receive a consignment and do not check it at the time, you should sign the delivery note as ‘received unchecked’ or ‘unopened’.
When the settlement has been agreed Insurers will ask the you to sign a subrogation form. They will then, using this and the documentation they gathered before agreeing to settle the claim, attempt to recover their outlay from the carrier(s). You are obliged to sign this document under the terms of your insurance contract to hand over recovery rights to the insurer. Settlement will not be completed without it.
For any queries relating to making a laboratory relocation insurance claim, please contact our specialist insurance team.