Do I need goods in transit insurance?

Photography by Nigel Green at
Photography by Nigel Green at I need goods in transit insurance?

Do I need goods in transit insurance?

At some time or another practically everything we buy may have been described as goods in transit. These are the products or goods that need to find their way from one part of the world – either just down the street or from the other side of the world – to our own local market. During the course of that transport, they are known as goods in transit.

As a haulier, therefore, do you need goods in transit insurance?

  • whilst any goods are in transit they face the perils of being lost, stolen or damaged and they run the risk of being delayed in their delivery;
  • since the goods are at risk, it is a wise precaution to insure them;
  • if they are your own goods, the question of insurance may be quite straight forward;
  • if the goods belong to someone else and you are responsible simply for delivering them, however, the question of insurance may be slightly more complicated;
  • such complications are typically resolved by the precise terms of the contract between the owner of the goods and you as the haulier;
  • although it is common for the freight contractor to limit their liability for loss or damage to the goods in transit, the responsibility is rarely entirely avoided;
  • for that reason, goods in transit insurance may be a valuable way of protecting the financial risk you incur in transporting goods which may be lost, damaged or stolen in transit or which may be delayed in their delivery (thus potentially costing you the financial penalties late delivery may incur);
  • because the whole question of the insurance of goods in transit may be a complicated matter, you might want to entrust it to a specialist insurance provider such as those of us here at Isis Insurance Services;
  • an example of the further complication involving goods in transit is when they are destined for delivery overseas;
  • there is an especially wide range of contracts concerning goods in international transit and the special rules that apply – to eight different categories of goods in international transit – are briefly described on the website of HM Revenue & Customs;
  • the Freight Transport Association also describes those situations where the UK haulier or shipper has the right to stop delivery of goods in transit to a buyer known to have become insolvent;
  • in those circumstances, the unpaid seller of the goods has the right to take possession of them whilst in transit, pending payment by the buyer;
  • clearly, the latter is also a situation which may complicate the insurance liabilities of the haulier and owner of the goods in transit respectively.

If you own a lorry being used to transport goods owned by you or transported by you for hire or reward from a third party, there is no obligation for you to insure the goods in transit. However, it is almost certain that at some stage you bear at least some responsibility for the loss, damage, theft or delayed delivery of those goods. In order to protect your financial liability in those circumstances, goods in transit insurance may prove the solution.