What you need to know about Goods in Transit Insurance
The Business Dictionary defines goods in transit as those goods which have left the dispatch depot, loading bay or other shipping point, but have yet to arrive at the delivery point, offloading bay or other reception point. In other words, goods in transit are goods which are on their way between one point and another.
Goods in transit (GIT) may sometimes be described as stock in transit or transit inventory.
As economic globalisation continues apace, and with treaties such as the EU’s International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods, goods in transit may be moving between increasingly distant points.
Whilst goods are on the move like this, they are subject to the risk of theft, loss, damage and delayed delivery.
If you are the haulier of such goods you are likely to share a responsibility for the safe custody, transport and any storage of the goods whilst they are in transit. The owner of the goods is also likely to bear some responsibility for their safe keeping. The exact responsibilities of each party are typically set out in the haulage contract.
In order to protect your potential liability for the loss or damage of the goods, you might want to consider goods in transit insurance, which typically protects against:
- the loss of the goods whilst in transit;
- the theft of the goods whilst in transit;
- damage caused as the result of accident during the journey;
- damage caused whilst in transit; and
- depending on the particular policy and its options you choose, compensation for any unreasonable delay.
Because of the division of responsibilities between consignor and haulier, not to mention the complexities in different types of insurance cover, you may want to consult a specialist provider about the policy or policies appropriate to your needs and requirements.
Goods in transit insurance is one of our specialisations here at Isis Insurance, so feel free to direct your questions to us.
In arranging for the insurance of the goods it is important to be able to determine:
- the value of the goods you are transporting; and, in the event of a claim,
- whether this value is used to replace the goods on an old for new basis (replacement at current market value) or by way of indemnity cover in which depreciation of the value of the goods is reflected in any settlement.
When valuing the goods in transit, your insurer may require a manifest detailing the goods in question and in some cases a list of any individual items in excess of a given value.
Special goods in transit insurance may be necessary if you are transporting hazardous goods or perishable foods which may be lost in the event of a freezer failure. Some policies may also include legal expenses cover in the event of claims alleging your negligence as the haulage contractor following the loss, theft or damage of the goods in transit.
Note that you may also be obliged to carry out certain extra security precautions (for example, not leaving your vehicle unattended) under the terms of your GIT cover.
The UK website for small businesses, My Business, points out that it is worth remembering that, as the haulier, you are unlikely to bear any responsibility for damage to the goods because they were inadequately packed or packaged or whether the consignee considers the goods to be sub-standard or inferior in quality.