Import/Export Insurance

Marine is the oldest form of insurance, dating back to the 16th century. It is a direct descendant of the first form of indemnity ever devised, which evolved to protect the interests of merchants engaged in trade of the high seas. This early era of international trade has been traced back to well before 2000 B.C.

The Product

Shipments of cargo can be insured by separate policies issued as shipments are made, but a company that imports or exports regularly can buy an Open Cargo Policy. A traditional Open Cargo Policy covers all overseas shipments made by vessels or air, including connecting conveyances from the point of shipment to the final destination, within some reasonable time limits. The word “Open” means that the policy has no fixed term. The contract remains in force until either party cancels it. The policy can be endorsed to cover a variety of exposures, such as storage or domestic transit and other features that “customize” the policy.

While a typical Open Cargo Policy may seem formidable, what it does is not really complicated; the policy insures goods in transit. Of course, there are normal business risks inherent in foreign trade (credit, political risks, loss of market, to name a few) that the Open Cargo Policy does not address, but the Open Cargo Policy has evolved over many years to protect the international trader from many accidents in transport.

A New Approach

We can have produced a high quality, custom-made product for your business that is very cost effective. Further-more, it can be produced and in your hands very quickly, without sacrificing the traditional flexibility of cargo insurance.

Our process produces a policy that is neat, professional and readily adjusted to your specific needs. And our new policy form automatically provides protection that deals with the realities of today.

In our new Open Marine Cargo Policy, the big difference is that instead of just the usual basic coverage for international shipments by steamer and air, we provide a comprehensive policy that automatically covers a wide range of exposures for the international trader. To help you become familiar with some significant differences, we want to highlight this new structure.

How does the Policy Work?


As with most property and marine lines, Marine Cargo premiums are based on a rate of $100 of insured values. Marine rates are established by the underwriter’s experience and judgment. To establish a rate level for your policy, the underwriter evaluated information which included:

1) The nature of the merchandise; 2) The quality of the packing; 3) The conveyance-Steamer, Air, Rail and so on; 4) The geographic scope port and transportation facilities en route; 5) Insuring conditions; 6) Loss experience of similar business; 7) Your own loss experience.

In an Open Cargo Policy, as your shipments continue over time, the policy’s rates may be adjusted from time to time based on your own experience.

Packing – Proper packing is necessary for successful and profitable trade. Even proper insurance is still no substitute for the satisfaction of seeing your customer get their goods intact.

Limits – However high an open cargo policy limit is, usually you pay only on the basis of what is actually shipped and otherwise exposed. Be sure that you request a realistic limit high enough for your needs. If you discover that you have a concentration of values that exceeds your policy limits, contact your agent or broker at once!

If you now have an Ocean Cargo Policy, we would be happy to review your policy for you.

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