Safeguarding Your P&L and Your Relationships

“So, Bill, how long have we been doing business together?”

“Well, Sam, it’s been quite a while. I think it was before your son was born and he’s what, twenty?”

“Yep, long time. Bill…I really think that you need to pay this claim.”

This conversation is a daily occurrence in the freight business. If you haven’t been on the receiving end of one of these conversations, count yourself lucky (and hope you never will).

Too many times, we see what good relationships go sour solely due to a shipper’s misperceived liability of the property broker. In fact, unless a contract is in place, the property broker’s liability for loss or damage to freight is zilch. But try telling a customer that gives you hundreds of truckloads a year that you’re not responsible. You’re left with two options: watch the freight walk out the door or suck it up and pay the claim.

Stories just like this, and my own personal experience in the claim world, are part of why I believe CargoShield is so important.

CargoShield is a cost-effective, per-load insurance policy with some of the broadest insuring terms available. This “all risks/shipper’s interest” policy covers freight from any physical loss or damage from any external cause. It’s easy to understand, easy to purchase, and totally affordable.

The Exclusion Breakdown
There are exclusions for targeted commodities like cell phones, as you might expect, but the non-excluded commodities represent the vast majority of freight moving in the US and Canada today. Other exclusions include loss of market due to delay and insufficient packaging or acts of the shipper. If you have been in the freight industry long enough, you’ve probably seen examples of all of these.

Every year, we spend a lot of time educating shippers about insurance and what they can expect in the event of a claim. Are all carriers’ insurance companies lacking? No. But in some instances, providers do lack important coverage, like unattended vehicle provisions or Acts of God. In other cases, all the exclusions do not appear on the insurance certificate that you received from your property broker or carrier.

Time is Money
In an era where we all are being asked to do more with less, who has the resources or even the time to master different insurance policy wording? CargoShield was developed with this issue in mind. Will it cure all of the ills of the shipping industry? No, but what it will do is simplify your choices. Why not choose to have your freight or the freight of your shipper covered for the first $100,000 of the total value of the load?

Since CargoShield has been introduced to the market, we’ve hosted a number of webinars and fielded calls with people inquiring about different aspects of the program – pricing, exclusions, and, of course, a big share of claims questions. And it’s been interesting to hear all of the claims examples that have been brought to us for determination of coverage. The most prudent and also the most accurate response: every claim is adjusted on its own merit, as each claim will have its own extenuating circumstances. That being said, I want to reiterate that CargoShield is an answer to the majority of the freight on the road. It was never intended to cover 100% of all of the risks on the journey, but instead acts as the “easy button” for the vast majority of shippers and property brokers for the first $100,000 of the cargo value of a risk.