While this certainly won’t be one of the most important questions you’ll have to answer in your lifetime, it is a question that you should give a second to ponder anytime you are preparing to ship off your freight or packages.
Deciding whether or not to purchase shipment insurance is a lot like deciding what type of insurance coverage you want to purchase for your car. If you’re driving a clunker (like the car you drove in high school where the floorboards are about to rust out) you might just worry about getting liability insurance. That new fancy car you just drove off the lot last week? Chances are, you want the best full coverage insurance out there. Why? Because if you accidentally scratch your car or the driver next to you texting isn’t paying attention and causes an accident, you have the peace of mind that you will be made whole again.
The same principle applies in the world of shipping. If the cost to replace your shipment is minimal (or something that you don’t really care to replace in the event of damage) then you may not need or want to insure your shipment. In most cases, however, you probably will want to insure you shipment because it likely has value and in the event of damage you will want to replace it.
And freight shippers – DON’T put too much stock into Carrier Limits of Liability when trying to decide whether or not to insure your shipment. Here’s why: Carrier Limits of Liability are based on the condition of the items being shipped, the class of the freight and various other factors. It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual value of your shipment and it doesn’t promise to cover the full value of your shipment. So even if your shipment’s value is less than the Carrier Limits of Liability, you still need to think twice about purchasing shipment insurance.
Another perk of purchasing shipment insurance? A simple claims process! Carriers all have different forms and processes for claims filed under Carrier Limits of Liability, but if you purchase shipment insurance you deal directly with the insurer and the process never changes. You’ll eliminate the time and trouble of dealing individually with carriers and most claims are processed in 12 days or less (this usually isn’t the case if you deal directly with carriers).
How do you go about insuring your shipment? For UPS® shipments, any shipment that does not exceed $100 in value is automatically covered. However, if your UPS shipment exceeds $100 in value, simply enter the value in the “Declared Value” field when preparing your shipment to insure your goods. To insure your freight shipments, Unishippers gives customers access to purchase cargo insurance through UPS Capital at special negotiated rates. For more information on cargo insurance (or any insurance question) talk to your Unishippers office.