Notes and risk factors in cargo insurance [German version]

Table of contents

Cargo type
Cargo properties
Insured transport and storage operations
Route and duration of transport / Logistics
Means of transport and transport service providers
Packing, Stowage, Cargo handling, Unpacking
Policy maximums / Insurance value / Expenditure and costs
Insurance cover
Possible actions in the event of an incident of loss
Options for recourse
Loss prevention measures / recommendations


This section illustrates the many-faceted nature of risk analysis in cargo insurance.

Risk analysis is one of the marine insurer’s core activities and is characterized by the apparent contradiction between generally applicable, objective factors, on the one hand, and individual experience and subjective interpretation, on the other. It is this non-standardized pattern of work which essentially distinguishes this sector of the insurance industry from those insurance sectors backed by collective agreements.

However, the aim of this section is not to describe the complexities of risk analysis and premium setting because, precisely for the above-stated reasons, it is almost impossible to make generally valid, universal statements in this respect.

It is even difficult to decide which items of information are of the essence to the transport insurer.

Essential risk factors are stated below and one possible way of listing them is outlined. This list is not exhaustive and selection of the relevant factors in each particular case, which are in line with the user’s information requirements, is determined on a case by case basis.

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Name, legal form, year of formation, domicile, number of employees
Branch offices
Description of business, position in goods process, for example
New or existing customer
Enquiry to previous insurer with customer’s consent (e.g. insured amount, amount of claims, number of claims)
Other company information, for example

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Cargo type

Raw, semifinished, finished products
General cargo, for example
Break-bulk cargo, for example
Bulk cargo, for example
Liquid cargo, for example
Dangerous goods, for example
Temperature-controlled goods, for example
Foodstuffs, for example
Living animals / plants
Producer and capital goods, for example
Heavy-lifts, for example
Bulky goods
Prototypes, samples, molds, models
Trade fair or exhibition goods

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Cargo properties

New or used cargo
State of aggregation (solid, liquid, gaseous)
Size (dimensions, weight, volume)
Center of gravity (e.g. high, central or eccentric)
Other hazard potential (e.g. dangerous goods properties)
Sensitivity, for example
Risk of theft, for example
Time-sensitive goods

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Insured transport and storage operations

Own transport
In-house transport
Intermediate transport/storage
Processing transport/storage
Drop shipments
Transport of capital goods
Transport volume / annual turnover (broken down by branch offices / countries)

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Route and duration of transport / Logistics

Ongoing policy: scope, transport connections
Individual policy: point of departure and destination
House-to-house or terminal-to-terminal
Transshipment points
Duration of travel
Timetable, schedule
Administrative conditions (e.g. specified routes or transport operations requiring official approval)
National regulations (e.g. import regulations, customs rules, embargoes)
Port conditions, for example
Precarriage, main carriage and onward carriage, for example
Climatic influences, for example
Political conditions, for example
Combined transport:
Intramodal transport, for example
Intermodal or multimodal transport, for example

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Planned or transport-determined storage
Intermediate storage
Customs warehouse procedure
Duration of storage
Warehouse size, for example
Own or third-party storage
Inside or outside storage
Type of storage by product / structure:
General cargo storage, for example
Bulk cargo storage, for example
Liquid storage facilities, for example
Gas storage facilities, for example
Storage facilities:
Static warehousing, for example
Dynamic warehousing, for example
Storage operation, e.g. manual, mechanical, automatic
Storage principles, e.g. FIFO (first in, first out), LIFO (last in, first out)
Address of storage facility
Protective measures, for example
Local environment
Necessity of storage facility inspection

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Means of transport and transport service providers

Own or third-party means of transport
Specialist or in-house forwarding, postal or courier service
Suitability of service providers involved in transport operation (use of subcontractors)
Direct or interrupted transport
Full Container Load (FCL), Less than Container Load (LCL)
Dangerous goods stipulations and regulations, for example
ISO containers, for example
Inland containers, for example
Air freight containers, for example
Inspection of containers in accordance with CSD and ACEP
Pallets, for example
Motor vehicles, for example
Rail vehicles, for example
River and inland waterway vessels, for example
Ocean-going vessels:
Name, shipowner (ISM code/White List, Lloyd’s Shipping Index)
Age, class
Ship types, for example
Aircraft, for example
Other means of transport, for example

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Fit-for-purpose packaging
Packaging regulations, for example
Own or third-party packer
Standardized, tested or standard packaging
Disposable or returnable packaging
Special packaging, e.g. for transporting works of art, heavy-lifts, prototypes
Formation of load units
Inner packaging, for example
Outer packaging:
Packaging materials, for example
Packaging containers, for example
Packaging aids, for example
Marking, handling instructions acc. to DIN 55402 / ISO 780
Area module/area module multiple – (modular system)
For wooden packaging: phytosanitary certificate, fumigation certificate
Printed/promotional messages

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Packing, Stowage, Cargo handling, Unpacking

Own or third-party staff
Deck loading or below deck loading
Handling types and methods, for example
Ramps, for example
Conveying equipment:
Ground conveyors, for example
Lifting gear or cranes, for example
Continuous conveyors, for example
Load suspension devices, for example
Cargo securing
Cargo securing equipment and aids, for example
Cargo securing guidelines and recommendations, for example
Combined loading prohibitions acc. to dangerous goods regulations
Goods inwards and outwards inspection
Inspection of means of transport and transport receptacles before packing

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Policy maximums / Insurance value / Expenditure and costs

Policy maximums, for example
Insurance value consisting of, for example
Insurable expenditure and costs, for example

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Insurance cover

References for determining conditions:
DTV cargo insurance conditions 2000 (German/English)
Institute Marine Cargo Clauses
Full cover / restricted cover
Clauses and special conditions, written conditions
Contingency insurance (DIC/DIL)
Consequential losses arising from damage to goods and financial losses
Own risk (non-deductible and deductible excess)

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Possible actions in the event of an incident of loss

Expert loss minimization and assessment on site by loss adjuster (determination of loss)
Working up/ (re)utilization of damaged cargo
Repair in country of destination
Return of reparable cargo to manufacturer
Purchase of spare parts
Utilization of damaged or imperfect branded goods

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Options for recourse

Liability scheme
Scope of liability
Liability limits
Amount of liability
Ad hoc agreements
Waiver of recourse

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Loss prevention measures / recommendations

Use of own know-how or specialists (internal/external)
Packaging advice
Inspection of packing, stowage and unpacking
Testing of suitability of means of transport
Monitoring of transport operation, for example
Expert loss prevention on site by loss adjuster
Special shipping instructions, for example
Measures taken under high risk conditions, for example

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Terms of delivery, Incoterms
Countries with restrictive practices
Special legal provisions
Certificate of origin
Customs rules

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