Tuesday Tip: How to ensure your goods are adequately covered throughout the shipping process

January 20th, 2015

In the absence of a declared value on the Bill of Lading, your goods may not be fully covered by the carrier or the carrier’s insurer in the event of a loss.

The Bill of Lading acts as the contract between the shipper and the carrier. As an example, it contains details such as the name and address of the consignor (seller or person wanting item to be shipped), the date, point of origin, names of carriers (if there is more than one), the name and address of the consignee (buyer or receiver of the goods), destination the goods are being shipped to, and the details of the goods being shipped including the weight and the description, to name a few.

Under the Alberta Bill of Lading and Conditions of Carriage Regulation AR313/2002 Schedule 3 Conditions of Carriage (General Hauling), Section 10 – Limits the maximum liability of the carrier to $2 per pound ($4.41 per kilogram) unless a higher value is declared on the face of the bill of lading by the consignor.

What this means is if you are shipping $100,000 worth of goods that weigh 10,000 pounds, and those goods are damaged or destroyed in transit, the carrier would only be legally liable to you for a maximum of $20,000.

To ensure your goods are being adequately covered for their actual value, you should always be declaring the value of those goods on the Bill of Lading. For goods with an exceptionally high monetary value, you should always be asking for certificates of insurance from the carrier to verify the coverage, limits, and deductibles that your goods will be subject to.

If you have questions about the above or other transportation insurance alternatives, please contact your Rogers Stieg Transportation Insurance broker who will be happy to discuss the best way for you to manage this risk.

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