Cargo insurance

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

Were your goods damaged during transport? The carrier is not automatically liable for the (complete) damage. With cargo insurance you insure this risk.

Why take out cargo insurance?

When you have products transported, you are at risk. For example, the products may be damaged or lost. With transportation insurance, you cover that risk. The transporting company/forwarder is only liable for damage to goods they transport up to a certain maximum amount. Sometimes a forwarder is not liable for damage at all. For example, when:

  • the carrier cannot do anything about it (force majeure)
  • you have packed the goods badly
  • the goods get lost during transport
  • the goods are stolen during transport.

Good to know: while cargo insurance protects the sender, freight insurance protects the transporting company.

Agree on the liability

You and your business partner should reach an agreement on who is liable for damages, loss or theft of the goods at each point of the transporting process. For example, when does liability transfer from the seller to the buyer? You can use the ICC Incoterms® standard international delivery conditions.These are standard international terms of delivery. They state when risk passes from seller to buyer.

Do you choose the ICC Incoterms® 2020 CIF (Cost insurance and freight) or CIP (Carriage and insurance paid to)? Then the seller must take out transport insurance.

Consider sellers interest insurance

Do damages or losses occur during a phase of transport for which your customer is liable? But the buyer does not want to pay for the damage? With sellers interest insurance, you can insure against this risk. Your insurance will then compensate you for the damage caused by damaged or lost goods. Sellers interest insurance does not pay out if the buyer cannot pay. For that, you take out credit insurance.

Continuous coverage or insurance per shipment

If you trade and transport goods regularly, continuous coverage is your best option. All your shipments will be insured for a pre-determined amount during a set period. If you only transport goods occasionally, you can take out insurance per shipment.

Tailor-made transport insurance

Do you want tailor-made transport insurance? For example, with additional coverages? Get information or advice from the person who arranges your insurance (insurance intermediary). Or to your insurance company. Freight forwarders affiliated to Fenex (in Dutch)can also provide tailor-made goods transport insurance. Read more about other insurances when doing business internationally (in Dutch) on

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK