Marine cargo insurance specialist, Ascend Broking, is urging those transporting goods by sea to check whether their routes are impacted by the war in the Ukraine.

Any marine cargo that would ordinarily be using the Black Sea may well now not be covered by the original insurance policy, or have had the terms of the original insurance policy amended, to suit current circumstances.

Even if a vessel can gain access to the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov, it may find itself facing risks that would not be covered by a standard marine cargo insurance policy, because they are associated with war.  Claims for resulting losses would, therefore, not be valid.  Several vessels, flying under the flags of neutral countries, have already been damaged by missiles.

It is not impossible to buy cargo cover that will be valid in war zones, but it requires a broker’s specialist help to find the right protection

If a forwarder is now changing routes, the insurer should again be informed, as the route constitutes a material fact, of which the insurer needs to be made aware.  Any change in route could also impact on the goods being carried, especially if perishable. 

“Prior to transporting any goods, at this time, it pays to talk to a broker who is experienced in marine cargo insurance,” says Ascend Broking’s marine cargo specialist, Matt Price.  “If your goods are already in transit, you should be aware of what is happening to them, especially if the current crisis is likely to affect them.  Ensure your cover is not being invalidated.  You may think all is well, but the knock-on effect of port closures in the Ukraine could impact on other ports, to which your goods are heading.

“Remember that It is also good advice, at any time, to not rely on a freight-forwarder or shipper’s insurance policy, but to purchase your own cover.  If not, should you need to claim, you might find big holes in your protection, of which you were unaware, or find yourself trying to pursue a claim in a foreign country and in a foreign language.”

With an unprecedented amount of disruption having hit the marine world in the past few years, due to the pandemic, port closures, congestion in ports and the Suez Canal blockage, the importance of having the right marine insurance policy in place has probably never been more evident.  

Despite this, Ascend Broking says many importers and exporters are too trusting in the cover arranged by third parties and should be taking ownership of the arranging of insurance for their goods, ensuring cover is adequate and that insurers are always aware of any changes being made to declared routes and modes of transportation.

To discuss how best to cover your goods in transit, by sea, air and land, contact Ascend Broking’s specialist marine insurance division on 01245 449060.  More information is at www.ascendbroking.co.uk