Who’s Liable for Damaged Cargo?

Trucking freight from location to location can come with many different risks. From losing cargo to damaged packages, getting in an accident to missing a stop, there are many different liabilities that come with hauling cargo.

But, since the job must be taken care of, trucking companies and their drivers need to get on the road and make sure they’re protected from stop to stop. When damaged cargo does occur, it’s best to have the right motor truck cargo insurance in place to protect not only the financial loss gained through damaged goods but the reputation of a company trying to keep things rolling.

A Look at Carrier Liability

Carrier liability is used to describe when a carrier is responsible for shipment losses, damages or delays. Shipment losses, damages and delays that may have been a result of an act of the shipper or an act of the inherent nature of the goods that was not a result from the carrier’s negligence are considered here.

For a carrier to be held liable for loss or damaged goods on board, the shipper must prove that their freight was in good condition before it was loading into the carrier’s possession. Shippers have to file their claims within nine months of the delivery or the date upon which delivery should have been initially made.

Bill of Lading

If the shipper can prove without a doubt that a carrier received the goods in an undamaged state and delivered them damaged or even lost, the carrier will be liable unless there are exclusions attached. Damage should be documented through images and documentation and is required by the carrier. The notations made on the bill of lading at the time of pickup and delivery become vital to make everything accounted for.

Liability and Freight Insurance

Carriers should be holding some type of insurance designed to cover cargo loss, such as motor truck cargo insurance. The coverage amount is determined by the carrier and is usually dependent on the type of commodity the carrier usually transports on a regular basis. There is cargo loss or damage insurance that can cover the full value of the goods being shipped, but in some instances, it is possible that the amount covered is less than the actual value of the goods being hauled.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

When Does Motor Truck Cargo Insurance Apply?

The trucking freight industry is in the middle of a big change of pace and atmosphere with the move to be more tech-savvy. Plus, with big names like Amazon, Tesla, and Uber getting in on their own trucking industry endeavors, the industry is set for even more change and a tightened capacity.

But even with a major tech upheaval and a shift for companies to ship directly with their clients, the liabilities remain the same. Trillions of dollars’ worth of cargo hits the road every year and the company transporting the cargo is liable for any cargo damaged, lost or stolen. This can be a huge issue for trucking companies, which is why it’s even more important to have the right motor truck cargo insurance plan to protect the cargo and the assets.

What is Motor Truck Cargo Insurance?

Motor truck cargo insurance is a type of liability insurance that covers cargo up to a particular monetary limit the trucking professional determines when they buy a policy. On top of paying for the cost of any cargo that’s lost, stolen or damaged, some policies may also pay costs to remove any debris, like if any part of the load lands on the highway or roads.

While having general liability insurance is a must, motor truck cargo insurance is not required by the federal government, but shipping companies may make it a requirement.

Common and Contract Carriers

Common and contract carriers can carry this kind of motor truck cargo insurance, but it can be used differently for them. For common carriers, or a trucker who offers their services to anyone with cargo, without motor truck cargo insurance, they are liable for any damages except damage or loss when it’s a freak accident or act of God (i.e. tornado, damage due to fault of shipper). For contract carriers, or someone who only hauls for specific shippers, the conditions under which they are held liable must be specifically noted in the contract they have with the shipper.

Purchasing Coverage

Motor truck cargo insurance is a supplemental piece of trucking insurance that can end up being a little complicated. Policies may vary depending on average loads being hauled as well as the commodities on board. There may be exclusions for things like garments, electronics and liquor, as well as sub-limits, higher deductibles and limitations.

Limitations are the amounts that the insurance company will pay out in total for a policy. And there can be sub-limitations that set smaller and more specific amounts that will be paid out, such as limiting its responsibility to pay for certain items, such as high-theft items.

No matter what you’re considering covering, having adequate motor truck cargo insurance needs to be explained and laid out with the right policy insurance representative who can provide the right details.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.