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Marine insurance

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Marine carrier’s liability insurance

Damaged and lost items are unfortunately a common problem when shipping freight. 

Marine carrier’s liability is a complex area governed in New Zealand by the Carriage of Goods Act 1979.

The Act relates to contracts between shipper and contracting carrier, as well as to contracts between contracting carriers and their sub-contractors.

We have brokers who are marine insurance experts at Crombie Lockwood. They will make sure that as a carrier you get insurance cover for your liability under the contract.

Who needs marine carriers’ liability insurance?

Freight forwarders and carriers are exposed to a broad variety of risks, with different liabilities applicable for transit by sea, air, road or rail. If, in the ordinary course of your business, you carry goods owned by someone else, you are liable for any damage to the goods and possibly even for secondary damage resulting from your service.

People who need carrier’s liability insurance can include:

  • Freight forwarders
  • Shipping companies receiving goods at the wharf
  • Packers, consolidators, warehouse operators and stevedores
  • Port companies
  • Wharf marshalling providers.

Marine carrier’s liability insurance will protect your business from the financial effects should anything go wrong.

Marine carriers’ liability insurance cover 

This cover protects your legal liability, defence costs and expenses when you transport or store goods on behalf of others.

As with marine cargo insurance, the terms of the contract are important in assigning risk. Our brokers can help you understand your liability.

  • Limited Carrier’s Risk is the most common contract type in New Zealand and applies by default unless specified otherwise. The contracting carrier is liable for loss or damage to the goods throughout the duration of the contract, regardless of who actually damages or loses the goods, but with a set, limited liability per unit of goods.
  • Declared Value Risk is basically the same as limited carrier’s risk except that the package limitation may be negotiated between the parties.
  • Declared Terms means the parties can freely negotiate a carriage contract.
  • Owner’s Risk puts all the risk on the owner, except if damage or loss was intentionally caused by the carrier.

Help with marine insurance

We have brokers with vast experience in marine insurance solutions. From underwriting to supporting you at claims time, our expert brokers can provide world class marine insurance and risk management solutions.

We can help arrange protection for a range of marine risks including marine hull and liability cover and marine cargo insurance. 


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Marine insurance contract terms
  • FOB (Free on Board): The exporter (seller) arranges insurance up until goods are loaded onto the vessel. The importer (buyer) arranges insurance from the time the goods are loaded onto the vessel. 
  • C&F (Cost and Freight): The insurance responsibility passes as for FOB, but one insurer usually covers the goods from the moment it leaves the supplier’s warehouse.
  • CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight): The exporter (seller) arranges insurance from the time the cargo leaves the originating warehouse all the way to the destination warehouse.
  • Ex warehouse: The importer (buyer) arranges insurance from the time the cargo leaves the originating warehouse.

Our marine insurance experts will make sure that you, as marine carrier, are covered for your liability under the contract.