In the event of a claim, please follow the below instructions:
|Ocean||As soon as practicable, maximum 1 year from date of discharge. If the claims is not yet settled 30 days prior to the one year expiration, file a request for an extension with the steamship line, and ask for confirmation in writing.|
|International Air||7 days from time of delivery, for visible damage. * 14 days from time of delivery, for concealed/hidden damage. * 120 days from the date goods should have been delivered for non-delivery. * Time limits for countries of destination that have accepted Montreal Protocol No. 4 are 14 daysand 21 days respectively.|
|Interstate Rail and Truck Carriers||9 months from the date of delivery. It must be a formal written claim and must include a demand for payment of a specific amount.|
|Local Truck and Air Carriers||Time frames for reporting these claims are dictated by State Law and therefore may vary.|
Retain all copies of the shipping documents. The following list of documents a will generally be required to settle a claim. Fax or email these documents immediately to your Benchmark Export representative so as not to delay the claims settlement process.Shipping Documents Necessary to Submit Claim
The average time to adjust the typical cargo claim and have a check in your hands is 45 to 120 days. The most time consuming steps in the process are the completion of the surveyor’s report and the gathering of documents to support the loss. Surveyors can sometimes be delayed in completing their reports if they are experiencing backlogs in work and/or if the claimant is not able to provide them with the required information in a timely manner.What may delay a claim or result in not getting paid in full?
All cargo insurance companies have four basic requirements before they will pay your claim. Failure to satisfactorily address any one of the following four items is likely to result in long delays or result in not getting paid.
In most cases, the insurance company will pay surveyors directly for their services. However, in situations when a surveyor requires up-front payment to investigate a valid claim, the insurance company will reimburse the claimant.
That may be true, however, your policy may lack the broad coverage clauses included in our policy. Also, we buy insurance in volume so our rates are very competitive and we may be able to reduce your insurance costs. We also handle your claims, type the certificate, make monthly declaration to the insurance, etc.“The carrier covers my losses”
They don’t, unless you purchase insurance from them – but it is usually insufficient to cover the full extent of the potential losses and risks your goods will encounter. In addition, carriers are only liable if you can prove negligence. No carrier must pay for losses that occur beyond their control. International law limits the liability of ocean carriers to $500 per package and the liability of air carriers to $9.07 per pound. Truckers and warehousemen also limit their liability for loss according to their tariff.“Nothing could ever happen to my goods”
We agree that your goods may be less susceptible to loss than others, but you still have the risk of catastrophic loss and loss due to General Average. Studies reveal that on average one ship sinks every day and that a shipper will experience at least one General Average loss every 8 years. If you do not have insurance and you are exposed to General Average, you will be required to post a cash guarantee before your cargo is released. In a General Average loss, if cargo and/or part of the ship were sacrificed to save the voyage, then you as a cargo owner would be required to pay a proportional part of the loss even if your cargo was not harmed. Acts of God at sea and in the air make your goods vulnerable.“I’ve never had a loss”
Approximately 30% of losses in transit are unavoidable. Most people have never made a claim against their homeowner’s policy, but continue to insure their homes. The risks in transit are far greater. Insurance companies can predict that you eventually will have a loss due to the extreme rigors of transit, such as long voyages, extensive lifting, thieves, moving, shifting, loading, bad weather and piracy. You have been extremely lucky! Unlike most insurance policies, cargo insurance policies are expected to generate regular losses.“It’s too expensive”
Let’s look at your volume and claims records to see if we can get you a special quotation. We can have your cargo insurance specialists conduct a professional assessment of your current cargo policy and check for coverage adequacy. For example, do you have coverage for Concealed Damage or Unexplained Shortages from Containers in your policy?“I buy CIF or I sell CFR”
What is the name of the insurance company insuring your goods? What coverage are you buying? Are claims paid in the United States in U.S. dollars? With whom and where do you file a claim if there is loss or damage? A major difficult with buying CIF is that the importer can obtain coverage and settle claims only under the terms of some overseas insurance company, and foreign insuring conditions can vary widely from U.S. terms. When an importer buys locally he knows exactly what he is getting and has the full support of our company. Also, the cost of insurance purchased overseas is often buried in with other charges. Are you sure the rate you are actually paying is less than our rate? If you sell CFR, you still have the inland transit to the load port to insure. Losses frequently occur while in transit to and while at the port/airport.“We already have cargo insurance through our corporate program”
Please introduce us to your Insurance or Risk Manager. We should be able to provide your manager with a thorough review of your policy and provide recommendations on special insurance clauses, rates and loss control. Any improvement or other success will be associated with your introduction.