Shipping insurance rates for fragile goods

Importers have to pay higher insurance rates for fragile shipments. So do people who hire movers to transport delicate household goods like antique China, chandeliers and expensive wine glasses to a new residence.

Shipping insurance rates for fragile goods

Other fragile products like strawberries are sensitive to changes in temperature.

Shipping technologies such as intelligent package labels and monitoring devices can remotely trigger an alarm when fragile cargo is subjected to unacceptable shocks or temperatures. One example of a device that sends signals directly to a personal computer or laptop is Innovatorium Technologies’ wireless Environment Monitor.

Rather than replacing the need for shipment insurance, however, these technologies emphasize the need for adequate cargo coverage for fragile goods. This article provides sample premium rates per US$1,000 worth of fragile goods shipped.

Types of Fragile Product Shipment Insurance

Premiums will vary by the type of shipping insurance policy for the fragile products, and how comprehensive the underlying coverage is. For example:

Total loss coverage is only payable if the fragile goods are completely destroyed while transported.
Basic insurance covers full or partial damages and losses to the fragile products.
All risk insurance policies cover the widest range of risks and losses during fragile cargo shipments.

All risk coverage is the most comprehensive coverage, although that term is somewhat misleading because only risks not specifically excluded are eligible.

Compared below are the cargo insurance rates for land, ocean and air shipments. Dollar amounts shown are in U.S. currency.

Insurance Rates for Fragile Good Shipments within USA or Canada

Shipping insurance rates

The following list shows the lowest premium rates per $1,000 of a fragile shipment’s insured value. Costs are for shipping delicate products within American or Canadian borders under the three types of cargo insurance policies described above, starting with the least comprehensive total loss coverage. For each policy type, insurance rates for shipping fragile cargo by land, ocean and air carrier are presented.

Total loss … US$26.90 per $1,000 for land shipments ($33.90 for ocean, $22.50 for air)
Basic … $29.40 for land ($36.40 for ocean, $25 for air)
All risk … $30.20 for land ($37.20 for ocean, $25.80 for air).

For domestic transportation, air shipment rates to insure fragile product loads are the least expensive. Ocean shipments are the most expensive, in part due to potentially more volatile conditions at sea. Under a total loss policy, ocean cargo insurance is 51% more expensive for underwriting fragile goods than coverage to send that same shipment via an air freight carrier.

Insurance Premiums for International Fragile Shipments

When importing fragile goods from outside North America, direct land shipments are not an option. Therefore, rate comparisons below are for ocean or air deliveries from a foreign country to the U.S. or Canada. These rates also apply to a shipment from U.S. or Canada to a foreign country.

The foreign country rates per $1,000 below are from 25% to 32% higher than the quoted rates for insuring a fragile shipment within the U.S. or Canada.

Total loss … US$43 per $1,000 for ocean shipments ($29.70 for air)
Basic … $45.50 for ocean ($32.20 for air)
All risk … $46.30 for ocean ($33 for air).

How much does it cost to insure a $10,000 crystal chandelier imported from France? Premiums range from $297 for an air cargo shipment under a total loss contract to $463 for an ocean carrier delivery under an all risk policy.

Insurance Quotes for Fragile Cargos from Mexico

Shipping insurance

Insurance premiums per $1,000 to cover transportation of fragile goods from Mexico to the U.S. or Canada also vary by type of cargo insurance policy. Premiums are as low as $22.50 for an air cargo shipment under total loss coverage to $19.30 for an all risk marine policy.

Total loss … US$45 per $1,000 for land shipments ($48.30 for ocean, $22.50 for air)
Basic … $47.50 for land ($35 for ocean, $25 for air)
All risk … $48.30 ($35.80 for ocean, $25.80 for air).

Land insurance rates from Mexico are up to 67% higher than premiums quoted for a domestic shipment via truck or rail within America or Canada. However, rates to insure a vehicle imported by ocean carrier from Mexico cost about 4% less than if delivered from a U.S. or Canadian port. Insurance rates for air freight deliveries are the same whether fragile goods are shipped from American, Canadian or Mexican airports.

Choosing Insurance on Fine China Goods

Shipments of antique Fine China can be invaluable, since these delicate products appreciate in value over time.

Assessing a fragile shipment’s insured value coupled with relatively high insurance rates per $1,000 can result in premiums much higher than the 5% level quoted in this article.

Before deciding on the appropriate type and amount of fragile shipment insurance, readers are encouraged to speak with a reputable freight forwarder. That professional will present a competitive set of rates from a number of financially strong cargo insurance companies, and assist the fragile product importer or shipper with finding the most reliable coverage at the lowest possible price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.