Marine Insurance

cargo insurance

Shipping With Peace of Mind

At ICE, we understand the complexities and risks involved in transporting goods across the globe. That’s why we offer cargo insurance as part of our service. Whether you are shipping by sea, air, or land, our insurance solutions provide coverage against loss, theft, damage, and other (not uncommon) hazards.

We partner with a leading insurance provider to offer competitive rates and comprehensive coverage so you can keep your business moving forward with confidence.


Marine Insurance

Marine Cargo Insurance FAQ

Can cargo insurance cover multiple modes of transportation within a single policy?

Yes, cargo insurance can cover multiple modes of transportation within a single policy. In fact, it is required for certain types of policies.

Depending on the modes of transportation, it can be hard for damage to be pinpointed to a specific part of the cargo’s journey – especially for containerised goods when the damage is hidden until delivery. This makes claims difficult when there are multiple insurers and parties.

Therefore, some marine cargo insurers only quote to protect you for the whole duration of the transit.

What are the most common types of cargo insurance claims?

The most common type of cargo insurance claim is for damages. This is either from a specific incident in transit that damages the unit – such as a collision or a dropped unit – or it is concealed freight damage which occurs in transit but is not found until the delivery.

Concealed freight delivery is hard to allocate liability for since the cargo is not checked at each handover. This is why it makes sense to ensure you have a an insurance policy covering you from warehouse to warehouse.

Does marine insurance cover container repair bills?

Marine insurance can  cover damage to containers owned by you. However, your insurers may not pay out for container damage in the following circumstances:

  • the container owner has their own insurance to cover the container and you are not liable for the loss/damage.
  • The damage was the fault of another party and should be dealt with by their insurance, such as when the haulier has a road collision.
  • The claim is a result of negligence, such as when the container has not been swept out properly and the bill is for cleaning.
  • There is not sufficient evidence to verify the claim.

If this is a major concern for you, please check your insurance policy for specific details.

To give you the best protection when it comes to container repair fees, work with your partners to establish document procedures at every step of your supply chain. Photos, videos, and interchange receipts are essential tools for avoiding unfair claims against you.

Will marine insurance cover my goods if they arrive damaged?

Marine insurance will cover you if your goods arrive damaged, but it is also your responsibility to ensure that this is documented correctly. Here are a few tips to help you in the event of damaged cargo:

  • Take photos during the unloading, checking for issues with the container that could have contributed to the damage. E.g. condensation or a hole in the roof.
  • Note any damages that you have on the Proof of Delivery (POD) note. If you sign for the delivery without noting the damage, then it is hard for you to prove the damage occurred in transit and not after receipt.
  • Ask your shipper to take photos of the cargo and container during loading to show the condition of the shipment before it was shipped.

Damage that occurs after your cargo has been unloaded at the final destination is normally not covered as there is usually a property insurance policy that will respond in that instance.

What is the best Incoterm for cargo insurance?

Only two of the International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) require insurance to be contracted:

  • Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF).
  • Carriage and Insurance, Paid to (CIP).

Under these Incoterms, the seller is required to provide insurance of the goods until the named destination.

The other nine Incoterms have a defined moment during transit when the liability for damages is transferred from the shipper to the buyer:

  • Ex-Works (EXW): at the seller’s premises.
  • Free Carrier (FCA) and Carriage Paid To (CPT): at a nominated collection point.
  • Free Alongside Ship: at the origin port.
  • Free On Board (FOB) and Cost and Freight (CFR): once the goods pass the ship’s rail.
  • All the D-level Incoterms (DAP, DDP, DPU): delivery at destination.

Note that the transfer of liability does not match the transfer of freight obligations for the CPT and CFR Incoterms.

What should I do if I find any damage on the container or cargo?

If you find damage when you receive a container, the first thing to do is gather evidence. This means taking photos and videos of the affected cargo, the container number, the condition of the container – anything that relates to the damage which the insurer could need to validate your claim.

The second and equally important thing to do is note any damages on the Proof of Delivery (POD) form that the haulier provides. This is essential as a “clean” signature on a POD means a claim can be rejected on the grounds that the damages could have occurred after receipt.

What causes marine insurance policies to fluctuate in price?

There are multiple causes affecting marine insurance prices. Major global events (wars, COVID, supply chain issues), global reinsurance prices, market pressures, inflation, the individual performance of your insurance company, the risks attached to different types of commodities or other risk factors such as countries of origin/destination.

Your premiums may also go up if you have frequently claimed against your insurance, and can go down after a period of no claims. This usually follows getting guidance on securing cargo and implementing better processes across your supply chain.

Can a freight forwarder arrange marine insurance for me, or do I need an insurance broker?

A freight forwarder can help facilitate a marine insurance policy for you by working with an Insurance Broker and/or Insurer with the appropriate Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL)

The advantages to booking your marine cargo insurance through your forwarder are:

  • They know how to document everything in the way that the insurer needs for a claim.
  • They have a close relationship with the insurer for when there is a problem or when improvements need to be made.
  • They know which details need to be given when contracting the insurance.

Can I arrange cargo insurance only with a freight forwarder?

No. Although it is beneficial to arrange your marine cargo insurance through your freight forwarder, it is not essential to book it through them.

However, if it is costs you are considering booking separately for, consider the following:

  • Do you 100% know which details to provide on booking marine insurance?
  • Do you understand which policy to take out and the level of cover for each?
  • Do you have timely access to information and documentation on changes?
  • Do you know which instructions to give loaders, warehouses, and unloaders so that you are protected from damages and claims?
  • Do you know the process of making a claim?

If you answered “no” to any of these, it is worth working with a freight forwarder on your insurance as they will help you stay protected. You also have a higher chance of a successful claim should something go wrong.


“Since having International Cargo Express handle my ocean freight, I have had my bookings and equipment available without exception and on time. Communication between ICE and my supplier is very good and I receive information via my shipper before my supplier.”

Michael Caiacob – Purchasing and Supply Officer

“Due to critical stock levels we needed a fast solution to urgently meet growing client demand. Presented with this challenge, ICE quickly identified appropriate freighter services and proactively managed the movement of goods end to end.”

Eddie Liaw – Supply Chain Director

“ICE offered flexibility, high levels of communication and attention to detail during our pick, pack and delivery project. With their professional support, we were able to meet the demands of our supply chain knowing our freight was in safe hands.”

Tony Kealy – National Distribution Manager