Freight Shipping Insurance FAQs

Why do I need freight shipping insurance? Doesn’t carrier liability cover my shipments? And what is carrier liability, anyway? We get asked these and many other questions about carrier liability and freight insurance on a daily basis. Clearly, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what freight shipping insurance is and isn’t — and when it makes sense to add it to your shipment.

Let’s go through some freight shipping insurance FAQs so that you can make the best choices for your business shipping each and every time.

What is carrier liability?

Many businesses make the inaccurate assumption that their shipments are automatically and fully insured through their freight carrier’s limits of liability. However, that’s not the case. A carrier’s liability limits are simply the maximum amount of liability that the carrier will accept if they are proven to be responsible for loss or damage.

Does carrier liability have limits?

The short answer is that carrier liability is, in fact, limited! Every carrier has their own specific liability limits that they will cover, but it’s important to know that these limits are usually surpassed by the cost of shipping loss or damage. You should also keep in mind that carrier liability never guarantees coverage for loss or damage — it’s up to the shipper to prove that the loss or damage was caused by the carrier’s negligence in order to settle a claim. In the end, the carrier may not be legally liable and the shipper could be minimally compensated (if at all).

Is carrier liability the same thing as insurance?

Not at all. Carrier limits of liability are not the same as freight insurance and can’t be counted on to protect the full value of your shipment. Download our helpful tip sheet to learn more about the important differences between insurance and carrier liability.

When (and why) should I consider insurance?

With today’s supply chain risks, SMBs can’t afford the financial burden of lost or damaged shipments. From increased cargo theft and natural disasters to freight carriers who are stretched extremely thin in our current economy, you could probably use some extra peace of mind that your shipments will be fully protected if issues do arise — and freight insurance is the way to get it. We recommend considering insurance for all your freight shipments, but especially if your freight is fragile or high in value. With insurance, for a minimum of $20, you can be reimbursed for the full invoice value of your goods — protecting your profits and your reputation with customers.

What are the main benefits of insurance?

There are several major advantages to insuring your freight — especially when you partner with Unishippers for your freight shipping needs. These benefits include:

  • Repayment on the full value of your shipment if loss or damage occurs
  • Faster claims processing than under carrier liability (generally a few weeks versus a few months)
  • Full coverage across Unishippers’ freight carrier network, regardless of the mode of transportation (including multi-modes of transport)
  • Dedicated customer service that will quickly respond to any issues and walk you through the claims process

How can I add insurance to my next freight shipment?

Now that we’ve given you a primer on the ins and outs of freight shipping insurance, you should be ready to get the protection and peace of mind that comes with it! Purchasing InsureShield™ shipping insurance through UPS Capital® couldn’t be simpler — and can be done at the same time you obtain your freight quote with our online transportation management system (TMS). To get started, request a freight quote today.

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