Insurance is a crucial consideration in the export process. The purpose of any insurance is to protect you from loss as a result of actions outside of your control (such as your customer not paying you, or the ship containing your cargo sinking). There are various types of export-related insurance that you may wish to take out. Perhaps the most common is marine insurance. The purpose of marine insurance is to insure your cargo from various transport-related risks while it is being shipped to the importer (note that it is called marine insurance even if you send the cargo by air). Other types of insurance include export credit insurance (to protect you from the risk of non-payment on the part of the importer) and political risk insurance (to protect you should the importing country take some action that results in your non-payment).

To obtain insurance, you would approach a specialist insurance firm; a marine insurance company in the case of cargo or marine insurance, or a credit insurance firm. As far as marine insurance is concerned, your freight forwarder can help you in this regard and will either put you in touch with an insurance provider or obtain the insurance on your behalf.

Insurance documentation

All insurance documentation is unique to the insurer in question and the documentation will differ from insurer to insurer. Normally they will provide you with an insurance application form which you need to complete. On this form you will provide all the relevant and pertinent information that they need know in order to be able to judge your level of risk and to decide on an appropriate insurance premium to charge you. If they agree to insure you, the insurance provider will normally issue you with an insurance certificate. As these documents differ from firm to firm, we cannot provide you with generic copies. Nevertheless, an example of an insurance certificate is provided below for your information.

Provide accurate information

It is crucial in the case of any insurance application that you are open, frank and honest with your insurance provider. If you do not provide information that later is found to have a bearing on your risk, they can (and almost certainly will) decide not to pay you should you incur a loss.