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Freight carriers are legally required to carry a minimum amount of insurance, but this insurance provides limited coverage. This required insurance, referred to as “carrier liability,” is limited to 10 cents per pound of the shipment. This carrier liability cannot exceed the invoice value of your shipment. Your carrier should be able to provide you with specific information on coverage, deductibles, and claims management.

Purchasing Additional Freight Cargo Insurance

Because freight is more susceptible to damage than smaller shipments, you may want to purchase additional insurance to cover your items. Freight insurance can be purchased from a variety of third-party companies which offer coverage that exceed carrier liability. A great option is to purchase coverage through uShip Cargo Insurance. This covers approved cargo against damage in addition to lost or stolen goods. If you want to buy additional insurance, you can do so during the booking process. Simply enter the value of your item(s) into the “Coverage Amount” box, keeping in mind the limits of liability established by the insurance policy.

You may also be covered by other sources of insurance, including:

  • Business insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Credit card insurance (if you use it to pay for cost of shipment)
  • Recording damages and filing claims

At delivery, inspect your shipment along with your driver. Note any visible losses or damages. Do not refuse the shipment unless damage has rendered your freight worthless. As soon as possible, unpack and inspect your shipment. Contact your freight carrier and freight insurance company with any hidden damages or losses.

In the case that you have to file a claim for your freight shipment, it is important to take certain actions immediately. File with your freight carrier and freight cargo insurance company as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. Carrier liability and freight insurance only covers damage or loss to the goods transported, not lost time, labor, or shipping costs.

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Charles Myers

General Manager, Freight Division at uShip.com
Charlie Myers has been in the transport, freight and supply chain since the early 1970’s. He is currently the general manager of uShip freight, where he oversees uShip’s commercial freight initiatives. Before joining uShip. Myers was director of international business development with England Logistics. Myers has also spent six years as president of Getloaded.com and served four years on the Board of Directors at the Transporation Intermediaries Association (TIA). Charlie has also served on the Board of the International Refrigerated Transport Association (IRTA). Myers also worked for 30 years in various roles with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Department of Defense’s largest logistics combat support agency and the Interstate Commerce Commission. He is a published writer in the logistics and supply chain field, including two books.

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