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Cornish Insurance | Our Products: Goods in Transit
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Cornish Insurance
126-128 High Street,
Delabole, Cornwall
PL33 9AJ

01840 213836

01840 212610


Specialists since 1984

Goods in Transit

Goods in Transit or to be more precise ‘Freight Liability’ is the liability of carriers and other bailees in respect of the goods they may carry, handle, store or forward. Such liability may arise out of the contract conditions of carriage or trading of the carrier or bailee. Where no conditions are specified and where no statutory conditions are imposed common law will apply.

Our competitively priced, bespoke Freight Liability Policies have proven themselves as the market standard for nearly 3 decades. To stay ahead of the competition we are constantly updating and improving our products to ensure you, the customer, have the benefit of the very latest wordings to suit current market trends and conditions.

Freight Liability wordings can be fraught with danger for the unsuspecting or inexperienced operator. In an ever-changing economic climate, it is essential that you, the customer, have the backing of a specialist broker with the knowledge and expertise to guide and advise you on the many pitfalls which lay within this complex market.

Our bespoke freight liability policies are all underwritten by financially secure UK insurers with each policy being tailored to your individual needs. We are able to offer policies to provide security to:-

To assist you in determining the exact type of cover you may require to protect you and your business please click on the bullet points detailed above. The ‘frequently asked questions’ section below may also help guide you through what may be, to many, a confusing area of cover. Further advices is available at your disposal, by calling any one of our specialist brokers on 01840 213836

Haulage Contractors

All companies involved in the movement of goods by road for hire and reward will require some form of freight operators liability cover. In the event that goods are damaged, lost or stolen whilst in your care custody and control the owner of the goods will hold you liable for this up to an amount specified to them prior to contract. This amount may be governed by specific conditions of carriage, which have been designed to limit your liability as a haulage contractor to a certain amount. The most common conditions used are RHA (Road Haulage Association) and FTA conditions (Freight Transport Association). The other benefit of using these conditions is that they are tried and tested in UK law.

Simplistically, all movements of goods crossing European borders (and some other countries further afield) on the same wheels all transits will be done under the CMR Convention.

Freight Forwarders

If you are acting as a freight forwarder i.e. arranging for the movement of a third parties goods from one place to another using subcontractors vehicles, rail, sea or air you will need freight forwarders liability insurance.

If the goods you are forwarding are UK to UK the liability cover you offer them will most probably be under the UK’s most common conditions of carriage such as RHA or FTA conditions. You may wish to increase the level of cover but in both cases it is imperative that you confirm your subcontractor has identical cover in place.

If you are forwarding goods abroad by various methods of transport you should have your own freight forwarding conditions in place or BIFA Conditions (British International Freight Association) that have a set limit of liability in place but will also stand subordinate to legislation which imposes other conditions for certain methods of transport. NOTE most insurers will only accept freight forwarders involved in the movement of goods overseas who are members of BIFA.


If you rent space for storage in your premises you as a warehouse keeper have a responsibility to the owners of the stored goods to provide a dry, danger free and secure premises for them to do this in. If you fail in your duties to provide this you will be liable to the amount you have agreed with your client prior to contract.

The problem with renting space is that you may not know what is been stored at your premises and the correct value of the goods that are been stored. This is why we advise our clients to store goods under specific conditions of storage such as RHA (Road Haulage Association) and UKWA (United Kingdom of Warehouse Keepers Association). These both limit your liability to £100 per tonne but can be increased for specific contracts.

Rail Operators

If you are solely involved with carriage of goods by rail you as a rail operator are responsible for the goods you have been asked to move when you are presented with the CIM Consignment note and the goods.

Removal Contractors

If you are involved in household/office removals you will require freight operators insurance the same as any company moving goods for hire and reward but for this type of work you may wish to offer your client increased levels of cover. RHA and FTA conditions limit your liability, usually, to £1,300 per tonne which may not be sufficient for this type of work due to the fact different items have differing values and sizes. It is usually the case that removal contractors offer all risk cover up to a certain limit i.e. £30,000 per load therefore the goods carried are covered up to £30,000 for the full consignment.

Airfreight Operators

If you are moving goods by air you have a responsibility for the third parties goods while they are under your care, custody and control.

Conditions for international airfreight are governed by the Warsaw Convention 1929, Hague Protocol 1955 and the Montreal Protocal 1975 making you liable for an amount of up to 17 SDR’s per kilo.

Marine Freight Operators

If you are involved in the movement of goods by boat or ship within UK territorial water or international waters you have a responsibility to take care of the goods left in your care, custody and control.

The movement of goods carried by sea internationally are governed by The Hague-Visby Rules which are enacted in to UK law as the Carriage of Goods BY Sea Act 1971 (COGSA). These limit your liability to 666.67 SDR’s per package or 2 SDR’s per kilo.

Who needs this type of cover?

Any person who, for a fee, moves, stores or handles the property of others, or who arranges to have any of those tasks carried out.

What is a Bailee?

A bailee is a person who has temporary custody of property belonging to another. Carriers, warehouse keepers and others who carry, handle or store goods are bailees. The liability of a bailee is unlimited except that of the value of the loss. To avoid liability the bailee must be able to demonstrate that they have exercised reasonable skill and care in respect of the goods and their duties.

What is Bailment?

A bailment is the temporary transfer of property from a bailor to a bailee.