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Marine carrier's liability insurance

Damaged and lost items are unfortunately a common problem when shipping freight. 

Carrier's liability insurance protects the carrier of the goods for their liability due to loss or damage during the transit process and while cargo is in their care. 

Marine carrier's liability is a complex area governed in New Zealand by the Carriage of Goods Act 1979.  The Act relates to contracts between shipper and contracting carrier, as well as to contracts between contracting carriers and their sub-contractors.

Who needs marine carrier's liability insurance?

Freight forwarders and carriers are exposed to a broad variety of risks, with different liabilities applicable for transit by sea, air, road or rail. If you carry goods owned by someone else, you are liable for any damage to the goods and possibly for secondary damage resulting from your service.

People who need carrier's liability insurance include:

  • Freight forwarders
  • Shipping companies receiving goods at the wharf
  • Packers, consolidators, warehouse operators and stevedores
  • Port companies
  • Wharf marshalling providers

Marine carrier's liability insurance helps financially protect your business should anything go wrong.

What marine carrier's liability insurance covers 

This cover protects your legal liability, defence costs and expenses when you transport or store goods on behalf of others.

As with marine cargo insurance, the terms of the contract are important in assigning risk. Our brokers can help you understand your liability.

  • Limited carrier’s risk is the most common contract type in New Zealand and applies by default unless specified otherwise. The contracting carrier is liable for loss or damage to the goods throughout the duration of the contract, regardless of who actually damages or loses the goods, but with a set, limited liability per unit of goods.
  • Declared value risk is basically the same as limited carrier’s risk except that the package limitation may be negotiated between the parties.
  • Declared terms means the parties can freely negotiate a carriage contract.
  • Owner’s risk puts all the risk on the owner, except if damage or loss was intentionally caused by the carrier.

Help with marine insurance

Our marine specialist have over 40 years' experience with marine broking and underwriting, and extensive expertise in marine-affiliated policy. We maintain strong relationships with the Marina Operators Association (MOA) and look after many of the privately-owned marinas throughout New Zealand. 

Our long-standing relationships, and our international connections through Gallagher, keep us up to date with changes in the marine industry, and enables us to secure market-leading cover for our clients. 


Contact a marine broker

With over 40 years' experience in the industry, we understand what's needed to protect you and your business from domestic and international marine risks.

Get in touch