Learn about merchandise insurance

A service that seems to be complementary but that can help reduce the percentage of risk in all stages of a logistics process


  • What documents are needed to insure goods?:

    Commercial invoice and transportation documents (Air waybill, Maritime Bl, Shipping letter)

  • Who should the insured party be?:

    It should correspond to anyone with an insurable interest in the insured goods. The insured is the same beneficiary of the insurance and must appear on the commercial invoice.

  • What value should the sum insured correspond to?:

    It should correspond to the value of the goods with all its component of cost that constitutes it, as follows:

    For imports, the sum of the invoiced value of the goods and international freight. It is optional to insure the freight.

    For exports, the sum of the values of the invoice of the goods and the national freight. It is optional to insure international freight and custom taxes.

    For national offices, the sum of the commercial invoice plus the national freight.

  • Can the insured route be changed?:

    The insured party can not change the final destination of the transport of the insured goods when this change is done in another city, excepts of force majeure. To do so, you must mediate a prior agreement with the company.

  • Can the insured value be changed?:

    The insured may change the final value of the transport of the insured merchandise when it has not reached its final destination. To do so, you must mediate prior agreement with the company.

  • Hoes are vulnerable good classified?:

    The following goods are classified as VULNERABLE GOODS; steels, zinc, copper sheets or wire rolls, canned food, rice, sugar of any kind excluding raw sugar, footwear, leather, finished leather products, export coffee and parchment coffee, cell phones, parts, video devices, cameras, cigarettes, tobacco, computer equipment and / or components or their accessories, appliances such as refrigerators, TV, sound systems, fishmeal, biomedical products, video games, video software, toys, perfumes, colognes and similar products (including personal hygiene products), spirits, beers, wines, books and printed matter, school texts, paints, solvents, raw materials for paints, tires, slot machines, gambling equipment, powdered milk, paper and / or products made with paper pulp such as toilet paper, napkins, kitchen towels, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers, polypropylene, polyethylene and latex in raw or in bulk, biomedical products, pharmaceutical and veterinary products other than animal feed, chemicals including agrochemicals, fungicides, insecticides, fertilizers, automotive spare parts, CKD material, when they come armed (does not include parts for disassembled parts), textiles, fabrics, clothing, accessories, airplane or motor vehicles, vehicles mobilized by their own means.

  • What are that mass consumption technology goods?:

    Mass consumption technology goods are understood as business, personal or portable computers, computer parts such as displays, hard drives, modems, electronic cards or their spare parts, printers and their parts, printing inks, tablets, Ipad, or similar, equipment for cellular communication and / or Avantel (signal transmission equipment or equipment belonging to telephone companies, cables and antennas are excluded from this classification), sound equipment (excluding equipment for concerts, theaters, and that are not sold in bulk), sound equipment such as iPod, technology equipment mp3, mp4, video cameras, TV or photography, televisions, flat screens, plasmas or similar, appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, blenders.

  • Can you insure goods after its departure from origin?:

    No, you can only insure goods that it´s departure date is the same day for previous dates, you must request permission from the insurance company.

  • Can an insurance policy be generated if the cargo has several places of origin?:

    If a single truck picks up the merchandise and makes several stops to take it to port and/or airport, single insurance would apply, if on the contrary there are several trucks that pick up and take the merchandise to port and/or airport, different policies must be issued.

  • What is the scope of coverage for perishable goods?:

    It covers transportation accidents, such as an airplane, ship or truck accident that damages the goods. Damage is not protected without evidence of what happened since it can be confused with the individual vice of the goods, which is an exclusion of coverage.

  • What is an accident?:

    In insurance company terminology, the occurrence of an event covered by the insurance policy, beginning with the obligations allowed by the insurer.

  • What should I do in case of cargo transportation accident?:

    Leave a photographic record evidencing the loss.

    Advise and document the transporter of the way the goods are received.

    Send accident notice to Skholl at customercare@skholl.com

  • What is the time frame I have to communicate an accident?:

    10 days after becoming aware of the incident.

  • What is the insurer's maximum time to provide an answer about a claim?:

    After all the required documents have been sent, the insurer has a maximum response time of 30 days.

  • How is the claim formalized?:

    The claim is formalized before the insurer when the evidence and documents required by the insurer are fully compiled and submitted. It is possible that during the review of the documents provided, the insurer sees the need to request other types of media that clarify the claim and deem it convenient, which we will be communicating in a timely manner.

  • What types of claims exist?:

    Partial loss due to damage

    Total damage loss

    Looting or missing

    Total merchandise theft

    Container breakdown

    Coarse breakdown

  • What do I do with the damaged goods?:

    In the event of a breakdown, if it is concluded that the goods are declared a total loss, the insured must not dispose of the cargo because the salvage will become the property of the insurer. Doing so is grounds for objection in the claim, or opens the possibility of receiving a claim for damages. Likewise, it must be protected until the sinister is defined.

  • What is the difference between general cargo insurance and container insurance?:

    For general cargo insurance, merchandise is insured against risks associated with freight transport. In container insurance, the container is insured as such from the moment it is delivered by the shipping company to the insured until the return to its destination, it covers damage to the container during the transit of the merchandise.

  • What are the most common risks in the transport of merchandise?:

    Inherent to the means of transport

    Insufficient or inappropriate packaging

    Damages caused by human interference

    Looting or missing merchandise

    Hits or bumps

    Exposure to vibrations


    Accelerations, decelerations, and braking

    Use of unusual or busy routes or roads

  • What modes of transport can a cargo be secured?:

    Land, sea, air and rail transport.

  • What guarantees do insurance companies require?:

    That the transport is carried out with a legally authorized company.

    That the goods are packed in conditions that reduce the probability of damage and that, in case of not traveling in a container, it is located under the cover so that the damages due to strong waves are reduced.

    If the goods are not received in optimal conditions, it should be recorded in writing before the carrier the amount actually received and it is status to facilitate the subsequent claim made by the insurance company before the carrier.

  • Are companies obliged to pay any claim?:

    No, they are only obliged to pay those claims that occur within the validity of the policy and those in which it is demonstrated that the causes of the loss or damage were generated by events covered by it and occurred during the transport of the merchandise.

  • What is a deductible?:

    It is part of the risk that is accepted by the insured. Insurance companies use this mechanism to share the risk with the insured to be careful with their assets.


We help you understand the meaning of the most common keywords in our industry.

  • Accident: Grievous damages, destruction or important loss suffered by people or merchandise due to an accident. They are usually compensated by the insurers.

  • Additional Expenses: Any value different from the commercial invoice, freights and taxes.

  • Automatic Coverage: General cargo or previously authorized by the insurer.

  • Automatic Renewal: Act by which the insurance taker authorizes the insuring company to immediately renew the insurance, for the same period, when this has already expired.

  • Average: Synonym of accident.

  • Beneficiary: Natural or juristic person who receives the benefits or the insurance company payment.

  • BL: Contract of transportation given to the shipper as a document. It demonstrates the existence of a contract and gives rights over the merchandise.

  • Catastrophe: An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury of the insured.

  • Claim: Payment or compensation request after an accident has occurred.

  • Coinsurance: Legal practice when an insurer shares the risk assumed with other insurers.

  • Commodity: It’s the type of the insured cargo.

  • Compensation/Benefits: Amount to be paid or benefit to be given to the person who files a claim after an accident or loss has occurred.

  • Container: A very large metal box with the international standard measures, used for cargo transportation.

  • Coverage: Any risk or event covered by an insurance and for which a compensation is paid when they occur.

  • Deductible: The part of the risk that the insured is in charge of. Insurers use this mechanism to share the risk with the insured, encouraging them to be careful with their goods.

  • Dispatch: Consecutive number given to the insurances.

  • Exclusion: Specific condition indicated in the insurance policy as non-covered and for which the insurer doesn’t pay any compensation. All exclusions vary according to the type of insurance.

  • Extraordinary Cleaning: Necessary actions to remove the dirt from a container, left from damages produced to the cargo. E.g. oil, grease, chemical products.

  • Freight Forwarder: Company in charge of organizing, loading, unloading, driving, keeping and transporting domestic or international cargo in his facilities or his contributor’s, through different modes of transport.

  • General Average: Intentionally provoked damages to a vessel or the cargo being transported, in order to avoid grievous damages to the merchandise or the vessel. Its value is proportionally distributed between the beneficiaries of this intentional conduct.

  • General Cargo: All the cargo that can be handled without special requirements or specifications.

  • Incoterms: Set of international rules, governed by the International Chamber of Commerce, that determine where the responsibility starts and ends, from both seller and buyer.

  • Infrainsurance: The circumstance where the value of the insured goods is lower than its market value.

  • Insurable interest: The economic relationship threatened by a risk, where the wealth of the insured could be affected if it occurs. The insurable interest must exist in every moment, from the date in which the insurer assumes the risk.

  • Insured Value: Maximum amount of money for which, in case of an accident, the insurance carrier should respond.

  • Insured: Natural or juristic person, owner of the cargo, who can result affected by the risks covered by the policy.

  • Legally Authorized Company: Transportation company, legally established and endorsed by the authorities.

  • Limitation Period: The instant when the deadline for an action or right stablished in an insurance contract is reached.

  • Loss of profit: Any profits or benefits that a shipper doesn’t earn due to an accident.

  • Notice of accident: Document by which the insured informs the insurer the occurrence of an accident.

  • Particular Average: Damages produced to the cargo by accident.

  • Policy: Document given by a company to the insurance taker, where all the conditions of the contract are exposed.

  • Premium: The value of an insurance.

  • Rate: Percentage charged by the insurer for selling the policy. It varies according to the type of cargo and mode of transport.

  • Renewal: Act by which the taker decides to continue with his insurance for an extra period.

  • Risk: Uncertain event that does not depend on the will of the insured.

  • Security Protocol: Document that exposes the requirements an insured should take for inland transportation.

  • Special Cargo: All the cargo that needs special handling, such as perishable or refrigerated.

  • Subrogation: is a term describing a legal right held by most insurance carriers to legally pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured. This is done in order to recover the amount of the claim paid by the insurance carrier to the insured for the loss.

  • Suprainsurance: Understood as the excess of the insured amount against the market price of the insured goods.

  • Taker: The person who hires the insurance and who is obliged to pay the premium.

  • Validity: Timeframe before the insurance ceases to have effect.

  • Vehicle accompaniment: It’s the accompaniment of the shipment with a person, escort or custodian in a vehicle following the truck, under legal conditions and according to each country’s customs.

  • Vessel: It’s a big ship with a deck, specially designed for long hauls.

  • Warranty: The promise by which the insured is obliged to comply to a specific requirement or by which the existence of a fact is stated (e.g. an escort will be hired to diminish the risk).


Here you can find additional information that will help you better understand merchandise insurance, the risks of cargo transport and the advantages of protecting goods in international trade.


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