It is imperative that when claims do arise they are handled efficiently and settlement made without delay. It is for this reason that merchants should become familiar with the steps to be taken in the event of such a claim.
1. Any news regarding a claim or even a potential claim should be communicated to Insurers at the earliest opportunity.
2. If the loss is likely to exceed £250 or thereabouts, Underwriters will normally require a survey report. Surveys are conducted by Lloyd’s Agents who are available in practically every major port throughout the world and are at the service of all Underwriters. When instructed, they carry out inspections and issue recommendations regarding repairs, etc. Where a shipper has sold CIF, for example, and has issued the consignee with an insurance certificate the Lloyd’s Agent will appear on that certificate. Once the claim has been quantified and documented, Underwriters are normally in a position to transfer, directly to the consignee through the medium of the Lloyd’s Agent.
3. A written claim should be made immediately on the carrier/ship owner as failure to do so can prejudice the Insurer’s rights of recovery.
What happens in practice is that when the claim has been settled between the Underwriter and Exporter, it is then at the discretion of the Underwriter to decide whether or not there is a claim worth pursuing against the carrier concerned.
4. Clean receipts should never be given if the loss is apparent. The delivery docket/consignment note should be claused accordingly.
5. Finally, Insurers will then require some or all of the following documents:
a) Insurance Certificate
b) Commercial Invoice
c) Bill of Lading or Consignment Note, whichever is applicable
d) Delivery receipt
e) Correspondence with carriers/ship owners
f) Repair estimates
g) Surveyor’s Report
Marine insurance claims are settled in the currency expressed on the insurance policy/certificate. If the claims are to be paid in the local currency, it is necessary that the insurance certificate is issued and the premium paid in that currency also. The Surveyor’s fees/expenses form an admissible part of the claim once the claim itself is recoverable.