Basics of cargo insurance

Polaris Insurance Consultants can assist you in insuring cargoes.

Cargo insurance started in the 17th-century England in Edward Lloyd’s coffee-house, where English seamen, merchants and ship-owners used to sit and chat with a cup of coffee. They used to discuss their business and at some point, started making insurance agreements.

Among the main risks covered by cargo insurance are:

– traffic emergencies, shipwrecks or collisions of ships;

– stealing (including theft, robbery, plunder, fraud);

– natural disasters;

– wetting, deformation, crash, cleaves and other damage of cargoes;

– transport vehicle together with cargo gone missing;

– damage / loss of cargo as the result of refrigerating system breakdown;

– damage / loss of cargo during handling operations and transhipment;

– damage / loss of cargo during intermediate warehousing of cargo;

– other.

In most cases insurers offer their clients one of the three options of insurance policies covering: ‘all risks’, ‘with particular average’, ‘free from particular average’. However, for some categories of cargoes special insurance conditions may apply (e.g., coal transportation insurance under Institute Coal Clauses).

Both one-time shipment (with one-time cargo insurance policy) and regular cargo shipping (general policy on cargo insurance) can be insured.

Export and Import Cargoes Insurance

If CIF or CIP goods delivery terms are applied according to Incoterms 2020, insurance of cargoes or these shipments is obligatory. Although other delivery terms like DAT, DAP or DDP do not obligate the supplier to insure cargoes (unless it is specified in the foreign trade contract), they set forth the condition, that the consignor bears all risks of cargo damage or loss that may arise during the shipment in full. Thus, as a rule, such cargo shipment is always insured.

We can offer our clients insurance on the Russian market of both standard cargoes (like consumer goods) and other categories of cargoes like:


– project cargo;


oil and petroleum products;

exhibition and valuable cargoes;

– other categories of cargoes (ore, crude sugar, oil and grease products, etc.).

To pay for many of such shipments Letter of Credit (L/C) is used. In such case we can assist our clients in obtaining an insurance policy for L/C to be accepted by their bank. Feel free to approach us for help in insurance of cargo on the Russian market by e-mail: