Table of Contents
As an individual, you may have taken a life or car/bike insurance. As a transporter or business using logistics services, you may be familiar with marine and cargo insurance. But have you taken a transit insurance for goods transportation by road? With globalisation, trade and commerce is now carried out across domestic and international markets. And this creates risk of product damage during transportation, loading and unloading. There are financial losses associated and even the risk to lose customers and brand goodwill. That’s why a transit insurance policy for road logistics is important and can be beneficial to business.
In this article, we take a look at the meaning of transit insurance, what are its benefits and types, how you can get one, charges and key players.
What is transit insurance?
Transit insurance, in simple terms refers to an insurance plan that provides coverage to business goods being moved from one place to another. That is, if your business goods/merchandise/commodities are being moved from place ‘A’ to ‘B’ by trucks, then a land transit insurance policy will ensure that financially, the goods are being covered in case of any unforeseen mishaps.
The policy usually covers B2B goods transportation by road (e.g., via trucks, vans, tempos, railways) from the time of goods being loaded to its unloading at its destination.
In road based B2C or B2B logistics, damage to goods is commonplace. Transit insurance plans provide coverage to goods damaged during road transportation, in turn lowering risks and losses for the shipper.
What is covered under transport insurance in India?
In India, transit insurance coverage usually extends to specific situations that may damage goods in transit. Based on the plan taken, coverage can include:
- Packaging and unpacking errors
- Transportation by roadways or railways
- Materials handling, loading and unloading
- Warehousing and storage
- Any other contingencies caused to goods in transit e.g., theft, fire, road accidents, vehicle overturning, malicious damages, etc.
In brief, most inland transit insurance plans provide protection and coverage against general or natural mishaps that may damage goods while in movement.
Types of transit insurance policies in India
There are different types of land transit insurance available in India used by logistics and trucking companies.
Domestic transit insurance policies are available in different types. Some of the most common variants are:
- Single insurance policy
This policy provides insurance coverage for goods transported in a single journey, i.e., point of origin to destination. For example, if you have to ship goods from Delhi to Pune via a single truck shipment, you can get a single coverage plan to secure the shipment.
This this type of coverage plan is more suitable for businesses that ship occasionally or is shipping a single consignment only.
- Open insurance for goods transportation
This inland transit insurance policy provides coverage for multiple shipments across a specific period e.g., 1 year.
For example, if a business ships numerous consignments to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad or any other city throughout the year, an open transit insurance policy is more suitable. For LTL and PTL shipping consignment moreover, an open transportation insurance policy is more effective. It will ensure that the goods are covered from damage, especially since there’s loading/unloading done more than once.
As such, if you have numerous consignments planned, you can purchase the insurance policy for multi shipment coverage only once, without having to buy insurance every time you ship.
- Customised transport coverage plan
As the name suggests, a customised transit insurance plan allows transporters the flexibility to customise the insurance policy as per their requirements.
This is recommended for businesses and transporters who ship different goods across locations. Based on the insurance provider, the insurance can be customised as per type of goods, location, value, vehicle type and more.
- Third-party transit coverage plan
A third-party transit insurance plan is required when goods are being transported through third-party vehicles. That is, if you are shipping goods through a different vendor vehicle, this insurance coverage will reduce risks for goods in transit. (Note: This should not be mistaken for third-part logistics services or providers of 3PL services.)
For instance, if you are a freight forwarding company, and have to ship goods to rural pincodes, you may work with third-party carriers especially if you do not have your own vehicle for transportation. The insurance coverage will ensure that your goods are protected, and any unforeseen damages does not result in direct financial losses.
- Multiple vehicle cover for goods in transit
As an individual, you must be familiar with situations where you have to change modes of transportation to reach a point. Similar is the case with goods transportation. Multiple carriers are used to transport goods from one place to another, which requires a multi-vehicle transit insurance coverage.
There are times when goods have to be moved through multiple vehicles. For example, using heavy-trucks to transport goods from city-to-city, and then mini-vans to transport to rural interiors. A single policy will cover the entire shipment. It will also ensure that any damage/loss caused when goods are transferred from one vehicle to another, is insured.
It is however a business call to move goods through single or multiple carriers and take a domestic insurance for goods in transit accordingly.
How much does it cost to buy a transit insurance policy and where to buy?
Let’s us have a look at the transit insurance charges in India.
The cost or premium of in-transit insurance varies between insurers. It is calculated based on the goods sum assured, the type of goods being transported, packaging, risks associated and other factors.
Listed below are some of the popular providers of transportation insurance for goods:
- ICICI policy (i.e., ICICI Lombard marine transit insurance)
- Policybazaar platform (Policybazaar for Business) offering transit insurance online policies from multiple insurers including Bajaj Allianz, Digit, National Insurance and more
- Secure Now (with premium starting from ₹350/-) offering policies for ICICI Lombard, Bajaj Allianz, Reliance General Insurance
- HDFC insurance plans (i.e., HDFC ERGO marine insurance policy)
To calculate the premium, you can use an online transit insurance calculator or check with your insurance agency for prices.
In general, for an insurance coverage amount of ₹10 lakh, cost of policies or premium paid starts from approximate ₹590/transit.
(Note: When buying a plan, check with the insurer on the premium to be paid)
Tata nexarc’s Logistics advantage
The cost of insurance on transportation will naturally increase your overall logistics transport costs. And that can be a pain point for most businesses, especially MSMEs.
At Logistics on Tata nexarc, we offer the solution. When you ship with us, you get free transit insurance. This means, your consignment is safe, secure and insured at no additional cost!
We have partnered with several reliable logistics services providers in India and facilitate doorstep deliveries across 19000+ pincodes through PTL shipping. To learn more about our logistics transportation rates and free insurance on goods-in-transit, explore Logistics now.
Do you need insurance on goods in transit?
Do you need a transit insurance online plan for shipping? This is a valid question considering buying a transportation insurance policy will increase your logistics costs.
Here are the top benefits of having a transit insurance plan and why you should buy it:
- Reduces risks of financial losses caused by shipping damages to goods in transit
- Ensures safety of goods throughout transportation cause by any general or natural causes
- Provides transporters flexibility to buy insurance coverage based on business needs
- Available for businesses and individuals having to transport goods by roadways
FAQs on goods transit insurance coverage in India
Are partial losses covered?
In most cases, transport insurance policies cover losses caused by partial damage to goods/commodities. It is however recommended to check the coverage details when buying a transit insurance policy for your shipment.
Who can buy a transit insurance policy?
A transport insurance plan can be purchased by traders, manufacturers, transporters, businesses involved in export-import etc.
What commodities are covered under an online transit insurance policy?
There are many commodities that are covered by a inland transport insurance policy online. If you are working with a newly started trucking company, check with them or the insurer for the entire list of commodities included.
Some of the common goods covered are: stationary items, metal scraps, iron/steel rods, metal pipes, leather goods, edible fruits and nuts, automobiles, auto spare parts, fabric and garments, marble and granite, electronic equipment, and more.
How is premium calculated in transit insurance policies?
The cost of premium will vary based on the insurer. Some of the factors considered are: type of goods being transported, sum assured/value of goods, packaging used, number of loading/unloading or vehicle transfers, risks associated.
Check with your insurer for more information on the transit insurance policy plan, premium charges and claims settlement process.