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SMEs: Do you have the right insurance for package dispatch?

Last year, numerous businesses opened an online shop in addition to their actual store premises or they expanded their existing online venture. Between offer and delivery, there are a lot of details to clarify. Who is liable, for example, if goods arrive damaged when they reach the customer? Helvetia has some important tips.

23 February 2021, text: Natascha Fabian, photo: Depositphotos

delivery on the dolly by hand
Are you now selling your products online as well? Between offer and delivery, there are a lot of details to clarify.

Having an online shop alongside a traditional retail outlet offers a great opportunity. Even more so in the current situation, with stores having to shut down temporarily and "contactless" now the way forward. There are, however, a lot of new factors that online shop operators need to bear in mind. These include challenges in the form of processes, technology, payment procedures, as well as general terms and conditions (see Checklist "Keeping your online shop secure"). The final stage also has to be included in the equation: The transportation of goods.

Transport risks

A transaction is not over simply when you have dispatched the goods: Sender and recipient have no control over transportation. And it is not unusual for transported goods to get damaged or even go missing, which in turn leads to financial losses and income shortfalls. A part of these losses are often absorbed by transporters or courier services. The amount of liability differs from transporter to transporter, but is generally significantly limited. Since the value of the goods is therefore often higher than the liability limit, it is worth also taking out transport insurance. This provides comprehensive cover against potential damage. You should in any case require a signature or confirmation of receipt for any packages dispatched by post, as this automatically increases the transporter's liability limit. Our brochure provides an overview of national and international liability provisions.

Comprehensive cover with transport insurance

By taking out transport insurance, online shop operators can cover themselves against damage and losses incurred at any time during transportation. Goods dispatched by road, rail, ship, air, post or another courier service are also insured. Likewise covered are costs incurred due to manipulation, as well as follow-up costs, additional expenditure, and income shortfalls as a result of an insured loss.

Marine insurance

To minimize risks while goods are being transported, marine insurance protects against damage that may be sustained in transit or in interim storage.