Exporters: Are You Prepared for Acts of God?

Exporters: Are You Prepared for Acts of God?

Did Noah have Marine Insurance? He didn’t need to because he was prepared for the flood and built the Ark accordingly. The rest of us are unlikely to get the kind of divine tip-off Noah had, should an Act of God occur.

Acts of God are defined, in insurance terms, as events outside human control. This covers sudden natural disasters for which no one can be held responsible.

If you are an exporter, or intending to become one, you may well be thinking about Marine Insurance to protect your goods in transit. The question you should really be asking yourself is, ‘will my insurance cover me for any eventuality?

Jamie Hill, of Hill Shipping, observes that. “A lot of people automatically presume that Marine Insurance is in place for their shipping consignments, but often this is not the case.”

“When the freight forwarder quotes the exporter a price for transporting goods, this may or may not include Marine Insurance”, Jamie continues. “Therefore, it is vital that the exporter has agreed the necessary trading conditions in advance”.

Freight forwarders and carriers can limit their liability, but some may include their own Marine Insurance as an added value to their service. It is important for the exporter to be aware of this, and to know what this actually covers.

“You never want a situation happening where, not only are your items lost at sea, but you will also be hit financially”, concludes Jamie.  “Without the right agreements and policy in place, the carrier may also be able to demand a contribution from the exporter for the salvage costs of a vessel”.

The questions exporters should be asking of their Marine Insurance include:

  • Is the policy offering full cover, including Acts of God?
  • What is the excess payable?
  • What are the exclusions?


It’s important for exporters to be able to manage and minimise, risk. No one can be prepared for Acts of God – storms and other natural disasters – but having the right kind of policy and protection in place is something well within a business’ control.

Acts of God are not a choice but fully comprehensive Marine Insurance is.