UKWA members have been advised to check whether customers have insurance for their goods when implementing contracts incorporating the UKWA Conditions of Contract.
The Conditions of Contract, described as ‘the gold standard of the industry’, includes a default liability for the warehouse keeper of £100 per tonne if goods are lost or damaged by the warehouse keeper. However, where cargo exceeds this value and higher levels of cover are required, customers can request appropriate insurance is obtained and pay the premium accordingly.
In the third of UKWA’s series of ‘Bitesize Briefings’, Nick Toms, Director at insurance broker Appletons, joined Layla Barke-Jones, senior associate solicitor at specialist legal advisors Aaron & Partners, to discuss the importance of insurance in protecting warehouse keepers in claims for loss or damage to customers’ goods.
Nick recommended that members should check whether their customer already has a marine insurance policy in place, as this would provide the necessary cover.
He said that key benefit of using the UKWA Conditions of Contract is to protect the warehouse keeper from liability. “It is the customer’s responsibility to cover losses over and above the £100 per tonne specified as default in the Conditions, but it is the warehouse operator’s responsibility to ensure the customer is aware of this.”
He added, “The UKWA Conditions are there to prevent disputes in the long run, so members should not be bullied into paying insurance premiums that are down to the customer. For the cover it provides marine insurance is surprisingly cheap, therefore the vast majority of cargo owners have this in place anyway, so it’s always worth the warehouse operator asking the question!”