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Blog Entries posted by PiAnt

  1. PiAnt
    A deductible in a marine insurance policy is similar to an Excess. Basically it is a sum, usually a fixed or agreed amount or, in some cases, a percentage of the goods in value or weight, which is deducted from any settlement and which is, in the main, used to stop a torrent of claims for very minor amounts.
    Although the deductible may be fixed, you may be able to negotiate a higher deductible which would reduce the premium, although at the cost of an increase in your personal risk.
    In some instances, particularly with goods exported which are of exceptionally high value (vehicles, boats, works of art, antiques etc), it may be wise to employ independent surveyors who can conduct a pre-shipment survey of the condition of the goods, suitability and adequacy of packing and preparation for the transit, whose report can be used as evidence should a claim need to be pursued against any responsible party, or against insurers under the policy.
    Claim Adjustment
    In the event of a claim, insurers will, usually, assign a loss adjuster to investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss, damage or expense, with particular emphasis on the proximate cause. Loss adjusters will also advise insurers on policy liability, and adjust the claim if necessary.
    Loss adjusters are the people who come to your premises to inspect the goods, acting on behalf of insurers. You might have had experience of loss adjusters following, perhaps, a bump in your car, when a guy comes around, scratches his chin, and announces he can get you half of what you will pay for the repair.
    The adjuster will determine if the claim is recoverable under the policy and the extent of liability under the terms and conditions of the policy i.e., he will check to ensure that the cause is one of the risks insured against, not specifically excluded, occurred within the currency of the policy and make adjustments to the claimed amount or amounts to take into consideration any depreciation for wear and tear (if not covered new for old), and any deductible, and advise insurers of their liability.
    Although claims adjusters receive their instructions from insurers, they are regarded as independent and, should the claim be recoverable under the policy, they will advise insurers of that fact.
    It should be understood that the investigation carried out by loss adjusters can take some time, possibly several months, before the outcome is known.

    A few examples of situations where you might claim, and probable outcomes.
    1. You ship a full container load (FCL) of your goods from Thailand to your home country; professionally packed and shipped by a reputable freight forwarder. The container is properly stuffed at your premises under your supervision (or independent surveyors if your goods are of exceptionally high value). You take photographs of the entire procedure from beginning to end and have written appraisals for your expensive items. You have effected a marine insurance policy covering All risks including the risks of loading and unloading.
    a. The freight forwarder damages your sofa during loading or unloading.
    You qualify any documents remarks indicating the nature and extent of damage and obtain evidence of the damage with photographs and statements. You promptly, under the duty of Assured clause, submit a claim to the freight forwarders and to insurers enclosing a copy of the claim letter to the main freight forwarder (sub-contractors being responsible to them). Insurers pay the claim (less any deductible) and can recoup their loss against the responsible party.
    b. Damage is discovered upon opening the container (before unstuffing) at the final destination.
    Again, you qualify any documents with remarks indicating the nature and extent of damage and take photographs and statements if possible. You promptly, under the duty of Assured clause, submit a claim against the freight forwarder, carrier, packers and insurers, to whom you include copies of the claim letters to the other parties. All parties except insurers will, very likely, reply denying any responsibility, but insurers pay the claim (less any deductible) and can (if they can establish who is responsible) recoup their loss against the responsible party, or bear the loss themselves.
    c. You receive a letter telling you that the vessel, along with your goods, was lost at sea.
    You submit a claim against insurers who pay the claim in full, less the deductible.
    d. You receive a letter saying your container, stowed on deck, fell overboard.
    If you specified falling overboard (washing overboard being covered already) in the policy, you submit a claim against insurers who pay the claim in full. If not, the onus is on you to prove it was actually washed overboard, and didn't simply fall overboard. A difficult, if not impossible, task.
    2. You ship some goods (not enough to fill a container) of your goods from Thailand to Australia, which are collected from your premises and loaded into a consolidated container at the container yard by a reputable freight forwarder. You have relied on the freight forwarder to effect a marine insurance policy, of which you know little.
    a. You learn that damage to your goods is discovered upon opening the container (before unstuffing) at the final destination. The container is in apparent good order and condition.
    As above, you qualify any documents with remarks indicating the nature and extent of damage and take photographs and statements if possible, upon receipt of the goods. You promptly, under the duty of Assured clause, submit a claim against the freight forwarder, carrier, packers and insurers, to whom you include copies of the claim letters to the other parties. All parties will, very likely, reply denying any liability.
    Insurers will also deny any liability based on the fact that cover under the policy was only while the goods were over the rail and in the container, which was undamaged. Consequently, the damage could only have been sustained as a result of insufficient or inadequate packing or preparation of the goods. Containers received in good order and condition are accepted as not having been subjected to anything other than normal hazards of sea transit.
    The onus now lies with you to prove the damage occurred whilst the goods were in the care and custody of any of the parties or was occasioned by the action or inaction of any of the parties (although the likelihood is that the damage was sustained whilst stuffing the container or inadequate packing), in which case you must vigorously pursue a claim against the freight forwarder, container stuffing agent or packer, whose liability insurer will likely prove uncooperative at best.

    In my experience, most claims under marine insurance policies result from damage sustained as a result of: insufficient packing or poor preparation of the goods (not recoverable under marine insurance), condensation (inevitable or otherwise), rough handling/impact (recoverable if sustained during the policy and not a result of inadequate packing or preparation), and contact with water (recoverable if sustained during the policy).
    Knowing that, its worth bearing some points in mind when shipping your goods from Thailand.
    1. Ideally ensure a marine insurance policy is effected which covers all the risks you can envisage, including those associated with loading and unloading etc.
    2. Ensure that the goods are properly prepared and suitably and adequately packed to withstand the normal hazards of a sea voyage. Don't compromise on goods you do not wish damaged.
    3. Ensure the goods are adequately protected against condensation, using desiccant if necessary, ensuring good circulation of air in any containers. Seek professional advise if unsure.
    4. Take photographs of the pre-shipment condition of goods and, if possible, of the stowage of goods within any shipping containers.
    5. Ensure freight forwarders negate the risks of movement of goods within containers by use of chocks, bracing, lashing and padding of any spaces.
    6. When claiming, ensure you abide by the Duty of Assured clause in the policy by promptly submitting claim letters against any responsible party or parties, and include copies of these and all correspondence when submitting a claim to insurers.
  2. PiAnt
    It occurs a great many times that, upon delivery of goods, damage is found to have been sustained and, when a claim is submitted under the marine insurance policy, it is rejected by insurers. Contrary to popular belief, however, rejection is not the automatic knee-jerk response by all insurers to all claims, but if the claim is considered to fall outside the scope of policy cover, in 99.99% of cases, it will be rejected.
    It pays, therefore, to know what events are covered by the policy and, of particular importance, when cover starts and stops.
    The policy generally covers the actual marine transit or voyage. This means that insurers' liability under the policy attaches from the moment the goods pass the rail of the ship upon loading, and again when unloading. It follows, then, that any claim for damage which occurred before or after these times will be rejected. Why, then, should you bother with the insurance at all? Well, taking a ship to sea is an inherently dangerous and risky thing to do. Should something occur during the sea passage, such as a storm, fire on board the ship, piracy etc, then you can rest relatively easily knowing that, during this stage of the transit, liability for any loss, damage or expense lies with insurers.
    Depending on the terms and conditions of the policy, coverage is usually for such things as fire or explosion; stranding, grounding, capsizing or sinking; collision or contact with an external object (not water); discharge at a port of distress; general average1 and GA sacrifice; jettison or washing overboard2; entry of sea, lake or river water; total loss of any package (item) etc.
    1 Average in insurance terms means loss or damage
    2 Washing overboard which is a result of water forcing the goods overboard (and is a very narrow definition), is not the same as falling overboard, which is of wider scope and would not require the interaction of water.
    It follows, therefore, that loss, damage, or expense which is not attributable to one or more of the causes listed under the policy, is not recoverable under the policy.
    Additionally, there are many causes of loss, damage or expense which are specifically excluded from the policy such as loss or damage as a result of wilful misconduct of the Assured; ordinary loss in weight or volume (i.e., that which would occur naturally); insufficiency or unsuitability of packing or preparation of the subject matter; inherent vice; delay; insolvency or financial default of the carrier etc; weapons of war or nuclear weapons; unseaworthiness of vessel (if you knew about it beforehand) etc.
    The likelihood that your sofa could be damaged by a nuclear bomb might be considered slim, but the possibility that your goods were packed in a manner which could be considered insufficient or unsuitable is not. To clarify, imagine that, upon final delivery of your container of goods, you find damage to your sofa. Examination of the goods' stowage reveals that the sofa was placed, unsecured, in the container and with inadequate protection. Consequently, during the normal rolling back and to of the vessel while at sea, the sofa was sliding back and to and happily banging itself against your antique chest of draws.
    A claim for damage sustained as a result of this would be rejected by insurers, as it is specifically excluded from the policy. The onus would then be on you as Assured, should you wish to try and pursue the claim under the policy, to prove the damage was sustained as a result of a risk insured against, which would not be easy. In this instance, your only recourse would be to claim against the freight forwarder, or other party responsible for preparing or packing your goods for transit.
    It should be borne in mind, then, that the goods should be packed, prepared (and stuffed into a container), in a manner which is sufficient, suitable and well-prepared to meet the normal hazards of transit. Such normal hazards will be expected to include a certain amount of rocking to and fro and possibly a degree of man-handling (but not rough-handling); measures should also be taken to reduce the risk of condensation (i.e., desiccant if necessary), contact with water, taint from other goods etc.
    Condensation is a major issue affecting shipments of goods to and from Thailand; cover against such a risk can be included in a marine insurance policy, but not if condensation was inevitable because no measures to negate such were undertaken. Wrapping goods in plastic sheeting reduces airflow and can exacerbate condensation and insurers would, very likely, reject any claim for condensation damage to goods entirely wrapped in cling-film or any type of plastic sheeting.
    Similarly, an antique mirror found to be broken upon final delivery, would have to have had exceptional protection for insurers to accept a claim for such damage, as glass is particularly fragile and any damage may be considered inevitable if exceptional measures had not been taken to protect it.
    If you haven't employed specialist packers to prepare your goods for transit, you may wish to do this yourself, but hold the above principles uppermost in your mind whilst doing so.

    Attachment/Duration of Cover
    As mentioned briefly above, cover under the policy attaches when the goods pass the rail of the vessel on loading and ceases when passing the rail upon unloading at the destination. What this means is that any loss or damage which occurs outside of this period is not covered under the policy and, in the event of damage which is not covered, you must claim (as you would do even if covered under the Duty of Assured clause mentioned above) against the responsible party.
    A reputable specialised packing company will have liability insurance to cover themselves in the course of their work, as will any other parties to the carriage such as freight forwarders, warehouses, container stuffing agents etc. Should loss or damage be sustained to your goods whilst in the care and custody of any party, you should, in the first instance, formally claim against them and, also, formally claim against insurers under the policy. If you are unsure as to when and how the damage occurred, submit formal claim letters against all parties, holding the recipients fully responsible for any loss, damage or expense incurred and requesting acknowledgment of receipt by return.
    However, it is possible to effect a policy of insurance which covers All risks; that is to say cover embraces the risks of loading onto trucks/into containers for carriage to the port (carrying from your premises to the truck and loading thereon), and during stuffing or unstuffing of containers at container yards etc; coverage stopping upon final delivery of the goods at the named destination and including the risks of unstuffing/unloading. Generally speaking, though, this would be for, say, a consignment which fills a container (FCL full container load), rather than, say, a smaller consignment, which would be shipped in a consolidated (or groupage) container. A full container would, generally, be shipped door to door (All Risks) and may or may not include the risks of stuffing or unstuffing it, whereas a consolidated container would be stuffed (along with other goods assigned to other consignees), at the container yard, responsibility and liability for any damage being borne by the party under whose care and custody the goods are under at any given time.
    In the case of a full container of your goods, insured under a marine policy covering all risks including the risks of loading and unloading, any loss, damage or expense incurred as a result of the action of a risk insured against and which isn't specifically excluded from the policy, is wholly recoverable under the policy.
  3. PiAnt
    If you've been living in Thailand for more than just a brief time, you will, no doubt, have accumulated some items, which you may wish to take back home with you, if and when you leave.
    In doing so, there are many companies which specialise in repatriation of personal effects, and they'll do everything for you including packing all your goods, loading them into shipping containers and preparing all the export documents on your behalf, even arranging insurance to protect your goods during shipment (or at least compensate you should something get lost or damaged).
    It might be helpful, however, if you knew a little bit about marine insurance beforehand.
    Indemnity and Utmost Good Faith
    Firstly, a contract of Marine Insurance is a contract of indemnity, which basically means that you are entitled, in the event of loss, damage or expense which is recoverable under the policy, to be placed in the position you were in before you sustained the loss, damage or expense. No more.
    Secondly, a contract of Marine Insurance is based on the principle of uberrima fides, or Utmost Good Faith. This means that any and all information pertaining to the risk, which would affect the decision of a prudent insurer's acceptance of the risk or in calculation of a premium, must be disclosed (except that which an insurer would be expected to be aware of in the course of his business). However, he really only knows what you tell him, and he trusts you, as you do him.
    What the two principles above mean to you is that you must declare the value of the goods correctly. If, for instance, you say things are worth more than they actually are, and in the event of damage you claim for the goods, and the true value is discovered, the contract can be voided by the insurer, or any settlement would be based on the proportion of the actual value to the stated value i.e., you double the price of a sofa and claim under the policy for repairs in the sum of $100 for a tear sustained during transit, the insurer could reject the claim because you weren't entirely forthcoming, or, certainly, he would reduce any settlement by 50%.
    Similarly, if you undervalue an item in order to reduce the insurance premium, the same principle applies and the insurer is liable only for his proportion of the loss, damage or expense i.e., you half the price of the sofa, claim again for $100, and the insurer will only pay 50% if he doesn't void the policy.
    I would point out that, should you have any particularly valuable items (works of art, antiques expensive jewellery etc), you should obtain valuations from reputable experts and include these separately in any negotiations with marine cargo insurers/brokers. No huge claim for your one-off antique sofa will be entertained by insurers unless accompanied by a valuation, and then only if they were made aware of its exceptional value prior to accepting the risk.
    Another point to bear in mind under the principle of indemnity is new for old. Generally speaking, if you buy something new, over time, its value will depreciate. If you base your insurance contract on the new value, then unless you have specifically requested a new for old clause in the policy, a deduction, based on the price paid less a percentage for each year, will be applied i.e., your sofa, which cost $1000 and is 10 years old may incur a deduction of, perhaps 50% or more for total loss or destruction (not for the $100 repair). For obvious reasons new for old doesn't apply to goods bought second hand.

    Duty of the Assured
    Under the contract of insurance, the Assured have certain responsibilities which must be adhered to if the insurer isn't to void the contract. Such responsibilities are, usually, highlighted or written in red ink on the contract to ensure you don't overlook them. Basically, your main responsibility is to ensure you take action to secure your rights to claim for any loss, damage or expense incurred under the contract of carriage i.e., against the freight forwarder, carrier, or other responsible party.
    In the unfortunate event that, upon delivery of your goods, damage is found to have been sustained to some or all of them, you should, under no circumstances, endorse a clean receipt. Thoroughly check all your items and only endorse a clean receipt if you are sure no damage has been sustained. Should you discover some damage later and have endorsed a clean receipt, insurers will very likely reject any claim based on your endorsement of a clean receipt upon delivery.
    The reasons behind this are important. Although you have effected an insurance policy to indemnify you against any loss, damage or expense during the transit, such does not release any party responsible for the damage from their liabilities. Should it be found that the loss, damage or expense was (for whatever reason), not recoverable under the policy, then you would claim against such responsible party, just as you would had you not effected an insurance policy in the first place (acting as a prudent uninsured).
    Should the policy cover your loss, damage or expense, your prompt action in claiming against the responsible party enables insurers to recoup some or all of their settlement with you, through their rights of subrogation. Subrogation means that, if they pay you for your loss, they obtain all the rights you had to claim against a responsible party. Whether they actually manage to recoup their loss is immaterial, but they will certainly be much more willing to pay you for your loss knowing there's a good chance they'll get it back later.

    Proximate Cause
    Many of the terms and conditions associated with policies of marine insurance are similar to those found in other types of insurance, and one of the most important, specifically when dealing with a claim, is the rule of Proximate Cause. In instances of loss or damage, there are, usually, many events in a chain which lead to the loss or damage, each of which can be said to have played a part in the final outcome, but, for the purposes of settlement (or otherwise), of a claim under a policy of insurance, the chain of events must be traced back to the Proximate (or overriding) cause. A simple example might be goods destroyed by fire, started deliberately. Obviously, the actual damage was caused by fire, but the proximate cause was arson.
    The importance of the Proximate Cause of loss, damage or expense can be seen when a claim is submitted, the cause of which is, perhaps, not as obvious as might appear.
  4. PiAnt
    Lots of peeps took piccies, but here's my usual collection of phone snaps


















    Had a really awesome day; great, easy run down to Bangsaen by 12, relaxing on the beach in the sun and bananaboating! Brilliant! And not a hint of rain either.
    Gonna be a hard one to better.
    Cheers to Dave, June, Daz, Tom, Mam, Tawan, Wayne, Tai, Vlad, Jenny, Signmaple and Browneyesgirl who met us there
    (My shoulders are suffering!)
  5. PiAnt
    Woke up late and a bit fuzzy round the edges this morning when Doh called me and said we had to go to Sriracha again
    A motor tanker was loading gasoline when lightning struck the mast causing the vapours in the tank being loaded to explode. It blew the bolted down 100kg manhole cover off and into the depths never to be seen again, and buckled the deck about a foot upwards breaking all the pipes and gear. 
    Luckily it's double hulled or it could have been really serious.
    Anyway, we got down there about 12.30. 
    Took some pics.
    Setting off.

    Stopped at the only motorway service station.

    There's that temple you pass halfway.

    Parked in the car park of the temple near the jetty.

    Low tide.

    That's our ride, the little white one over there.

    Just have to climb over these first.

    On the way.

    That's where we're going.

    The way on.

    Not sure if you can see the buckling. Look at the small yellow cap on the left compared to the one on the right. 

    Hop on the boat back...

    And lunch

  6. PiAnt
    Set off for Pattaya at 8am and met up with Mick for toasted egg and bacon butties for breakfast, then we rode out to Rayong and enjoyed a cool beer by the beach. Damn it was hot. Got back home about 5.30.
    Tom was hungover and Chris isn't sorted yet so they both missed all the fun. Next time maybe.
    We met a great Thai family and took a few pics. Turns out some of them live on Nawamin Road just round the corner!
    ************* GOT SOME MORE PICCIES ************

  7. PiAnt
    Not the easiest of starts as it started lashing it down just halfway up the road; Karnie fell of my bike while still on Rachada and halfway there Provocatttiva got a puncture.
    We made it eventually though and had a brilliant time.
    Thanks to Querida for being a lovely tiny passenger I hardly noticed, Tom and Off, Provocattiva and Mam, Kus and Imback, Dave and June and Karnie
    Time was pressing on there on the way back, light was failing, clouds were hanging heavy and we'd gotten word there might be a curfew in the city, so the run back in the evening traffic wasn't quite as much fun, but most made it back to my place for copious quantities of alcohol and 7-11 hot dogs.
    (We did also make it to the waterfall, unfortunately it was almost entirely devoid of water.)
    Hope we do it again very soon.
  8. PiAnt
    Seen this?
    "Seen this? http : //tinyurl dot com/facebook-album10-10-05.jpg"
    Please don't click on it if you do.  These might help your contact (or you if you already clicked and opened).
  9. PiAnt
    I don't go out much, especially where crowds gather, but I went along to EB's Mexican party. And I had a great time.
    I met English Bob; Dave, the Yank Mexican. Given a bit of space. He's a very nice bloke. The same can be said for Digital Cat. Very nice bloke. Polite in all the right places too. Great to see Rob and Bill again. And it's always great to see Ciaran. I4God, Geee too and Bkk_Me is a really nice bloke. Hope to get out on a ride together before too long.
    The ladies were gorgeous. I spent ages talking to a stunning lady, Nat. LillyDilly is so elegant; tall with such soft flowing hair and a beautiful smile; Soda is funny and I was so glad to meet Querida and I'm really looking forward to our ride together now.
    X_JAPAN_X. Damn. (L)





    (^Some bloke called Scott who just insisted I got a pic of his fave drink. Couldn't stop him!)



    (^LillyDilly. Wow.)


    (The 6 Amigos)

    (The 7 Amigos)


    (Soda's legs)
    Anyone who kisses me so soft because she wants to, and not because she thinks I want to, has my heart forever.
    She merely needs to ask for it.
    (I'm really sorry for all the wayward formatting. The editor is just jumping all over the show. Doesn't matter what key I press.)
  10. PiAnt
    I mentioned that I had to go to survey the remnants of a barge full of coal shipped to Thailand from Indonesia, but the tugboat of which was pirated off the coast of Malaysia, some of you might remember.
    Unfortunately, I had to get up early to get to Ao Udom by 10am, where we waited at the entrance to the jetty for like an hour for the goods' owner to show up. We gave up about 11:30 and went for lunch at a local, beachfront, seafood larn aharn. (I had Kapow Gai Kai dao.)
    We met the bloke after lunch on the jetty. Bloody hot again - my face is beetroot red. Got the usual assault from the local motorcy taxi blokes outside the 7 and the "Mao laew lor?" and funny looks from the birds in the 7, who assumed the same. Saeb nah jang.
    Took a few piccies if you're interested.

    1. Waiting at the Jetty.

    2. Jetty from the restaurant.

    3. Lunch.

    4. Don't know if you can see the barge approaching the jetty there. On the horizon. It's red.

    5. On the jetty.

    6. We're going over there.

    7. Cargo looked ok. Going on board the white tug.

    8. Unfortunately, this is the way on. It was much worse on the way off though, as it had drifted even further from the ladders. Made it though
    Anyway, in case you were worrying (I thought you might be), the abducted tugboat and it's crew turned up safe in Singapore a couple of days ago, missing all their equipment (GPS etc), which, it appears, the "pirates" were after and it looks like the cargo is in good condition too. We'll know in a few days when it's all offloaded.
    If anyone really cares, the vessel's owners have declared General Average, which basically means that, although they saved their own vessel (the barge), it was done in the general interest of all (including the cargo and its insurers), so all parties should contribute to the costs incurred.
    Probably not.

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