New Claim Guide

Your Guide to Filing a New Claim

This guide helps to explain how to report a new claim under a marine and transit insurance policy. If you have a separate standalone procedure that applies to your policy, please ensure you always follow that standalone specific guide in the first instance.

How do I report a new claim?

All new claims should be reported online to W K Webster. Please click here to file your claim.

What about if I need urgent help or a survey?

In the event urgent contact is required for a survey or you need help and guidance on the correct claim procedure please contact your local W K Webster office.

What should I (or my customer) do at the time of delivery?

At the time cargo arrives, the goods should be externally examined for any signs of damage or shortage.  If damage or shortage is noted, or even if it is only suspected, a clean delivery note receipt should not be given. If you or your customer is not satisfied that the condition of the consignment is sound, you have no obligation to provide the carrier with a clean receipt. Instead, clause the delivery receipt with a comment that the goods were received damaged or short and keep a copy.

What happens next?

Next, the cargo should be examined more thoroughly to determine more accurately the extent of any damage or shortage. Please take note that the cargo owner has a duty to mitigate the loss and therefore it is recommended that the damaged goods be set aside in order to determine whether they can be repaired or retained at a reduced value.

Photos should be taken during this process to evidence the damages and submitted with your claim.

What documents do I need to provide?

If possible, when you submit your claim online please have the following documents to hand in electronic format:

  • A brief statement of claim showing what it is you are claiming for;
  • Bill of Lading or other similar transit document;
  • Proof of cargo value, such as Commercial Invoice or Purchase Receipt;
  • Insurance Certificate if issued;
  • Copy of claim against carrier holding them responsible (if you are unsure about this document, please see the Claim Resource Section below);
  • Pictures showing damage, if applicable;


If you are unsure or unfamiliar with any of these documents please do not worry, you can obtain a more detailed explanation below in the Claim Resource Section or the W K Webster claims handler will help guide you once your claim has been submitted.

One important note, please do not delay submitting your claim to W K Webster if you do not have all the documents readily available  The most important step is to ensure you immediately report your claim to W K Webster, even if you only have the most basic information or details.

Once your claim is submitted, W K Webster will send you an email with your unique claim reference number and will provide you with clear instructions on how your claim will be processed. We also suggest you refer to the Claim Resource Section below for more detailed information.


Claim Resource Section

Holding Carriers Responsible

One of the benefits of cargo insurance is to relieve the claimant of the necessity to try and finalise claims from the third party responsible for the loss or damage. Following payment of a claim, underwriters attain the rights, under subrogation, to pursue the claim themselves against the third party.  To ensure they are able to do so, the policy stipulates that the Assured should take all steps to ensure that the rights of recovery against third parties are fully exercised and protected.

In terms of cargo insurance, the third party will normally be the carrier of the goods, e.g. the shipping line or freight forwarder, if the cargo is transported by sea.  It may be necessary to make a claim on all carriers in the transit chain.

For underwriters to be able to recover from the carrier after payment of the claim, the carrier must be held responsible, in writing, by the claimant, for the loss.  This has to be done within a specific time frame. As a general guideline this is as follows:

      • Shipping Line - Within 3 days from the time of delivery.
      • Airline - Within 14 days from the time of delivery.
      • Road  - Within 7 days from the time of delivery.


However, W K Webster recommends that, irrespective of the above time limits, immediate contact is always made with the carrier holding them responsible for any loss.  Failure to do this means that Insurers will not be able to recover from the carrier at a later date and may affect the full payment of your claim.

To help you with this process please feel to use this template document when preparing your claim to the carrier holding them responsible.

Preparing Claim Documents

To claim under a Marine Cargo Insurance Policy, the following are the main documents that you will require or may be asked to present, so it is useful for you to familiarise yourself with these:

      • Insurance Policy/ Certificate - The document issued by your Insurer to evidence that the cargo has been insured. It provides details of the policy number, voyage, cargo details and insurance conditions. As this document conveys rights to make a claim, we may require the original.
      • Commercial Invoice - The invoice accompanying the consignment, issued by the seller of the goods. This will be used to establish purchase price of goods and to confirm the terms of sale to ensure that an insurable interest does apply.
      • Packing List - Provides a breakdown of the consignment showing the number of units shipped in each package along with their weights.
      • Bill of Lading - Document of title issued by the shipping line to evidence shipment of the consignment. Also provides evidence of the contract of carriage and if possible, the original should be provided with the conditions printed on the reverse side. If the entire shipment is lost all original Bills of Lading must be presented.
      • Air Waybill - Same role as the Bill of Lading but issued by the airline.
      • Consignment Note - Issued if the goods are carried by road. The consignment note can be signed on delivery and claused to show any damage or shortage in the same way as a road haulier's Delivery Receipt.
      • Delivery Receipts - The document signed by the receiver on delivery by the road haulier. As previously mentioned, this should be claused to provide evidence of shortage or damage to goods.


Depending on the circumstances of the claim WK Webster may request other documentation such as:

      • Vessel's Outturn Report
      • Container Damage Report
      • Tally Sheets
      • Written confirmation of Non-Delivery from carrier
      • Police Statement (in the event of a theft)


You will be guided by WK Webster as to what additional documents may be required once the claim has been submitted.

If you need additional guidance, please contact W K Webster.


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