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Step 17: Export documentation

You are here:Step 17: Export documentation > Marine insurance > Utmost good faith



Utmost good faith



Every contract of marine insurance is a contract entered into by the insurer on the assumption of the assured's utmost good faith. The insurer generally does not see the goods, nor the packing by which the goods are protected; he/she does not see the transport equipment with which the goods will be moved. The insurer thus relies entirely on the declarations made by the assured and his good faith is therefore the essence of every contract of insurance. This places upon the party seeking insurance cover the duty to disclose every relevant fact which affects the level of the risk which the insurer is being asked to accept. If the assured does not disclose all the relevant facts, and the insurer can point to any lack of disclosure, the policy becomes void. Courts of law have uniformly upheld this view.

What do you need to tell the insurer?

Information, which the assured must disclosed to the marine insurance company includes:

  • The precise nature of the goods, including any inherent property of the goods which may affect the risk, e.g. fragility, flammability, corrosiveness etc.
  • The nature of the packing and protection afforded the goods
  • The full identification marks and numbers applied to the packages, including any labelling or cautionary marks intended to indicate the special nature of the contents
  • The route over which the goods will travel, including the mode or modes of transport to be employed.
  • Whether or not the goods will be containerised, and if so, whether the cargo will be packed into a full container either a 6 or 12 metre, (FCL) or move as a less than container load (LCL) or groupage
  • Whether the goods are new or second-hand



These elements of information must be disclosed for every shipment in respect of which insurance cover is required. In addition, when you first approach an insurance company in view of taking out an insurance policy, you must be prepared to disclose the full nature of all prior claims you may have had with any other insurance company.

Second hand goods

All goods declared for the purpose of marine insurance are assumed by insurer to be new goods, unless otherwise stated. For this reason, traders must be aware that a failure to declare goods as second-hand will be a failure to disclose a material fact, and this could invalidate the insurance cover.

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Step 17: more information

Step 17: Export documentation
      Documents involving the importer
      Documents required to export goods from South Africa
      Documents required for transportation
      Documents required for payment
       Marine Insurance
            .Insurance premium
            .Duration of cover
            .Insurable interest and value
            .War risks
            .Marine cover
            .General average

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More information on Step 17
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
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Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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