Running a business in today’s unstable economy is risky enough as it is, but when your bottom line depends on goods arriving safely at a designated destination, the chances of disaster grow ever higher.

South Africa’s roads are some of the world’s most dangerous, meaning that those trucks filled with your precious cargo are exposed to significant risk the second they pull onto any of the country’s roads and major highways, leaving your business vulnerable to significant losses as a result. Add to that the complications that may arise as a result of delayed delivery – it can significantly compromise the quality of perishable goods.

So how do you keep your business protected against the risks arising as a result of losses incurred in transit? There are specific insurance options available designed to protect business owners against the pitfalls of the open road.

Goods in Transit (GIT) cover is insurance cover designed specifically for businesses looking to deliver goods from point A to B without running the risk of significant financial losses. Offering protection against accidents, theft and unforeseen transit delays, GIT cover provides peace of mind for those with delivery deadlines, dramatically reducing the risks associated with long-haul transport.

Here are a few key things to bear in mind when selecting your cover:

Choose the correct cover level

When choosing a GIT policy, it’s important that you insure yourself based on the maximum possible value of your haul. Many businesses tend to opt for an average amount in an attempt to lower their premiums, but should you have undervalued your haul, you’ll be under insured and only be paid out proportionately on a claim. So rather be safe and make sure you’ve made provision for the worst case scenario if you want to save yourself unnecessary costs at a later stage.

Understand your policy

While most scenarios are covered under GIT insurance policies, there are a few stipulations you’d be wise to note before accepting a policy. For instance, the goods are unlikely to be covered should any theft occur as a result of a driver’s negligence, with most policies refuting claims arising as a result of theft from unattended vehicles. So while acts of God and accidents won’t put a dent in your balance sheet, it’s important that you emphasise to your drivers the importance of vigilance, and ensure that they’re aware of the potential risks of leaving the vehicle unattended for any duration of time.

Add on extras

If you offer specialised transportation, it might be worth considering a few optional extras to bump up your level of cover. For instance, should your load include perishable goods dependent on working refrigeration, you’ll likely need to take out an optional extra on your policy to indemnify you against losses incurred as a result of any cooling malfunctions. Similarly, should your delivery routes extend beyond the country’s borders, it’s important to specify this on your policy so as to ensure you’re not without cover should misfortune strike on the roads of a neighbouring country.

By selecting the correct policy and familiarising yourself with all the relevant details, you’ll be able to guarantee your business peace of mind, and free up your time to focus your efforts on securing those all-important orders.

MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)

[Article by Morné Stoltz, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay]