Defining Carriers Liability

All carriers in New Zealand operate under the Carriage of Goods Act 1979. This piece of legislation defines the limits to liability that a carrier has for damage, regardless of whether that carrier has any insurance cover.

This liability may only be contracted out of in writing prior to the cartage beginning. This means the carrier will pay no compensation for damaged goods unless he intentionally damages them.

Liability for loss or damage is up to $1,500.00 per item or unit of goods (a box with a number of items in it is defined as a unit of goods and if two boxes are taped together they are defined as one unit of goods).

Liability for loss or damage is up to $150,000.00 for each truck load of furniture (if more than one client’s furniture is on a truck then $150,000.00 will be proportioned according to the value of each clients goods).

If loss or damage does occur, the insurer will deem what is fair compensation. It does not mean they will replace an old item with a new item. Second hand value will be taken into consideration when compensation is being considered.

Liability is for any type of damage that occurs to the goods whilst loading, unloading or in transit. If in transit for a lengthy period, Limited Liability Carriers Insurance only covers the first 30 days.

The carrier must be notified in writing within 30 days of the occurrence of the damage for Limited Liabiliy Carriers Insurance to be available.

There will be no liability for damage if the goods have existing damage, inherent damage or have been improperly packed (inherent damage is usually a potential damage that cannot be seen prior to transportation but will occur under fair conditions of transportation).

There will be no liability for damage to owner packed goods, given the carrier is not negligent with the goods (e.g. carrier would be liable for damage sustained in a box of owner packed crockery if the box was dropped but not liable under fair conditions of transportation).

There will be no liability for third party damage (in a road accident situation the carrier will be liable if he is at fault but not if the other party in the accident is at fault. In this circumstance a client will have to claim off the other party to the accident, which may be difficult).

This information gives general information only and we are not bound by its accuracy, nor does it form any part of any cartage contract. You should get independent advice about insurance whilst your goods are in transit.