Across Canada, there are a large number of traffic accidents every day, and a fair number of them involve vehicles that are in some way involved in the process of shipping goods from one part of the country to another. This unfortunate reality is unavoidable, and it’s something that freight brokers know all too well. But to that end, it’s important that these companies have the right kind of insurance in place to ensure that they are insulated from financial risk when one of these accidents occurs.
One somewhat scary incident that highlights the need for the proper coverage recently took place in New Brunswick, according to a report from the CBC. In early April, a tractor trailer carrying sealed natural gas containers flipped onto its side and caught fire at around 3:30 in the morning. The accident, which happened near the town of Sussex, was so significant that Highway 1 had to be closed for about 11 hours. Not only were fire crews dispatched to deal with the blaze but, because of the truck’s cargo, so too was a Hazardous Materials Emergency Response crew from nearby Saint John. Fortunately, the natural gas containers were removed from the wreckage without incident.
At press time, it was unclear exactly what caused the accident because the investigation was still ongoing, but the driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the report said. In all, the crash attracted fire departments from not only Sussex, but also the nearby towns of Penobsquis and Petitcodiac, and the RCMP. The crash closed Highway 1 from exit 195 to 223 until early in the afternoon, diverting traffic onto nearby Route 114 to ensure other drivers were not exposed to hazardous materials and other risks.
“The cab part and tires all caught on fire,” Penobsquis fire chief Milburn Rossiter told the news organization. “It was pretty severe for a while. It was dangerous there. We got the highway shut off quite a ways back each way from the scene there and rerouted the traffic off the No. 1 highway down through the back roads.”
Learning a lesson
Accidents like these can pose real liability problems for firms that ship products, shipping companies themselves, freight brokers, and the businesses that purchased the cargo. As such, all companies throughout that chain will need to have the right kind of insurance to protect them in the event of accidents that damage the products or in some way delay shipment. Freight brokers in particular may need to assess their coverage options on a regular basis to ensure that they’re fully protected when things go wrong, as they occasionally do.
Having the best possible insurance for a company’s needs will necessarily go a long way toward ensuring that, when these incidents take place, there will be little to no financial damage inflicted on the freight broker for incidents well beyond their own control.