How Loss Prevention can save an Insurance Policy

We were asked for support in 2006 by a leading Swiss transport insurer, which has been with us for a long time, as three extraordinary claims with a high six-digit figure had occurred within a year in a business line of a serviced, globally operating holding company.

The damages occurred on overseas transports to India and North America of a German manufacturer of ‘high-end’ metalworking machines known worldwide in this sector.

The design and construction of the machines meant that the corresponding transport boxes have now reached a length of up to 9 m, a width of over 3 m and a height of up to 4.25 m, and that with a weight of up to 33 tons. In the absence of conventional loading facilities, ocean transport could therefore only take place on ‘flat rack’ containers (with excessive widths and heights).

However, as later investigations revealed, the problem of the damage did not inevitably lie in the dimensions and weights of the transport crates, but rather in the fact that the crates are extremely ‘at risk of tipping’ due to the very high and eccentric centre of gravity of the included machine.

It was only a matter of time before the crates were handled improperly and, in part, negligently during cargo handling operations in the ports of destination, and as a result fell over. The fact that total losses ultimately occurred in these cases is not incomprehensible, given the fact that these precision CNC machines operate in the tenth of a millimeter range.

After determining and evaluating the circumstances and facts causing the damages, we worked closely with the insurer, manufacturer, packaging company and the service providers involved in the transport chain (freight forwarders, carriers, transhipment companies, etc.) to develop a tailor-made information and monitoring system, which is based on basic planning, testing and selection criteria, such as

  • the production of the machines (equipment/installation of fastening points for later load securing, possibilities of partial assembly and/or separate dispatch, etc.)
  • the design and manufacturing of packaging (packaging advice and control, marking and handling instructions, etc.)
  • the selection and commissioning of carriers (expertise and experience in handling special goods, reliability and experience of drivers, condition and availability of ‘rolling stock’, etc.)
  • the selection and commissioning of handling companies in the seaports (prompt scheduling of handling work, pre-planning of required equipment (selection of usable flat racks and lifting equipment, required lashing and securing material, etc.), instruction and training of loading personnel, etc., for the first time.

For years, these processes have been subject to continuous further development through permanent information comparison between the parties involved and adjustments to new requirements in the production and dispatch area, including regular working groups carried out on site.

The same applies to the arrangements and handling of the flat racks and machines in the 60 reception ports on 5 continents worldwide. There, highly qualified experts selected by us, work under our direction and supervision and in accordance with the guidelines and requirements specified by us to supervise the loading, load securing and in part the direct delivery/installation of the machines in the plants of the final recipients, and at international trade fairs and exhibitions.

In the now 12 years of our involvement in the sense of ‘loss prevention’, over 1,000 highly sensitive special machines in the upper price segment have been transported from the manufacturer in Germany to the remotest areas of the world. With the exception of a few scattered machines, which only suffered repairable damage due to incalculable risks (such as ‘force majeure’), all machines were delivered to their final recipients in perfect condition.

Due to the intensive preparation and monitoring, the loss ratio for these transports is close to zero. An argument which the manufacturer successfully uses as a sales argument to its customers.



Mechanical Engineering



Norbert Rakowski

Surveyor Reck & Co.


Years since the company’s formation




Cases per year


Reck & Co. draws on its comprehensive experience in the field of loss adjustment to offer you an optimal solution in the quickest and most straightforward way possible.



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