What to consider when exporting goods to the USA from the UK this Christmas
As Christmas approaches, and this year being different to usual with businesses facing various challenges, insurance may appear far down your list of priorities when exporting goods but as a specialist provider of product liability insurance for exporters to the USA we are urging sellers to ensure they are correctly protected, with less than 6 weeks until the big day.
Christmas now brings a common theme of online sales events such as Black Friday, making the global market place even smaller. Seasonally popular goods such as candles, cashmere sweaters, biscuits, bike accessories , technology products , beauty products and whiskey continue to be attractive goods to export.
You should make sure you understand product liability law and implement precautionary measures to reduce risk.
Specialist product liability insurance for manufacturers and distributors being exported to the USA is available to ensure your business is best protected.
Do not assume that a UK policy can just be extended to cover the USA.
Many insurers will not cover the product liability of all products being exported to the USA due to the high risk nature of certain products and litigious society comprising of 50 states but 51 insurance jurisdictions, each with different rules, regulations and exposures. A defective product for example that causes injury can result in a product liability legal claim against either the manufacturer, distributors or importers.
Does your existing insurance provide adequate cover?
It is important that you have the correct Product Liability insurance when exporting to the USA and Canada, that protects against legal and compensation awards that may arise from the death, injury, property damage or loss as a result of the use of your product, so your business does not have to fund the loss itself.
Here are out Top 10 Tips for businesses to consider before purchasing off-the-shelf insurance to cover exporting from the UK to the USA:
- Make sure you understand your exposures when exporting to the USA.
- Be mindful of the litigious environment and high payouts in the US and make sure that you have the right insurance cover in place in case of possible lawsuits.
- It’s important to remember that the US is made up of 50 states but 51 insurance jurisdictions, each with different rules, regulations and exposures.
- Be aware of the differences in the types of cover available in the USA.
- Do not assume that a UK policy can just be extended to cover the US. Insurance to cover your liabilities in the USA must be flexible enough to be scalable with your business requirements, buying insurance cover today knowing that sales to the USA or Canada is going to increase soon could cause a problem.
- Make sure that your limits are high enough. As an example, think of the substantial amount of damages that might be awarded against you in something like a product liability case.
- The legal system in the USA differs to ours in the UK and usually relies on what is known as ‘Strict Liability’. This means that even if you have only supplied the product you could be deemed liable for any losses that might occur from it.
- Remember that your duties to customers are often more onerous than in the UK; try to prevent any possible accusations of ‘failure to warn’ relating to your products.
- Legal action can come from individuals, businesses or class actions where lots of people take action against you or your company because they have suffered from using your product.
- Finally, ensure that you speak with a specialist broker such as USA Protect who understand the US export market- giving you peace of mind that you are correctly covered and that any claims will be dealt with by knowledgeable people who understand the environment.
‘Tis also the season for online fraud…
Without sounding like scrooge it is also important that you follow some common-sense cyber security guidance to limit yourself to an attack if you trade online. Whilst many online businesses often start as a hobby, they can grow into a main source of income fairly rapidly. Although it is a very convenient and efficient way of trading, there are many risks associated that sellers should protect themselves against. As cyber attacks on all business, large and small, have increased this year, we are recommending businesses also obtain a quotation for cyber insurance.
Obtain a hassle-free tailored quotation today
We have had great success in helping exporters from the UK to the USA obtain the correct cover for their needs, providing peace of mind should the worst happen. Our experts will provide insurance recommendations on an individual basis, including those for Amazon resellers which have specific contractual requirements. With extensive experience helping businesses exporting to the USA obtain the correct product liability insurance, a Real Insurance advisor can provide a quotation specific to the needs of your business on 01623 889530.
We wish you a successful Christmas trading period.