What Many Importers Don’t Know About Liability Insurance

A common mistake among U.S. importers of foreign products

Many importers assume that their foreign manufacturers share some liability in the event of a Product Liability claim in the U.S. This is particularly so if the foreign manufacturer says they have a Product Liability policy.

Check that the foreign manufacturer’s policy has an endorsement specifically stating it covers Product Liability claims in the U.S. courts. Otherwise, that foreign Product Liability policy is useless to the importer.

The importer’s responsibility

Importers are at the top of the pyramid regarding responsibility for ensuring the products brought into the U.S. are safe for use by the American public.  Importers are commonly classified as manufacturers for insurance rating purposes by the insurance carriers. This is because any Product Liability claims involving manufacturing defects will stop with the importer.

If you are an importer, don’t assume that foreign manufacturers have your back. They won’t be responsible for any product liability claims brought in the U.S. involving your imported products.  More than likely you will be on your own handling any and all Product Liability claims.

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