claims handling case study

Is it possible to break the liability limit of the CMR convention?

Claims Handler


5 months

type of recovery


loss ratio


loss amount


countries involved

Czech Republic, Poland, Spain and Italy

During a Road transport between Italy and Spain, both the truck and the cargo were lost, not reaching their destination and the whereabouts of both were unknown. Reported the events to the Italian police, investigations remain open.

The insured of our client, the owner of the merchandise, had ordered the transport through a freight forwarder in Poland, who instructed the transport to a carrier domiciled in the Czech Republic.

The challenges we faced

  • The number of interrelated companies and from different countries, some of which are not always easy to communicate.
  • It was a considerable amount of money for the loss, a figure close to 100k euros, difficult for a small or medium-sized transport company to cover it directly.
  • It was impossible to contact the actual carrier. Transportation services were contracted over the Internet, through a cargo exchange platform.
  • The freight forwarder did not appear on the transport document, so involvement (and responsibility) as a contractual carrier was doubtful.


We open negotiations with all fronts, not only the companies involved but also including the insurer in Poland of the freight forwarder and with the insurer in the Czech Republic of the carrier.

When it became clear to us that the second would not answer for the facts, we pressed to reach a quick agreement with the freight forwarder himself, despite the fact that his lawyer wanted to apply the liability limit established in the CMR Convention. We were able to break it alleging fraud of a subcontractor of yours, the carrier, who had disappeared with the truck.

Why do we consider it a successful case?

We obtained 100% of the loss amount in an amicable recovery, without incurring legal expenses, and breaking the liability limit of the CMR Convention. An already extraordinary deal by itself, and more taking into account the complexity of the case in terms of the parties and countries involved.

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