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What is Inland Marine Insurance?

The term ‘inland marine’ can seem misleading—because it’s not marine insurance. Inland marine insurance is a type of ‘floater policy’ that covers tools, equipment, and other cargo when they are in transit over land—such as by truck or train—or while in storage off-site. Contrary to popular belief, the protection of equipment in transport is not typically covered under general liability or commercial auto insurance. It can also be referred to as Contractor’s Equipment Insurance

Why is it called Inland Marine?

Ocean marine insurance was among the first types of insurance that companies made available. It was offered to ships that transport goods via the ocean and covered their cargo in case of theft by pirates or the ship sinking in a storm. As cargo began to be shipped on land versus water, the term ‘inland marine’ was adopted and has been in use ever since. 

Do I need ‘Inland Marine’ coverage for my business?

If you run a business where you work offsite, haul tools and equipment, or are transporting borrowed or rented equipment, you need inland marine coverage. Construction businesses fit especially well into this category. Your tools are the mainstay of your general contracting business, and if they’re damaged or stolen, insuring them could mean the difference between losing and keeping a job.

Other categories of businesses that should consider an inland marine policy include:

  • Technology companies (electronic or renewable energy equipment)
  • Transportation/motor truck cargo businesses (truckers, shipping companies, etc.)
  • Special event equipment (speakers, musical instruments)

What is covered under inland marine insurance?

Inland marine typically covers:

  • Property that was borrowed or temporarily in your care
  • Tools and equipment being transferred in a commercial truck
  • Movable property in a fixed location
  • Tools and equipment stored off-site
  • Valuable items (e.g.—fine art, medical equipment, or solar equipment)

If these items are stolen or damaged in-transport or off-site, inland marine coverage covers the cost (as long as the said items weren’t an exclusion on the policy). 

What other types of coverage should you consider?

An inland marine policy is typically considered alongside builders risk insurance and property insurance.

Builder's Risk Insurance: This is “coverage that protects a person's or organization's insurable interest in materials, fixtures and/or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause”.

Commercial Property Insurance: Property Insurance Coverage is important if you have a physical location and/or office and store equipment there. Using Property Insurance to protect your off-site equipment is important.

Contact us with questions

If you're looking to add an inland marine insurance policy, reach out to your agent for details or contact one of our qualified agents. They can help make the process smooth and answer any questions you may have about coverage.

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