What is Commercial Inland Marine Insurance?
The term ‘inland marine’ can seem misleading—because it’s not marine insurance. Inland marine insurance is a type of business insurance that is an ‘installation 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 Tool & Equipment Insurance.
Why is it called Inland Marine Coverage?
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.
Does Your Business Need Inland Marine Insurance?
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)
- Specialized oversize hauls (solar panels, communication towers, mobile homes)
- Anyone who transports or uses medical diagnostic equipment
- fine art and antiques
Inland marine risks such as car accidents and theft aren't uncommon and it's wise to protect your expensive inventory and equipment.
What is covered under inland marine insurance?
Inland marine policies typically cover:
- 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 at a job site
- Valuable items (e.g.—fine art, medical equipment, or solar equipment) being transported
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 insurance policy is typically considered alongside builders' risk insurance and property insurance. Motor Truck Cargo Coverage is something to consider in place of inland marine if it's a better fit for your small business.
Builder's Risk Insurance
Builder's Risk Insurance is business insurance that protects a person's or business's construction materials, fixtures, contracting equipment, and construction tools being used when building a structure should those items get damaged or destroyed by a covered cause in the policy.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial Property Insurance is important if you lease or own a physical location, office, or warehouse and store equipment there. It will provide coverage for your buildings, inventory, equipment, and other specialized property by a covered peril such as a storm or fire. Some damage may be specifically excluded from these policies, so check with your local agent to determine if you have sufficient coverage.
Motor Truck Cargo Coverage
Motor truck cargo is a more specialized type of inland marine insurance that will provide coverage for both the truck owner/operator and motor carrier if the cargo they're hauling is damaged or stolen. It can be offered as a stand-alone policy or an endorsement to a primary liability policy (such as general liability or a business owners' policy).
Speak with an insurance professional to help determine the best coverage for your business operations.
Get a Free Inland Marine Insurance Quote
If you're looking to add an inland marine insurance policy to your business insurance package, 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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