Inland Marine Insurance: What You Need to Know
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Table Of Contents
What is inland marine insurance?
Inland marine insurance derives its name from ocean marine insurance. While ocean marine insurance protects goods during sea transportation, inland marine insurance provides coverage for goods transported by truck or train. Inland marine insurance protects business property that is in transit over land or is stored at off-site locations. This coverage can include a wide range of specialty equipment, products, and materials that are not covered by traditional property insurance policies. Inland marine coverage protects against losses due to theft, damage, or other events, providing peace of mind and financial protection for businesses.
Understanding the Basics of Inland Marine Coverage
When it comes to insuring your business’s property, you might be familiar with commercial property and general liability insurance. However, what happens when your company’s property gets transported inland? That’s where inland marine coverage comes in. Contrary to what its name suggests, this type of insurance does not cover boats or watercraft. Instead, it covers the transportation of goods, equipment, and materials via land transport modes such as trucks, trains, and automobiles.
Additionally, inland marine coverage goes by a variety of other names, such as equipment floater insurance or transit insurance. They all refer to the same type of protection offered by insurers against damage or loss during transportation.
This type of coverage is essential for businesses that frequently move goods or equipment across various locations within the country. For instance, a construction firm transporting heavy machinery from one site to another could experience significant losses if something were to happen to the equipment during transportation. Without insurance coverage for such risks, such businesses may struggle with reputational harm and expensive repair bills following accidents.
Let’s say you run a photography studio and need to transport high-end camera equipment to different locations for photoshoots. The last thing you want is for your cameras and lenses to suffer damage in transit. With an inland marine policy covering your valuable assets, you can rest assured that should anything go wrong during transportation – from dings to outright theft – you’ll be financially protected.
It is worth noting that most standard commercial property insurance policies exclude coverage for assets while in transit. Additionally, general liability policies typically do not cover damages resulting from transportation-related risks either.
So how does inland marine coverage differ from other forms of commercial property or liability insurance policies?
For one, it covers your business’s property when it’s not at your premises. If your company owns any high-value portable property, such as computers or construction equipment, an inland marine policy is essential to ensure adequate coverage. In the event that such property gets damaged or stolen, you can be indemnified for losses caused by a wide range of risks, such as theft, vandalism, fire, and collisions.
Another critical benefit is that inland marine insurance may provide coverage for third-party property that is temporarily in your business’s possession. For instance, if you’re transporting goods on behalf of another company via trucks or cargo vans, their property would not be covered under a standard commercial property policy. Inland marine coverage can protect third-party assets entrusted to your care – this protection is called Bailee Coverage.
Having outlined the basic underpinnings of inland marine coverage, let us explore some of the advantages of having this type of insurance policy.
Typical Coverage and Options
One primary advantage of inland marine coverage is its flexibility – it applies to many types of businesses across industries. For example – electricians or HVAC contractors who transport tools, technicians who haul parts or equipment from one job site to another, and caterers who transport kitchen wares via smaller vehicles, among others.
Think about it this way; without sufficient protection for movable business assets beyond your premises’ walls, it could put a dampener on your operations’ growth. Obtaining inland marine insurance ensures that you mitigate the financial risks associated with moving goods and property frequently.
Apart from being versatile and providing unparalleled coverage options, many businesses opt for inland marine insurance because it is customizable to unique transportation needs. Policies are tailored to provide optimal coverage as per individual companies’ needs through endorsements and riders.
Let’s say you have unique business equipment not listed under any standard policies – like hydrotherapy pools worth over $100,000 per unit which might require specialized water filtration systems (that cost an additional $50K each) for effective operation while being transported – only for one unit to get stolen during transit. Without specialized protection like inland marine policies, unlisted property falls through the cracks of traditional commercial property and liability coverage options leaving businesses exposed to devastating consequences.
Having Inland marine coverage can significantly reduce the financial impact such incidents could have on a business’s overall bottom line.
However, there is a common misconception that owning vehicles implies that auto insurance provides sufficient remote protection for property assets. Sure, auto insurance policies provide some level of protection for vehicles when accidents happen, but they do not adequately cover the transported goods.
For example, if a vehicle carrying business materials gets in an accident that destroys the contained materials as collateral damage, the standard $50K limit of personal auto insurance policies would be inadequate for replacement. Opting for inland marine insurance would offer a broader range of protections tailored to cater beyond the vehicle itself but also individually listed goods’ monetary value.
Finally, inland marine insurance covers various specialized segments, such as communications, renewable energy resources, and manufacturing, which have particularized transportation needs, resulting in exposure to more niche risks significant enough to require specific coverage options.
For example, renewable energy companies might need endorsements such as solar panels off-loading extensions or continuity of power extensions while manufacturing firms might require extra tripping coverages unique to equipment they move along their production lines.
Having highlighted the benefits of purchasing inland marine insurance, let us go into specifics about what exactly insurance needs this covers.
Inland marine insurance serves as a critical component of a comprehensive business insurance policy’s risk management strategy. With this coverage in place, businesses can mitigate several risks that could cause substantial losses.
One of the primary advantages of inland marine coverage is that it fills the gaps in traditional property and liability insurance policies.
For instance, suppose a business ships high-value equipment frequently. They may underestimate the potential loss that could occur during transit or transportation and assume that their standard commercial property insurance policy will cover such losses. However, unexpected events like cargo theft or loss caused by accidents can result in devastating financial repercussions for a business without adequate inland marine coverage.
Inland marine coverage ensures that none of these risks go unaddressed by providing protection for equipment, products, and cargo that are typically not covered under a regular commercial property insurance policy due to unique circumstances imposed on the transportable property. Such specialized circumstances may include the use of hired transporters outside an organization’s usual shipping practices or temporary storage of goods between points in shipment.
Therefore, inland marine coverage is like customized security gear – it provides tailor-made protection suiting specific needs to keep your business secured.
Some businesses may argue that they are willing to accept the potential losses associated with not purchasing inland marine coverage. However, even one incident involving cargo damage or loss during transportation could put enormous pressure on a small to medium-sized enterprise’s cash reserves and ruin its reputation when unable to meet customer contract obligations.
The main aim of any well-written inland marine policy is to provide substantial levels of financial security and peace of mind by covering the unique circumstances excluded from standard property insurance. Therefore, upgrading coverage is beneficial to small and mid-sized businesses concerning staying protected against unforeseen losses resulting from ownership or transport of their essential assets.
Now, let’s explore another essential aspect of inland marine coverage – ensuring business continuity.
The primary scope of the policy is all risks incurred during transports within the country’s borders – also known as “inland” transports. This definition refers to shipments traveling by land or air transport cargo carriers within one or many states depending on individual policy specifications.
Of course, because this type of coverage is defined by its versatility, it can encompass more than just land-bound assets. Inland marine policies can cover sea-bound assets for businesses whose specific needs or interests require them to import or export goods in transit frequently.
It is worthy of note that beyond transportation, inland marine coverages extend their protective details to circumstantial remoteness.
So what does that mean?
For example – leased property located offsite but essential to your business’s day-to-day operations, temporary storage of business equipment, and inventory are all covered under a comprehensive inland marine insurance policy.
Say your catering company rents commercial kitchen space during peak periods to help meet increased demand – any equipment you have centrally located remains patchily insured by a combination of standard property policies and the landlord’s insurance policies. Still, it doesn’t adequately protect your high-value transporting goods like mobile cooking equipment or pantry additions supplied covering these items requires an additional Inland Marine policy endorsement that fully protects your mobile equipment while in transit or stored at different locations.
To further illustrate the nuances of how extensive inland marine coverage is, let’s explore what items typically fall under this type of policy.
Business continuity is a critical aspect that every company aims to sustain throughout its existence. Unexpected events like natural disasters or damage to transportable goods during transit can interrupt regular operations and impact revenue streams. In such cases, having inland marine insurance in place can safeguard a business’s continuity by providing swift compensation for incurred losses.
To better understand how inland marine coverage ensures business continuity, consider a situation where an unforeseen event severely damages the equipment during transportation on a Friday evening and Monday morning, seeing the machine as the primary tool used throughout the production process. Without the right insurance protection, a business owner may face significant financial loss in attempting to replace or repair the damaged equipment while coping with reduced productivity and opportunity costs as repairs occur.
Therefore, to avoid losses from any eventuality happening between cargo loading and discharge time via land and/or air transit options, comprehensive inland marine coverage ensures that support is available when needed so that any interruption doesn’t affect businesses’ continued operation.
Just like fire extinguishers are instrumental in preventing costly damages to a building structure, proper inland marine coverages offer mitigation against potential impacts of severe financial consequences caused by unintended events.
However, some businesses argue that they live in areas where natural calamities are rare and believe they do not require specialized coverage outside of their standard property insurance. While location-specific risk factors must feature in assessing unique needs, there are other risks involved that traditional property insurance policies cannot cover. These unexpected risks exist regardless of location or industry type.
Inland marine insurance’s scope covers specific circumstances involving transportation and storage of property types excluded within commercial property insurance. By comprehensively covering these specific circumstances, inland marine provides the insured with financial protection that encapsulates both direct and opportunity losses. This coverage thereby ensures business continuity and is vital for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking growth.
Now that we’ve covered how inland marine coverage can mitigate risks and ensure business continuity to support an organization’s growth, let’s dive deeper into the scope of inland marine coverage.
Inland marine policies cover an array of movable property types such as:
- Computers, Network appliances & tools
- Medical and scientific equipment (excluding actual patient care)
- Construction project machinery, including bulldozers and excavators
- Photography equipment such as cameras, lenses, and tripods
- Mobile kiosks
- Live-show performance-related sound systems, lighting, and stage materials, among others.
With that said, below is a list of industries most commonly affected:
- Construction projects often necessitate transporting expensive equipment and materials; Inland marine insurance protects these assets against theft, damage, or loss during transit.
- Transportation and Logistics: Companies engaged in shipping, trucking, and logistics rely on inland marine insurance as a vital safeguard to safeguard cargo as it passes between modes of transport.
- Art and Collectibles: Galleries, museums, and collectors use inland marine insurance policies to safeguard valuable art pieces and collectibles while they’re being transported or displayed for exhibition.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturers may require inland marine insurance to protect their products and equipment during transportation between facilities or to customers.
- Tech: Technology companies often transport sensitive electronic equipment and hardware components that require protection during transport. Inland marine insurance helps limit risks related to damage or theft during transit.
- Healthcare: Healthcare facilities may use inland marine insurance to safeguard expensive medical equipment and supplies on their way from one healthcare facility to the next.
- Retail: Retailers depend on inland marine insurance to safeguard their inventory when shipping it between distribution centers and stores. Agriculture: Farmers and agricultural businesses use inland marine insurance policies to cover their machinery, crops, and livestock during transport.
- Energy Companies: Energy companies may require inland marine insurance to transport valuable equipment and materials for various energy projects or installations.
- Contracting and Service Providers: Contractors and service providers often transport tools, machinery, and equipment between job sites – making inland marine insurance essential to protecting their assets.
As mentioned earlier, no two businesses are created equal. Inland Marine Coverage allows for customization by specifying additional forms of critical business property needed for protection using endorsements that add flexibility and added coverage where it is necessary.
That said, what conditions or circumstances typically trigger coverage? Let us understand other relevant specifics surrounding this type of policy before we get into more detail.
When it comes to inland marine coverage, it is essential to understand the scope of what it covers. Essentially, inland marine insurance provides coverage for property that is movable or transportable and often used in transportation, communication, and construction industries.
This type of insurance goes beyond property coverage by also covering items that are not fixed to a location and are often on the move.
An excellent example of the scope of inland marine insurance can be seen in the construction industry. Construction equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, and cranes are expensive pieces of machinery that can be challenging to replace if damaged or stolen. With inland marine coverage, contractors can have peace of mind when transporting their equipment from one job site to another.
In addition to construction equipment, inland marine insurance covers various types of specialized equipment. Medical and scientific equipment used in hospitals and laboratories, cameras for photographers, communications and networking devices, and much more all fall under this type of policy.
While some may argue that their business does not require inland marine coverage since they do not physically transport any goods or materials between locations. However, this type of insurance could still provide value for these businesses if they temporarily hold other parties’ properties or store valuable items at offsite locations.
Understanding the scope of inland marine coverage is just one piece of the puzzle; next, let’s take a closer look at what specific items are included in this policy.
Evaluating Various Inland Marine Insurance Policy Options
One condition to note is that for an item(s) covered under an inland marine insurance policy, the business owner must provide a detailed inventory list valuing each asset individually.
Accurate accounting of such details forms the basis of providing comprehensive pricing data to make sure coverage adequately covers risks and replacement costs for these
Common Questions About Inland Marine Insurance
Inland marine insurance coverage is designed to protect business property that is not stationary or transported over water, including equipment, supplies, and products in transit. Therefore, businesses across various industries that rely on mobile equipment and movable assets would benefit from purchasing inland marine coverage.
Industries such as construction, transportation, telecommunications, and technology are among those that often require inland marine coverage due to their operations involving the transportation of valuable goods. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), inland marine insurance premiums increased by 5.9% in 2019, with construction and transportation being among the top industries that purchased inland marine policies.
Furthermore, businesses that operate domestically or internationally should consider inland marine coverage because it provides protection against losses incurred during transportation across various locations. In addition, small business owners who may not have a dedicated office space but rely on equipment and supplies to operate their business remotely can also benefit from this type of insurance coverage.
In summary, any industry that involves the movement of equipment or goods, as well as small businesses that work remotely using portable assets, can benefit significantly from having inland marine insurance coverage.
When it comes to inland marine insurance, there are some common exclusions or limitations that policyholders need to be aware of. These include:
1. Employee Dishonesty: Inland marine policies usually exclude coverage for losses caused by employee dishonesty or theft. In fact, according to an industry survey, employee theft is the most common cause of inland marine claims (Source: Adjusters International).
2. Natural Disasters: Inland marine policies typically provide limited coverage for losses caused by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in 2020 alone, the US experienced 22 separate billion-dollar disasters (Source: NOAA).
3. Improper Packaging or Handling: Many policies exclude losses caused by improper packaging or handling of goods. According to a report from Travelers Insurance, over 50% of cargo claims are the result of poor packing practices (Source: Travelers Insurance).
4. Wear and Tear: Most inland marine policies do not cover losses caused by normal wear and tear or gradual deterioration.
It’s important to note that exclusions and limitations can vary from policy to policy, so it’s always a good idea to carefully review your specific contract before making any assumptions about coverage.
The cost of inland marine coverage varies depending on multiple factors, such as the value of your property, the type of goods being transported, and the distance to be traveled.
Generally speaking, inland marine insurance policy premiums range from 0.1% to 3%.
For example, if you are shipping high-value products like jewelry or medical equipment, the premium rate can be above 1.5%.
According to industry reports, the average cost of inland marine insurance in 2022 was around $2,000 per year. This amount can vary significantly depending on the size and nature of your business. Small businesses may pay less than $500 per year, while larger companies can expect to incur thousands of dollars annually.
It’s worth noting that the cost of inland marine insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind and financial protection against unforeseeable damages or loss of goods during transportation. Remember that even a single event can cause significant losses that could jeopardize your entire business if you lack adequate coverage.
In summary, while pricing for inland marine coverage varies significantly based on several factors, it’s an essential investment for any business that ships their goods using land-based transportation modes. With minimal premiums, you can gain financial security against accidents and protect your assets when moving goods over land.
Inland marine coverage is a versatile type of insurance that covers movable property, such as goods in transit, construction equipment, and fine art.
Common items and property covered under inland marine coverage include:
1. Commercial tools and equipment: This includes construction machinery, farming equipment, and other heavy-duty tools used for business purposes.
2. Fine art and collector’s items: Valuable paintings, sculptures, antiques, and other unique collectibles fall under this category.
3. Transported property: Items being transported, such as goods on a truck or cargo on a ship, are often covered by inland marine insurance.
4. Computer equipment: Laptops, tablets, servers, and other computer hardware can be expensive to replace if they are damaged or stolen.
5. Medical equipment: Specialized medical equipment like x-ray machines and CT scanners are highly valuable but also prone to damage.
It’s important to note that coverage may vary depending on the policy and insurer. To ensure you have adequate coverage for your specific needs, consult with an experienced insurance agent who specializes in inland marine coverage.
Inland marine coverage is a specialized type of insurance that covers movable property and equipment while in transit over land. The coverage is different from other types of insurance because it’s designed specifically for businesses that need to transport goods regularly.
While standard property insurance like homeowners’ or renters’ policies and commercial property insurance generally only cover losses on a company’s premises, inland marine insurance covers property when it’s transported away from business locations. It provides coverage for equipment, tools, merchandise, or goods that are in transit between two points or temporarily stored at an offsite location.
According to industry experts, inland marine insurance has become increasingly important for businesses as many companies nowadays rely on the transportation of goods as part of their operations. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that trucking alone moves roughly 70% of all U.S. freight tonnage each year.
It’s worth noting that more comprehensive forms of transportation insurance, such as cargo insurance, exist and they might be often included in plans offering inland marine coverage. However, while cargo insurance typically covers losses due to theft or damage during shipment by modes such as air or sea, inland marine insurance specifically covers loss or damage caused by land-based transportation modes (rail, roadways).
Finally, another advantage of inland marine coverage is that it tends to be flexible and customizable: policyholders can tailor their policies to suit specific needs at a more granular level than typical commercial coverage policies allow.
In conclusion, businesses seeking protection for their movable property and equipment while being transported over land should consider inland marine coverage – a unique type of specialist insurance that offers versatile protection beyond the scope of traditional commercial property or general liability policies.
- According to a report by Valuates Reports, the Global Inland Marine Insurance market size was valued at USD 29.97 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 38.8 billion by the end of 2026, growing at a CAGR of 2.9% during 2021-2026.
- The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that cargo theft accounts for around $15 – $35 billion in losses per year, highlighting the need to get inland marine insurance.
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Inland marine insurance is an important aspect of protecting a business’s assets. Whether a business transports goods or equipment regularly or occasionally, having the right coverage in place is crucial.
We have the experience and expertise to help businesses find the right inland marine insurance coverage to protect their assets and provide peace of mind.
With our commitment to customer service and personalized approach, businesses can trust The Allen Thomas Group to find the best insurance solutions for their needs.
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