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Inland marine insurance in 2023. What is inland marine insurance?

Inland marine insurance

Contrary to what is suggested by its name, inland marine insurance isn’t designed for boats. Its name derives from “ocean marine insurance,” when ocean shipping was predominant.

The original name of this insurance was modified to “inland marine” as inland shipping methods developed over the years.

These days, inland marine insurance is designed to protect your business property when it’s in transit or storage somewhere other than your primary business location.

It also covers specialized high-value assets that property insurance typically doesn’t cover.

In this guide to inland marine insurance, we will cover the following:

Table of contents

  • What is inland marine insurance?
  • What does inland marine insurance cover?
  • What does inland marine insurance protect?
  • Do I need inland marine insurance?
  • What’s the difference between cargo insurance and inland marine?
  • What are the types of inland marine insurance?
  • What are the limits of inland marine insurance?
  • Inland marine insurance cost

What is inland marine insurance?

Inland marine insurance is a type of commercial insurance that provides coverage for business materials when they are transported over land.

This policy will cover those items whether they’re transported by plane, truck, train, or if a third party stores them in a warehouse.

This coverage is unique because it helps to protect moveable business property rather than items in one specific place or a single location. This policy “floats” wherever the insured property goes.

What does inland marine insurance cover?

Inland marine insurance covers any moveable property that can be transported or involved in transferring information.

Inland marine insurance will pay for the costs to repair or replace any damaged property by one of the covered risks.

Some of the common risks covered by inland marine insurance are:

  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Water damage

In addition, depending on your business’s unique needs and the coverage details, inland marine may also offer coverage solutions such as:

  • Mysterious disappearance: Missing property where the cause of the loss has not been discovered.
  • Accidental drop and damage: Property losses or damages when it is dropped or mishandled. The covered loss can occur during transit, loading, or unloading.

You should read your policy to ensure you understand what risks are (and are not) covered or check with your insurance agent.

What does inland marine insurance protect?

Inland marine insurance protection covers a wide range of equipment and materials. Some of these materials include:

  • Tools
  • Sales samples
  • Cargo for delivery
  • Photography equipment
  • Trade show exhibits
  • Construction or contractor equipment
  • Medical and scientific equipment
  • Communications and networking equipment
  • Computer systems and personal computers

Standard business property insurance does not cover what inland marine insurance can.

Standard property coverage protects business assets stored at your head office or central place of work and up to approximately 1,000 feet away. It doesn’t cover property further than that distance or any materials in transit between business sites.

Inland marine insurance covers losses to five types of business property:

  1. Property stored at an off-site warehouse or another facility (e.g., business materials stored at a customer’s site).
  2. Property transported over land between locations (e.g., building materials).
  3. Property that is kept in a moving vehicle (e.g., a portable food truck).
  4. High-value property stored at your fixed location (e.g., someone else’s artwork).
  5. Property that is part of any infrastructure (e.g., communication towers that an insured owns).

Inland marine insurance does not cover the following:

  • Any business vehicles
  • The property you ship by sea or by air
  • Damage from floods and earthquakes
  • Fixed property at your primary location
  • Property damage that occurs before being moved (e.g., shipment)

Do I need inland marine insurance?

In general, inland marine insurance should be considered by businesses that ship or transport business materials. However, not all small businesses need it.

Many businesses find business owners’ policies (BOP) and commercial package policies (CPP) are sufficient for their needs.

Inland marine coverage may be purchased as an add-on to an existing business insurance policy or a separate one. These standard types of insurance generally cover property housed at a specific location, but extra coverage can protect moveable materials.

Therefore, inland marine insurance coverage is essential if you ship high-value materials which are expensive to replace and often excluded from basic property coverage.

Ask yourself the following five questions to determine if you need inland marine insurance.

  1. Does your business frequently ship property by land?
  2. Does your business occasionally ship expensive valuables?
  3. Do you own a business vehicle with specialized equipment?
  4. Does your business often move items from one location to another?
  5. Do you move business tools to different work sites?

You will benefit from an inland marine insurance policy if you answer yes to those questions. Small businesses with mobile property will likely be eligible for inland marine insurance.

What’s the difference between cargo insurance and inland marine?

Inland marine and cargo insurance share similarities but are not the same.

Cargo insurance is designed for individuals who are temporarily responsible for their cargo, such as independent truckers. It covers liability for lost or damaged cargo due to perils such as fire, collision, or striking of a load.

Cargo insurance policies are maintained by the cargo worker, not the business they work with.

If you have more questions about marine cargo insurance, see here.

What are the types of inland marine insurance?

This type of insurance comes in a few different forms. There is a standard form of inland marine insurance and a few different types of specialized policies that go by another name.

All of these specialized policies still fall under the umbrella name of inland marine insurance. These are:

  1. Builder’s Risk. Protects structures and materials during renovations or new construction projects.
  2. Bailee’s Customer Coverage. Protects client property for which your business is responsible (for example, items at a repair shop).
  3. Exhibition and Fine Art Coverage. It covers valuable items on exhibit, transit, or loan.
  4. Installation Floater. This protects materials or items when loaded onto a truck until installed or used.
  5. Contractor’s Tools and Equipment. This covers mobile tools and equipment.
  6. Motor Truck Cargo Coverage. Covers clients’ goods while your business transports and delivers them.

What are the limits of inland marine insurance?

Inland marine insurance will have a coverage limit, and your insurer will only cover you up to the limit stated in your policy. However, you choose the limit.

If your business equipment is not high-value, you can select a lower limit and pay a smaller monthly premium.

In contrast, if your equipment is high-value and needs full protection, you can choose a higher limit and pay a larger monthly premium.

Inland marine insurance also has a deductible (or the amount you have to pay toward a covered claim). You may be able to choose the deductible that works best for your business when you buy coverage.

Key takeaways

Inland marine insurance is a unique commercial insurance that covers business materials transported over land. This policy “floats” wherever the insured property goes.

This insurance covers common weather risks such as hail, wind, and fire but does not always cover floods or earthquakes.

Inland marine insurance protection covers a wide range of equipment and materials, from items for delivery to tools and office equipment such as laptops.

Not all small businesses need inland marine insurance. Some businesses may find that business owners and commercial package policies are sufficient for their needs.

Inland marine insurance comes in a standard form that goes by the same name and in specialized forms that fall under the same name, for example, builder’s risk and installation floater.

Inland marine insurance will have deductibles and coverage limits that you can choose from. Your insurer can help you to decide what policy is best for you.

Inland marine insurance cost

Finding out what coverage you need to protect your business can be challenging. In any case, an insurance agent can help you assess your company’s risks and needs.

Many factors determine the cost of inland marine insurance, for example:

  • The size of your business
  • The covered items
  • The value of insured stock
  • The locations you are shipping to
  • How frequently your business materials are shipped

In addition to the size of your business, the location of the company and your claims history will also determine your policy’s cost.

If you have questions about whether inland marine coverage makes sense for your business, you should consider getting a hassle-free quote.

Inland marine insurance quote

You can easily apply for a quote today to determine the costs of protecting your business against damage to your mobile property.

With marine cargo insurance, businessmen transporting goods worldwide by road, rail, sea, or air are indemnified if any goods are lost or damaged.

Marine cargo insurance is necessary for all businesses as it offers more benefits than goods in transit insurance.

Pitsas Insurances provide various policies that cover raw materials through to finished goods.

What does Pitsas marine cargo insurance cover?

  • Loss of goods due to fire or theft
  • Damage or loss of goods in transit
  • Total loss of a package or vessel
  • Loss of goods from natural disasters
  • Protection of goods in warehouse storage
  • Incidents relating to the vehicle, i.e., lorries overturning, road accidents, etc.

To find out more about how Pitsas can help you, see here.

To receive a free quote, see here.

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