What is Inland Marine Insurance?

Posted on Jan 27, 2021
What is Inland Marine Insurance

Perhaps one of the most confusing business insurance policies is inland marine insurance.  It is also sometimes referred to as a floater policy.

Most people define “marine” as having to do with water. In fact, the very definition of the word is “of or relating to the sea,” according to dictionary.com. So, what is inland marine insurance, and what on earth does this type of insurance cover? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Is It Called Inland Marine Coverage?

Though the name is confusing, especially when there is marine insurance to cover items transported over water, inland marine coverage protects materials, goods, and equipment transported over land.

But it also protects these same goods, materials, equipment, etc., while third parties warehouse these goods. 

Since theft and collisions are primary causes of losses for inland marine policies, this isn’t an insurance coverage all businesses need. However, there are some businesses that benefit more from this type of protection than others.

This includes companies that do any of the following:

  • Frequently ship finished products, especially high-value products.
  • Transport equipment, such as construction or medical equipment, over land.
  • Move costly equipment from one worksite to others. This can include things like photography equipment, communications equipment, etc.
  • Transport high-value items such as fine arts, computer equipment, jewelry, etc.
  • Take possession of property your business doesn’t own. For instance, you may display the artwork of local artists. If that work is stolen, inland marine insurance will cover the costs.
  • Have costly equipment installed in or on your vehicles for the purpose of your work.
  • Have employees who transport laptops or computer equipment between worksites.

As you can see, the need for inland marine coverage reaches a wide variety of businesses. Working with a trusted agency can help you determine if your business needs require this invaluable type of protection or if a different type of policy might serve your needs best.

The real reason it is called inland marine insurance is that when this coverage was created, insurance companies needed a distinction between this coverage and their standard marine insurance protection.

The decision was made to call it inland marine insurance. It persists to this day, working to cover the insurance protection needs of businesses that have items in transport for many different reasons.

What Perils Does a Commercial Inland Marine Policy Cover?

While every policy is different, some perils are often covered by inland marine insurance policies. These perils include:

  • Theft of materials
  • Fire damage
  • Wind damage
  • Hail damage
  • Water damage
  • Mysterious disappearances
  • Accidental drop damage
  • Auto accident damage

The perils covered by your inland marine insurance policy are undoubtedly important. You want to make sure that your policy covers the likeliest risks your equipment may experience while in transit or while being temporarily housed in warehouses (either together or separately while awaiting transport).

It is important to understand the limits of your inland marine insurance policy too. For instance, if a fire in the kitchen of a food truck damages the kitchen, this would be covered by your inland marine policy. It would not cover the truck itself, but the replacement of the damaged kitchen equipment.

You also want to make sure that the specific items you’re transporting or storing are eligible for coverage with your policy. While there are certain insurance protections and floater policies you can purchase for practically everything, these are some of the property types inland marine coverage typically protects.

  • Computers and computer equipment
  • Networking and communication equipment
  • Construction and medical equipment
  • Products and equipment for trade shows and exhibitions
  • Sales samples
  • Tools and trades equipment
  • Food truck kitchen equipment

Working with a trusted insurance agency can help you get the best coverage for your business’s needs while operating “in the office,” in transport, and even on various job sites. Each one requires different protections beyond the basic BOP and business property insurance plan.

How to Get a Quote for an Inland Marine Floater?

In order to get the best possible insurance coverage for your business, it is vital to work with a trustworthy, independent insurance agency.  This gives you access to customizable insurance policies and costs that work in your business’s best interest and budget.

We will work with you to create an inland marine and overall business insurance policy that is customized to meet the unique needs of your business. We understand that our job isn’t merely to sell policies but to make sure that your business has the protection you need.

Contact Otterstedt Insurance Agency today and experience for yourself the outstanding service we offer today that has served our organization well for more than 100 years.

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