Historically, inland marine insurance is an outgrowth of ocean marine insurance. Ocean marine insurance covers goods in shipment while on a water-bound vessel. Once offloaded, the goods still need insurance coverage as they are shipped inland to a final destination. Inland marine insurance started as a separate type of insurance to cover the risk of shipment while the goods are not aboard a vessel.
Today, inland marine coverage is available to anyone who needs to transport goods. Whether you just need to get valuable items from point A to point B one time, or you run a business in the supply chain industry, an Insurance Station agent can help you find the coverage you need.
What is Inland Marine Coverage?
Inland marine insurance covers items and cargo in shipment, including everything from valuable papers to exhibit items en route to a trade show. It also includes much broader coverage types. The inland marine insurance definition has evolved over time to cover a wide range of property and materials:
• Property in transit
• Property in the custody of a bailee
• Property deemed to be an instrumentality of transportation or communication, such as bridges and radio towers
• Mobile medical equipment
• Contractors equipment
Inland Marine Coverage for Property in Transit
These are examples of property in transit often covered by an inland marine policy:
• Shipments from a supplier to a user
• Private shipments from one party to another
• Shipments from a main warehouse to a retail outlet
• Sales persons' samples
• Athletic team equipment
• Contractors' job site equipment
• Property en route to a fair, exhibition or convention
• Fire or police department equipment
• Fine arts and antiques in transit
• Equipment of any kind that is mostly used off-site
Basically, any piece of property that is being moved from one location to another is eligible for an inland marine policy. Many companies offer this coverage. An Insurance Station agent can help you get multiple quotes and rates from different companies so you can get the best coverage for your unique needs.
What Is Bailees' Coverage?
A bailee is a person who has possession of another person's property for the purpose of storage, repair or servicing. These professionals need a variety of business insurance coverage, including commercial vehicle insurance and inland marine coverage, to protect their business investment.
Examples of bailees' providing inland marine services include the following:
• Dry cleaners
• Jewelry repairers
• Furniture or appliance repair shops
• Computer repair shops
• Storage facilities
• Delivery services
• Exhibit companies
Bailees purchase a commercial inland marine policy to protect the property in their possession, thereby covering their legal liability to the owner should the property be lost, damaged or stolen.
Instrumentalities of Transportation and Communication
By convention within the insurance industry, property deemed to be involved in transportation or communication is often insured using inland marine insurance. These are examples of property involved in transportation or communication:
• Dry docks and marine railways
• Transmission lines, towers and related equipment
• Outdoor cranes and loading equipment
In most cases, these properties are owned by a larger commercial enterprise. A commercial inland marine policy insuring such property needs to be coordinated with the firm's overall property and casualty program.
Inland Marine Insurance for Movable Property and Equipment
Movable property and equipment refers to anything that is moved from location to location, other than vehicles licensed for roadway use. These policies typically cover the items regardless of where they are located at the time of damage or loss.
These are examples of movable property and equipment that is hauled from one location to another:
• Contractor's equipment
• Medical equipment
• Tools and equipment belonging to trade persons or repair persons
• Equipment moved from one facility to another within an overall work area such as lift trucks
• Testing equipment
• Musical instruments
• Photography equipment
• Pet grooming equipment
• Vending machines
A personal homeowner's policy will not cover property used in business. Most commercial package policies provide limited coverage for property located away from the premises. The best way to cover these items is with commercial inland marine coverage that will follow the property wherever it goes.
What Is a Commercial Property Floater?
Commercial property floaters are a type of inland marine insurance that cover equipment and items of value to the business that are not contained in one area.
Many types of commercial operations provide mobile services in multiple locations. Many others transport equipment from one job site to another. If this describes the work you do, you may want to add a commercial property floater to your business insurance program.
Commercial property floaters are just one type of property insurance that falls under the broad category of inland marine insurance. The specific type of policy or floater that makes the most sense for you will depend upon the nature of your business, the equipment you use and the items you transport.
Obtaining Inland Marine Insurance
Inland marine insurance is a great tool for insuring property that does not fit into a standard "fixed location" policy. It generally provides all risk coverage and follows the insured property wherever it goes. We can provide quotes from inland marine insurance companies that offer a wide range of products for almost every need.