As a type of property and casualty insurance, inland marine generally covers equipment that is transported across land.1
- Inland marine protects materials and equipment during transportation over land; certain types of moveable equipment; equipment while it is being temporarily stored by a third party2; and legal liability exposures of bailees (A bailee is any person or business who has been given temporary custody of someone else’s property.3)
- Property covered under inland marine may be subject to “unique” causes of loss that normal property policies do not cover,4 and collision and cargo theft are the two most frequent causes of inland marine losses.5
- Typically, inland marine coverage forms are generally broader than property coverage forms.6
What types of property does inland marine cover?
Inland marine insurance covers many specialty equipment and products, such as7:
- Computers, including tablets and laptops, and other communication equipment
- Construction and contracting tools and equipment
- Photographic and videographic equipment
- Property such as equipment and materials that are stored away from your premises, such as at a job-site or temporary storage location
- In addition, if someone else’s property is temporarily in your possession, inland marine insurance can provide coverage against the loss of this property.
- Finally, in some cases inland marine can cover Rental Reimbursement expenses you incur due to the loss of your tools and equipment.
Who needs it?
Most small business owners have protection under traditional commercial property insurance, but in cases where property is mobile or more specialized, you need to make sure you have coverage. The following businesses are those that typically need inland marine coverage:
- Contractors and those in related fields who travel between job sites
- Business owners who attend trade shows, exhibitions, and conventions8
What inland marine insurance doesn’t cover
The following equipment and damages are generally excluded from inland marine insurance:
- Stationary property, which is covered by commercial property insurance.
- Vehicles, as those used for business purposes need to be covered under a commercial auto policy. It is worth noting, though, that inland marine insurance can protect the contents of the vehicle.
- Property that is transported by sea or air, as this method of property transportation would require ocean marine or air cargo insurance. Remember, inland marine only covers property that is moved over land, such as by trucks or trains.
- Property damaged before shipment. Inland marine insurance typically only covers damage or loss that occurs during transit, unless you have a specialized policy covering specific items.
Cost of inland marine insurance
How much a business pays for inland marine insurance depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The type of business and type of property being insured
- The coverage limits
- Whether it’s an “all risk” vs. “named perils” policy (“all risk” is generally more expensive, but covers everything unless it’s specifically excluded in the policy, whereas a “named perils” policy only covers the perils specified in the policy).9
Make sure your business is properly covered! For more information, contact your Merchants’ independent insurance agent, who can help you evaluate your inland marine coverage needs.
1, 4. Jim Kinmartin
2, 5, 7. III.org