inland marine

does my business need inland marine coverage?

From the name, it might seem that Inland Marine insurance is only required for businesses who ship goods over bodies of water but in fact, that is not the case.  Since the great fire of London in 1666, inland marine insurance has grown from its original purpose of covering all goods and property in transport across bodies of water to simply mean coverage of commercial properties in any form of transit.

In fact, inland marine insurance does not even cover boating transportation. Boating transport is covered under ocean marine insurance. Inland marine covers damage to business property while in transport, or while in your care, custody, or control during transport.

Inland marine policies became known as “floaters” since the property covered was originally floating on water. However, now the coverage is applied to all property in transport.

Some of the areas of coverage frequently included in an inland marine policy include fire, lightning, windstorm, flood, earthquake, landslide, theft, collision, derailment, overturn of the transporting vehicle, and bridge collapse.

Bailees and those companies which work off-site, or move products typically need commercial inland marine insurance coverage.  For example, if you are in the construction business you may want to round out your coverage with inland marine coverage to ensure that equipment in transit is covered.  Additionally, those business owners in the renewable energy or R&D space can use inland marine coverage to protect communication towers, solar, wind, and other renewable energy equipment.

Take the following case story for example as it highlights a business that was frequently transporting goods as bailees from one destination to another.

“Colaprico Collectibles” is a multinational auction house that handles the goods of high-end estates around the world.  In late 2017 while in transit from Russia to the US the truck carrying highly valued goods was damaged in a collision on its way to the auction house in NYC.  While the majority of the goods were undamaged, 3 large pieces were partially damaged.  Without the specific coverage provided by their inland marine coverage, they or their consignees could have lost large sums of money.  With inland marine coverage, their claim was handled and both parties were made whole.  The coverage itself was a drop in the bucket compared to the value of the goods that were damaged and they were appreciative that their coverage was well-planned and specific to their unique industry and needs.

Some of the additional areas of coverage in the inland marine insurance space include the following.  While this overview gives a glimpse into the types of industries and risks that are covered by inland marine, this coverage is less regulated and therefore, can cover a wider variety of risks than many other more highly regulated areas of insurance.

  • Shipping Motor truck cargo Rolling stock Warehouse and logistics
  • Agriculture and landscaping
 Party and special event
 Sales and rental dealers
  • Collectibles Exhibitions Fine arts Musical instruments Patterns and dies Signs Vending machines