What is Inland Marine Insurance?
Inland Marine Insurance is a common insurance instrument with an uncommon name. It is intended to protect property while in transit. Historically, this insurance was called “ocean marine insurance”, and was designed to protect cargo on ships. But it was eventually expanded, along with a drop of the term “ocean”, to cover cargo even after it had been unloaded onto land.
Despite the term “marine”, most inland marine insurance covers on land cargo, while cargo transported by water is covered under “ocean marine”. Nowadays, inland marine insurance refers to most any cargo in transit, including cargo storage and holding — and is used by even people who are thousands of miles away from the ocean and have no intention of transporting anything by water on a ship.
Why Do I Need Inland Marine Insurance?
Inland marine coverage offers valuable protection to the small business owner. It’s especially important for people who travel for work, and who travel with or are transporting high-value items. Inland marine coverage often applies to someone’s occupation. For instance, when a contractor’s equipment or tools are stolen out of his truck or at his work site, an inland marine policy would cover the loss. Similarly, cargo damaged in transit over land would be protected under this type of insurance.
Commonly, inland marine insurance is purchased as a supplement to an existing insurance policy. Often referred to as a floater, it is recommended to fill in any gaps in insurance covered — and to ensure a small business owner has total coverage in the happenstance that loss or damage of cargo in storage, holding, or transit. While the areas of coverage are extensive, examples include property being transported, buildings under construction, fine artwork, expensive silverware, computer equipment, and a host of other goods. Even data such as accounts receivable and valuable business papers can be covered under this insurance.
Small businesses or contractors who repair, service, clean, or otherwise perform work on the property of others need marine inland insurance. It not only can cover losses to goods that occur at the work site, but also while they are being stored or transported. Further, any type of movable good that is often at difficult locations is protected under inland marine coverage.