The oxymoron that is inland marine insurance and why it’s important

Question: What’s inland marine insurance?

Follow-up question: Does it have anything to do with boats, by chance?

Welcome to the world of confusing insurance terminology! Inland marine insurance is a way for businesses to fill gaps that might be in their coverage. Coverage gaps are not good for businesses – you wouldn’t carry an umbrella with holes in it into a rainstorm, would you? Nope. So, the point is that you need to make sure that you don’t have any gaps in your business insurance. Some aspects of your business might not be covered elsewhere in your insurance plan, and that’s where inland marine can help. We’ll explain how.

So. We’ll elaborate more on the first question in a bit, but first, let’s answer that follow-up…

Does inland marine insurance have anything to do with boats?

No. No, it does not. Well, kind of, but not really.

Why not?

An excellent follow-up question to the follow-up question! The thing is, shipping used to be done mostly with, well, ships. Makes sense, right? What we know today as inland marine insurance began as a way to protect the ocean shipping industry from losses. But then the shipping process developed to be less ocean-centric – cargo would be dumped onto barges and sent inland. Cargo on barges still needed insurance. And of course, the insurance needed a new, catchy name. Et voilà – we have inland marine insurance!

Want to know something even funnier? There are these things called floater policies that cover business property that can move or that’s transported from place to place. And they’re called floaters because, in the days of boat shipping, the property that was protected was literally – guess what? – floating! You can’t say that insurance folks don’t have a sense of humor. Anyways, if you get a floater policy today, it doesn’t mean that your property is literally floating. But if it was that would be pretty cool.

Okay, so word fun aside, who uses inland marine insurance?

There are a lot of different industries that use inland marine insurance to cover their property and fill their coverage gaps. Inland marine does a lot of different things, and there are a lot of different types of coverage that fall under the “inland marine” catch-all, such as bailee insurance, commercial computers, and contractors’ equipment. Inland marine insurance can protect your goods as they’re being transported (on land, not by boat), your clients’ property while it’s in your care (this is why you might need bailee insurance), and your clients’ property as it’s being taxied to and from your site.

Inland marine insurance protects your products while they're being shipped.

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There are lots of different industries that use inland marine insurance. Construction businesses might have builder’s risk or contractor’s equipment coverage. Technology or communication businesses might have electronic equipment coverage. Those in the transportation industry might have commercial transport insurance, motor truck cargo insurance, or railroad rolling stock insurance. But those are just a few of the industries and types of coverage out there. We will spare your eyes the strain of reading over all of the possibilities.

Pretty much, if your business transports equipment to different places or keeps an eye on your customers’ belongings you might want to consider inland marine. Some of the types of insurance that can help you close your business’s coverage gaps are…

  • Bailee insurance
  • Commercial computer
  • Builder’s risk
  • Contractor’s equipment
  • Installation floater
  • Exhibition and fine arts
  • Motor truck cargo
  • Transit
  • And others: Installation sales, jewelers block, miscellaneous floaters, and related property coverage

Does my business need inland marine insurance?

There are many things that can be covered under the category of inland marine insurance. If your business has construction projects, installs products at your clients’ home, does repairs that require you to keep your clients’ possessions in your care, has valuable papers or records, or a bunch of other stuff, you might need some form of inland marine insurance. It’s definitely worth asking your agent about. Remember, the goal is to protect things that aren’t protected, so inland marine insurance can help you patch up those holes in your umbrella.

Inland marine can help cover gaps in business insurance.

In summary:

  • Inland marine insurance does not, in fact, have anything to do with boats. We understand that the name is misleading.
  • Inland marine insurance is intended to help businesses cover gaps in their coverage.
  • There are a lot of different coverages that fall under the “inland marine” header.
  • Businesses that have care, custody, and control of their clients’ belongings might want to consider bailee insurance.
  • Businesses that move equipment or products around may want to consider inland marine.

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If you think that you’d like to get a free quote for inland marine insurance, we would be happy to help you out with that! We can get you business insurance quotes to help you protect your company. We want to help you make sure that you have the coverage you need. To get started with your business insurance quote, all you have to do is fill out our form or give us a call today.