Best Insurance for Inland Marines

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 18, 2022

The purpose behind inland marine insurance is to offer protection over a wide range of specialized property. For instance, an inland marine insurance policy can cover medical diagnostic equipment, fine art, solar energy equipment, and even clothing to a certain degree. Particularly clothing left at the dry cleaner. 

Other areas covered under inland marine insurance are properties designed to facilitate transportation or communication. This specialized coverage can be hard to understand. Learn more now with Benzinga’s guide to inland marine insurance.

Compare Inland Marine Insurance

According to Benzinga, the best inland marine insurance company is The Hartford. Chubb is best for contractors and construction, and Liberty Mutual is best for small businesses. 

The Hartford has excellent financial strength and offers minimum premiums on certain policies, making it less desirable for small businesses. It does provide a variety of customizable coverages, reasonable rates and a good claims process.

Chubb's top inland marine insurance options are designed for contractors and construction professionals. It is a positive attribute for those in the construction industry, even though Chubb's offerings may not fit all types of inland marine insurance.

On the other hand, Liberty Mutual offers a wide range of customizable protection options. This includes miscellaneous property with policy limits and premiums appropriate to businesses of all sizes.

Try Simply Business

Simply Business offers a comprehensive suite of business insurance that specializes in making it easy to insure your business. Whether you’re looking for construction workers' insurance or liability insurance for your startup, Simply Business even helps you find the right insurance for freight and logistics operations at the right price. Don’t turn to a thousand different carriers when you can get help from Simply Business.

Tell Simply Business a little bit about your business and you'll get almost-instantaneous affordable quotes from top insurance providers to protect your business and safeguard yourself. You can also look into workers’ comp, business owner’s plans, additional liability insurance, commercial auto and more that will cover everyone on your team, and you can get covered in accordance with state law without overspending. 

Building your business is hard enough. Let Simply Business make it easier. Get a quote from Simply Business today.

What is Inland Marine Insurance?

If you need to protect products, materials and equipment while transported on land like a train or truck, it may be important to consider investing in inland marine insurance. This form of insurance is used to protect the movable business property or used for transportation or communication purposes.

Your high-value items or those excluded by property coverage in a standard business owner's policy may be eligible for protection with inland marine insurance. Those who own a business involved with shipping or transporting products or equipment should look into purchasing a policy.  

This type of policy can be purchased as an add-on to an existing business insurance policy or may even be available as a separate policy. You can always consult with an insurance agent to see which options are available.

What Does Inland Marine Insurance Cover?

In some instances, inland marine insurance helps pay repairs or replace the portable business property that is otherwise damaged in a covered peril listed in the policy. Certain perils may include:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Water damage

Inland marine insurance may also provide additional coverage for specific situations. This involves mysterious disappearance such as missing property where the cause of the loss cannot be uncovered or accidental drop and damage, which is property losses caused whenever items are dropped or mishandled. The items could be in transit or loading or unloading.

You can look over your policy with an agent to understand what your insurance does not cover perils. The types of property generally covered by inland marine insurance are among a vast array of specialty equipment and materials used for business.

Computers and expensive electronics 

With cyber insurance, users can rest assured that digital information is stored on computers and mobile devices. Depending, of course, on certain policy terms and conditions, there may be coverage for hacks into business computers, ransomware attacks, data breaches as well as forgotten devices. Cyber protection will typically cover only non-physical information that is stored on computers. 

However, protection is usually not offered for physical computers and devices themselves. You don't want to take any chances regarding computers and expensive electronics and the information stored on such devices. If information gets into the wrong hands, there is no telling how severe the consequences can be. This protection is most suitable for manufacturers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, financial institutions and educational institutions.  

Communications gear 

This involves radio, broadcasters and telecommunication firms that continue to grow at an exponential rate. Communication protection is designed for owners or operators of equipment and infrastructure operations. Towers, antennas, satellite dishes or portable equipment responsible for transmitting information or intelligence of any kind. 

Communication gear insurance is perfect for radio and television broadcasters, broadband, cellular or wireless providers, government entities like law enforcement and recreational parks, religious organizations and educational institutions that broadcast.

Medical equipment 

Since medical technology is responsible for advancing and reshaping the healthcare field with innovations such as 3D printing, surgical robots, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and virtual reality training tools, it is wise to invest in this form of coverage. That way, you will be protected should there ever be a problem. Medical equipment protection is ideal for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, outpatient facilities, and medical equipment leasing companies.

Scientific or research equipment and photography gear

If you are interested in protecting equipment like photography gear, miscellaneous property coverage may be right for you. Under this policy, you are offered the flexibility to address a wide range of fixed or mobile properties. Organizations use this coverage to protect hard-to-place items like specialized cameras and geo-mapping equipment. Miscellaneous property coverage is right for sports organizations, theme park companies, and theater production companies.

Specialty Inland Marine Coverage

Commercial package policy insurance is not intended to fulfill the notion that one size fits all. To better mitigate other types of risks, you will want to consider thinking outside the box. Specialty inland marine insurance focuses on particular risks that fall outside the realm of standard policies. Just because there are risks outside mainstream coverage doesn't mean they aren't important.

You can add customized coverage for items such as:

  • Building materials: This includes supplies for cleaning, repair, service or performing work on the property for others. It can cover losses to goods that can happen on your premises while being transported to or from your property or in storage.
  • Fine art: Traditional inland marine insurance will cover you continually under the builder's risk coverage. Fine arts protection pays you if your valuable works are damaged or destroyed.
  • Installation floaters: Inland marine insurance may provide coverage for a contractor's materials from the moment they leave the contractor's business until they are installed, and the job is hence signed off. The contractor or subcontractor usually purchases this form of insurance.
  • Motor truck cargo coverage: Another type of inland marine insurance that insures goods and properties while being transported by the motor carrier. The value of the client's property is protected while it has the freight carrier.

Find Inland Marine Insurance Today

Any business with moveable property can benefit from inland marine insurance. Before jumping right in, though, it is important to figure out if some of your company's dealings fall outside of protection already provided by existing commercial insurance. 

You and your company could have coverage through your business owner's policy. For example, though, cameras, lighting, or other pieces of equipment may not be covered if transported to another location.

Suppose you are interested in purchasing inland marine insurance or have any questions regarding the subject matter. In that case, an agent can better help you assess your company's risks and needs to see if coverage makes sense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called inland marine coverage?

It revels in its name because the main purpose of inland marine insurance is to protect property that:

  • Is actually in transit
  • Held by a bailee
  • At a fixed location that is an instrument of transportation
  • A moveable type of good that is often at a different location

This type of policy is an offshoot of ocean marine insurance that inversely protects property transported over water. It is important to remember that no matter the business industry you are currently in, accidents can happen at any time.

What does inland marine insurance not cover?

A notable trait of inland marine insurance is that it does not cover vehicles and any items not listed in the policy, among other exclusions. Commercial auto insurance is a policy that covers business-owned vehicles- not inland marine insurance. Small businesses can protect personal, rented, or leased vehicles used strictly for work purposes with hired and non-owned auto insurance. 

A named-perils policy protects items not listed in the policy. This only covers events that are listed in the policy and nothing else. Since coverage is more limited, it will often cost less. Open perils policy is also known as an all-risk policy. It covers types of perils unless stated otherwise.