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Understanding Inland Marine Insurance

By January 28, 2020Property

What Is Inland Marine Insurance And When Do We Need It?

Despite its name, it has nothing to do with watercraft.  This coverage was developed for portable business property that is taken off site and used in various locations (i.e. moved around “inland”) but it also has some more specific uses.

For many, the property insurance and/or coverage extensions included with your package policy may be enough, but occasionally you’ll need additional coverage that is specific to your property that the package policy may not provide.  That’s where Inland Marine coverage comes in.

Here are some regular examples of when to consider Inland Marine coverage.

  • Highly valued art, paintings, manuscripts that cannot be readily replaced. With those, you may need coverage that is specifically valued and that would be placed under Inland Marine.
  • Wall murals that are highly valued may need to be scheduled under Inland Marine since those more fall under “fine arts”. Most policies will have some fine arts coverage included but the coverage amount varies by carrier, so you’ll want to know if additional coverage is needed for your specific situation.
  • Golf carts used on campus.
  • Property that is taken off premises that exceeds any coverage amount built into your policy.
  • Box trailers with contents (i.e. church in a box)

A Brief History of Inland Marine Insurance

When business insurance was in its infancy, Ocean Marine insurance covered ships from losses acquired on their way to port.  For example, if any goods were damaged from your ship getting caught in a storm, Ocean Marine insurance would compensate you for some of those financial losses.  This offered businesses coverage when boats were the primary means for shipping.

But over time, more businesses began transporting goods over rivers and land by trains, trucks, barges and buses.  Cargo still needed to be protected, so insurers began offering inland marine policies as a branch of ocean marine coverage, i.e. moved around “inland”.

You’ll find that your personal Homeowner’s policy may use the same terminology if you have “scheduled” jewelry, watches or furs to insure.  Some have started to use different names like Personal Articles Floater but some still use the Inland Marine name.

If you have questions about whether this should apply to you, please do not hesitate to let us know.