What is Inland Marine Insurance?

Without prior knowledge of ‘Inland Marine’ insurance, you might think this is some kind of boating insurance or something. Ironically, it’s not. Marine insurance is a type of property coverage that has a long history behind it.

Marine insurance came into existence in the early days of shipping when merchants relied on bodies of water such as oceans, rivers, and canals as their main routes of transportation.

Source: Cunnington & Associates Inc

Then the twentieth century came along, and with it, a whole new system of transportation: planes, trains, and automobiles. With this, the demand for insurance to protect goods in transit over land came into existence. This is where inland marine insurance was born.

Inland marine is one of the most varied types of Property & Casualty insurance with many unique and unusual exposures. It is a form of property insurance, but the distinction between property and marine coverage can be very confusing. As a general rule, property coverage is designed to cover stationary property, property that predominately remains at a “scheduled” premises, and property not considered “unique.” Inland marine coverage is intended for property that may be moving from location to location, property off premises at new locations, temporary locations, or work locations, and/or subject to “unique” causes of loss that traditional property policies do not cover.

The four major types of inland marine coverages written today are:

  • Property being transported
  • Buildings under construction (builders risk)
  • Computer equipment and data
  • Contractors equipment

There are numerous other inland marine policy coverages written to handle expensive and unique property situations. They  include:

  • Accounts Receivable
  • Bailee’s Coverage (for property of others accepted for cleaning, repairing, etc)
  • Camera and Musical Instruments
  • Exhibition Floater
  • Equipment Dealers
  • Fine Arts
  • Furriers Block
  • Jewelers Block

Does your business need Inland Marine Insurance?

Depending on the type of small business you own, this coverage can be essential to protecting business property. Consider any items you place in your car or truck daily to get your work done or the valuables, including data, you own or are responsible for. Most property policies limit or exclude coverage for these items.

Or maybe you are in the construction trade or are building an addition to your office. Inland Marine Insurance can protect the building materials—and a contractor’s tools and equipment.

If you clean, repair, service or perform work on property of others, Inland Marine Insurance can work for you. It can cover losses to goods that occur at your premises, while being transported to or from your premises or in storage.

These are just a few examples.

As you can see, marine insurance means a lot more than what it sounds like from the surface. Don’t let the term “Marine” fool you. It’s not just some kind of boating insurance. Rather, inland marine insurance is one of the most varied types of Property & Casualty insurance on the market that shouldn’t be overlooked.


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About Jimmy Kinmartin - Business Insurance & Risk Management

Jimmy is a California licensed Property & Casualty AND Accident & Health insurance agent working at the Olson Duncan Insurance brokerage based in Torrance and Irvine, CA. He grew up in Fullerton, CA and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tustin, CA. Have questions? Just ask! Or, follow Jim on Twitter at @JimKinmartin

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