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Does your business transport goods from one place to another? If you do, then you need to know about Inland Marine insurance and how it can help protect your business and the things you transport. Learn the ins-and-outs about this insurance so you can make an informed decision on whether or not your business needs Inland Marine insurance.
Let’s begin with a brief history lesson about Inland Marine Insurance so you can better understand this type of insurance and how it can help protect your business and assets. Before the Industrial Revolution, most goods in the country were shipped via waterways across our oceans. Marine insurers offered insurance coverage called Ocean Marine Insurance to provide protection for those goods as a precaution in case they were lost at sea, damaged during transport, or if theft (pirates!) occurred. Over time with the development of new technology and methods for transporting goods such as by railroad, marine insurers took advantage of this new opportunity since they had experience in it. From this, Inland Marine Insurance was introduced to the marketplace, offering a wider variety of coverage when it came to losses for all items being shipped over land.
Today, the name Inland Marine has maintained its historical name and is common vernacular in the insurance industry.
Here are a few things to ask yourself to determine whether or not Inland Marine Insurance is right for you and your business. Do you:
Transport property between locations?
Hold or take possession of other people’s property?
Operate a business that moves location like a food truck or has expensive equipment like a crane or bulldozer?
Own expensive decorations or high-tech assets that are not covered by a standard Business Insurance policy?
Have buildings under construction?
These are just a few examples that warrant the need for Inland Marine insurance, but ultimately, it's up to you to determine the level of risk your comfortable with. For example, items kept inside company vehicles such tools, merchandise, and computers are expensive, and while you might think your Property Insurance or Commercial Insurance policy may cover them in the event of a loss, that may not be the case. In fact, depending on where the loss occurs, it could be outside the feet or mile range set by your Property and/or Commercial Insurance policy and could void a potential claim.
Here are a few tips to consider if you're thinking about purchasing a policy. Be sure to:
Work with a knowledgeable agent that understands your business and your objectives
Understand that an Inland Marine insurance policy can be customized to fit the needs of your business
Include replacement cost for assets versus actual cash value (ACV)
Fully understand your options to select peril coverage versus all-risk coverage. Peril coverage will pay a claim from damage caused by a specific peril, like wind, hail, or vandalism, whereas all-risk coverage provides compensation for most causes of loss
Evaluate your business' growth every few years to ensure your current insurance policies provide adequate coverage
While you may have never considered Inland Marine Insurance or felt you had a need for it, at the end of the day, when it comes to protecting your business, it's better to have the insurance protection you need to give you the peace of mind and give you the protection you need in the event of an unexpected loss.
Written by Adam Payton