Inland Marine Insurance
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Inland marine insurance

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Inland marine insurance

Inland marine insurance provides coverage for business property, such as products, tools, and equipment, while it’s in transit over land or stored at an off-site location.

Why is inland marine insurance important?

Inland marine insurance is a “floater” policy, which simply means the coverage goes where the insured property goes. A small business that ships valuables, transports tools, or owns a truck with specialized equipment may need this policy.

Commercial property insurance only covers business property at the location listed on the policy. Inland marine insurance protects against damage and theft outside your place of business.

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Inland marine protects property on the move

Inland marine insurance protects business property when it's on the go from a variety of perils, such as theft, fire, and inclement weather.

What does inland marine insurance cover?

An inland marine policy provides coverage for insured property no matter where it’s located.

Specifically, your inland marine policy provides protection for:

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Property in transit

Commercial inland marine insurance protects business property in transit, which is typically excluded from commercial property insurance.

For example, equipment that is being transported between job sites in a vehicle would be covered by inland marine insurance, but not by your commercial property policy.

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Property in your temporary care

Inland marine insurance can protect property that's temporarily in your care, such as computers or a painting.

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Movable property in a fixed location

Inland marine insurance covers business property that's in a fixed but movable location, such as heavy equipment installed inside a van or truck.

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Property that moves around

Inland marine insurance covers property that moves from location to location, such as a contractor's tools that move to different worksites.

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Unique or valuable property

Your business may have special decorations or fine art that can't be insured with standard policies.

For example, inland marine insurance can be added to commercial property insurance for valuable artwork that could not be insured otherwise. If the artwork is stolen, the policy would cover the costs.

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Property that transfers information

This may include computer equipment that travels to different locations and electronic data.

How much does inland marine insurance cost?

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Inland marine insurance typically costs an average of $14 per month, or $169 annually.

Several factors affect the cost of an inland marine insurance policy, including:

  • Property value
  • Coverage limits
  • Industry risk
  • Past claims history

Who needs inland marine insurance?

Inland marine insurance benefits both small businesses and independent contractors that own or are responsible for business property that is on the move.

However, there are a few specific professions who need inland marine coverage more often than others, including:

Videographers and photographers

Videographers and photographers often have specialized equipment that move from place to place, and are prone to risks. An inland marine policy would protect this equipment when it's on the go.

For example, a video production studio's inland marine policy would cover valuable cameras, lighting, and other equipment that moves from place to place in the company's van.

Bar and café owners

Many bars and cafes exhibit artwork from local artists. These businesses are temporarily in possession of someone else's property. If they were stolen, inland marine insurance would cover the cost as a form of protection called bailee coverage.

Food truck owners

Inland marine coverage protects the cooking equipment in a food truck, but not the truck itself. For example, if a fire damages the kitchen, it would pay for repairs or replacement of the damaged equipment.

Construction and contracting businesses

Construction professionals and contractors usually carry a variety of tools with them in order to do their jobs. Inland marine insurance would protect these tools when you're working at different locations, and provides coverage for items under $10,000 that are less than five years old.

For instance, a carpenter may want to purchase contractor's tools and equipment insurance, a type of inland marine insurance, to protect carpentry tools and contractors equipment that is brought to each job site.

IT professionals

IT professionals are often dependent on computer equipment to complete their jobs. Inland marine coverage protects the policyholder's equipment no matter where the IT professional goes.

For example, employees at an IT consulting firm often bring laptops to client homes and offices. To provide protection wherever the computers go, the consulting company invests in inland marine insurance.

Get inland marine insurance coverage for your small business

View video transcript.

We're on top of your small and medium-sized business insurance needs. We'll help you find policies that protect what you've worked so hard to build. Start here. Tell us about yourself. Questions? We've got your back. The info you share is secure. We'll double-check it and a pro with experience in your field will be in touch. Fast? You can compare quotes from leading insurance providers in seconds and get a certificate of insurance the same day. Always online, always on your side. Helping protect your business.

It's easy to buy inland marine insurance with Insureon. In fact, it can usually be added to your business owner's policy. Fill out our free online application to get quotes from top-rated providers.

When you purchase a policy, you’ll get a certificate of liability insurance as proof of insurance for the policyholder.

What does inland marine insurance not cover?

While inland marine insurance is important for a wide variety of small businesses, it does not provide all the protection you need.

Your policy does not include coverage for:

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Commercial auto insurance is the policy that covers business-owned vehicles. It's required in almost every state for any company that has business-owned vehicles.

A small business can protect personal, rented, or leased vehicles used for work purposes with hired and non-owned auto insurance.

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Uncovered perils

An open perils policy, also called an all-risk policy, covers all types of perils unless otherwise stated. Usually, it includes a list of exclusions that details events the policy won't cover.

Open perils policies typically cover fire, windstorms, natural disasters, collisions, and theft. Make sure to read the exclusions carefully so you know exactly what's covered.

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Items not listed in the policy

A named perils policy only covers events listed in the policy and nothing else. Because its coverage is more limited, it often costs less than an open perils policy.

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Other common questions about inland marine insurance

Why is it called "inland marine" insurance?

This policy is called inland marine insurance because it's an offshoot of ocean marine insurance, which protects property transported over water. Marine insurance came first – hence the distinction "inland" marine for land transportation coverage.

What are the different types of inland marine insurance?

There are a few different types of coverage, each providing its own specific protection. These include:

What's the difference between property and liability insurance?

Property and liability insurance both protect small businesses against the most common financial threats. Property insurance focuses on your physical assets, and can replace items that are stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Liability insurance, on the other hand, protects against legal defense costs if a customer, client, or employee sues your business.

Just as there are several types of property insurance, different liability policies protect against different types of lawsuits. If you're unsure which coverage you need, our licensed insurance agents can help.

How do you buy inland marine insurance?

It’s often possible to add inland marine insurance to another policy, such as a business owner’s policy (BOP) or a commercial package policy (CPP). Bundling insurance policies usually costs less than purchasing each policy separately.

A BOP includes both general liability insurance and commercial property insurance, protecting your business against the most common risks faced by small businesses. A CPP is similar to a BOP, but it has more flexible protection options and is generally purchased by high risk small-to-medium sized businesses.

To compare quotes from top-rated U.S. insurance companies for a business owner’s policy or commercial package policy, fill out Insureon’s free online application.

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Updated: June 5, 2023
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