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Inland Marine Insurance Policy Information

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland Marine Insurance. Most people have never heard the term "inland marine insurance," so if you're unsure what it is, you're not on your own. Although its name might suggest otherwise, inland marine insurance is not insurance for a boat. It is insurance that protects the inventory you transport from place to place over land. It covers personal property and valuables stored in your business. In some instances, it may also fill in any gaps that your homeowner's policy leaves behind.

In addition, inland marine insurance also protects your valuables if you ship them and they become lost or if the value of your shipment exceeds the declared limit value that is provided by your shipper. This is usually a very small amount, sometimes as little as $50. Anytime you have valuables being shipped or in transit, this coverage can save you thousands of dollars if a loss occurs.

It is fairly easy to identify and explain certain coverages, like commercial property, commercial automobile, and commercial general liability. The same cannot be said about inland marine. Inland marine coverages have things in common with all these lines of insurance and others but are still different.

Inland marine insurance began as an extension of ocean marine insurance. Many customers needed coverage for property that moved on land between the dock at the seaport and the final inland destination. Ocean marine coverage forms did not insure these exposures because the property was no longer on or around water or under an ocean marine shipping document.

On the other hand, the property had not yet become a traditional property exposure because it was not at a specific or described location. Inland marine insurance coverage was developed to meet the need for insurance coverage on property in transit on or over land and at other than fixed locations.

Inland marine insurance protects your property from theft, damage or loss with rates as low as $17/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Below are some answers to commonly asked inland marine insurance questions:

How Much Does Inland Marine Insurance Cost?

The average price of a standard inland marine policy for small businesses ranges from $17 to $69 per month based on location, type of equipment, tools or other business property covered, claims history and more.

Why Do Businesses Need Inland Marine Insurance?

The most typical method of hauling goods from one point to another within the United States is via truck, followed by surface mail and rail.

In most cases, a typical business policy never covers the shipping process for goods, and it's not in a shipper's best interest to trust the protection affording by the shipping carrier. This is particularly true of goods that are valuable or even irreplaceable.

Major shippers usually have many exclusions when shipping valuables. For instance, UPS does not provide protection for coins, precious stones, or cash.

Fedex limits the declared value of packages to $1K. This can leave a wide gap in coverage; for example, if you sell a 4K TV that retails for $2,500, and the TV becomes subsequently damaged by Fedex in transit, then you're on the hook for $1,500.

What's The Difference Between Inland Marine Insurance & Ocean Marine Insurance?

If you have goods shipped or transported via a vessel on the open water, then ocean marine insurance is the coverage you need. For protection of your items and inventory when they are offloaded from a sea-faring vessel, inland marine insurance is the protection to buy.

This type of insurance gets its name from its origin; it was originally meant to provide protection for goods that moved through inland waterways from a shipper to a receiver.

However, the definition was later expanded to encompass other types of inland transportation, including the use of planes, trains, and autos to haul goods or for goods being housed in warehouses or docked in bays.

Some examples of materials that require inland marine insurance include property in transit, contractor's equipment, mobile medical equipment, and property that is held by a bailee.

Even though basic or standard commercial property coverage forms and policies take care of most property insurance needs, gaps in coverage usually remain and losses can occur in situations where there is no coverage.

Several inland marine floaters, coverage forms, and policies are available to provide the coverage needed to eliminate those gaps in coverage and to cover property or situations that most commercial property coverage forms and policies do not cover.

What Are The Commercial Uses For Inland Marine Coverage?

Contractors Tools

For both small and larger businesses, inland marine insurance coverage can be a valuable asset. It protects your goods in a variety of scenarios, such as when you send a shipment as a supplier that's going to an end user, when you ship a private shipment to another party, when a shipment moves from your warehouse to a retail store, or when you ship samples to your sales force.

It covers the shipment of all sorts of off-site equipment and your customer's or client's property while you are in charge of it or in possession of it.

With inland marine insurance, protection is afforded on all movable property and business equipment as it moves between locations. Protection is usually afforded at a full level regardless of where the damage or loss occurs.

This might include tools and equipment, lift trucks, pet grooming supplies, vending machines, carnival-type rides, and more. Some of the more common inland marine insurance coverage forms include:

Accounts Receivable Coverage Form

Every insured should consider this important coverage. The basic property forms do not provide this important coverage and the BOPS and expanded coverage forms provide only small sub-limits. The coverage is also much narrower than that provided by the inland marine insurance forms.

Commercial Articles Coverage Form

This coverage form is custom-made for schools because it covers both camera equipment and musical instruments. However, its use should not be limited to only schools. Many other business and government entities can use this coverage form because they use cameras as part of their normal everyday operations but do not realize that the gaps in the standard commercial property coverage forms and policies could result in them not being covered.

Signs Coverage Forms

Standard commercial property coverage forms and policies do not usually cover neon signs when they are not attached to covered buildings and, when they are attached, the sub-limit is often inadequate. There are exceptions and coverage options but for larger signs and especially ones that are not on the named premises, separate inland marine insurance should be considered.

Bailees Coverage Forms

Any commercial operation that has custody of property of others or that works on, services, or repairs the property of others can use these coverage forms. They have applications beyond just laundry and dry-cleaning operations. While coverage for property of others is available on commercial property coverage forms and policies, the exclusions and limitations create gaps.

Builders Risk Coverage Forms

These coverage forms are often written on a blanket basis for the benefit of contractors that do the construction work. Some project owners may find it beneficial to have a policy in its own name to maintain control of the limits and coverage.

Contractors Equipment Coverage Forms

Contractors equipment is a significant property exposure for most contractors. Other types of business also use contractors equipment in their operations. Those other types may assume that their commercial property coverage forms and policies cover this equipment and they may be right…in some cases and/or up to a point. However, that equipment is usually excluded when it is not on the covered premises and the causes of loss are much more limited than on the inland marine forms.

Difference in Conditions (DIC) Coverage Forms

These coverage forms are frequently used to fill gaps in coverage. They cover perils or causes of loss that many primary property coverage forms and policies exclude, such as flood and earthquake. It is the best way to cover these perils/causes of loss as well as to pick up a little extra “just in case” coverage. The DIC is a flexible product for insureds with substantial property values at a single location or those that have property at many locations. Many risk managers consider this to be "must have" coverage.

Electronic Data Processing Coverage Forms

This should be a required minimum standard coverage for every insured because it is hard to imagine a business that has equipment, operations, or applications that doesn't use computers or electronic technology. Even the smallest insured should consider this coverage. An important feature is the hacker/virus protection that can be purchased.

Fine Arts Coverage Forms

Any insured business may have antiques, paintings, statues, tapestries, or other objects that qualify as fine arts. If the insured points out a specific item and brags about the artist, its value, or age, that item is probably an object of fine art. Fine Arts Coverage Forms are the best way to adequately insure valuable objects. The time to evaluate the coverage and limits required to properly insure an antique roll-top desk is before a loss occurs, not after. After a loss, the insurance company will probably determine that all it must pay is the replacement cost new for a desk that performs essentially the same functions as the antique desk.

Property Floater Coverage Forms

Nearly every insured has miscellaneous property items to insure. Some property regularly "floats" and moves from one location to another as a normal part of business operations. The insured may attend conventions or exhibitions. If it does, it should properly insure the property it takes to these off-site activities. Insureds that have salespersons who have samples to use in their demonstrations and selling activities need to insure those samples. Insureds with these or similar exposures are candidates for one or more of several miscellaneous Property Floater Coverage Forms.

Transportation Coverage Forms

Many insureds regularly ship or deliver goods and merchandise at their own risk. In these cases, the limited coverage, and sub-limits that standard property coverage forms and policies provide will not adequately cover the value of that property if a covered loss occurs. Transportation coverage should be purchased if there is a significant shipping or delivery exposure or if the value of goods and merchandise transported is significant.

Valuable Papers and Records Coverage Forms

Every insured should consider this important coverage. The basic property forms provide a very limited type of this important coverage, but it is very limited coverage with a low sub-limit. The BOPS and expanded coverage forms provide only small sub-limits. The coverage is also much narrower than that provided by the inland marine insurance forms. This is very important for any operation with a significant library or archive.

How Can I Get Inland Marine Insurance For Personal Property?

Personal Property Inland Marine

Inland marine insurance coverage doesn't just protect business property; it also protects personal property while it is in transit. This can be a valuable addition to your homeowner's policy. This protection is available whether your goods are being transported or not.

Some of the items that it can cover include jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, golf clubs, computers and electronics, stamp collections, fine art, musical instruments, and other valuable merchandise.

Inland marine insurance coverage usually features a low deductible or even no deductible, which makes it possible for you to easily replace lost, damaged, or stolen items.

Securing proper coverage for special, higher-valued property is dependent upon documenting the property's current value. A critical method of valuation is the use of appraisals. An appraisal involves use of a knowledgeable source to examine a piece and then share his or her judgment on the piece's current replacement cost.

The level of individual judgment reflected in an appraisal has a direct relationship with the value of item or items being appraised. While technology is increasing its impact on the ability to quantify certain features that affect value and apply them to a given item, many pieces defy formulaic or generic valuation. Unique features and elements of a given piece bear greatly on its value.

Property's Use, Care And Storage

Regardless of the intrinsic value of the property in question, the likelihood of its maintaining or increasing the value is seriously affected by how the owners cares for, uses, and stores the property.

The value of a fur with two years' ownership will vary widely just based on whether, during warmer months, it is stored in a closet or in a furrier's vault.

A diamond that is worn all the time, including during sports activities and heavy outdoor work, will have a different condition (and value) than if it were only occasionally worn and, when not worn, stored in its original case.

This information has an important bearing on the exposure represented by the valuable property. Its use, care and storage will also affect the likelihood of whether a loss will be experienced.

Having detailed information on the environment surrounding the ownership of the property will help an insurer assess its willingness to provide insurance protection as well as how much protection needs to be provided.

Inland Marine Insurance - The Bottom Line

When you're ready to purchase your inland marine insurance, be sure to speak with an commercial agent to get the best possible rates. Your agent can compare rates with top companies and help you find the right level of protection for your needs. Your agent can also review your business' particular situation to find a policy that meets your requirements and your budget.

Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations

Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.

Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.

Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.

Small Business Information

Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.

Small Business Insurance Information

In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.

The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.

Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.

According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.

Types Of Small Business Insurance

Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:

  • What type of business am I running?
  • What are common risks associated with this industry?
  • Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
  • Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
  • Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?

A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:

Business Insurance Policy Type What Is Covered?
General Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.
Workers Compensation InsuranceWhat is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.
Product Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.
Commercial Property InsuranceWhat is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.
Commercial Auto InsuranceWhat is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.
Commercial Umbrella PoliciesWhat is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.
Liquor Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.
Surety BondWhat is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).

Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.

Business Insurance Required by Law
Small Business Commercial Insurance

If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.

Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.

Other Types Of Small Business Insurance

There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Commercial Flood Insurance
  • Contractor's Insurance
  • Cyber Liability
  • Data Breach
  • Directors and Officers
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Environmental or Pollution Liability
  • Management Liability
  • Sexual Misconduct Liability

Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.

Also learn about small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including small business commercial insurance costs. Call us (855) 767-7828.

Additional Resources For Commercial Property Insurance

Read up on small business commercial property insurance, including how business property insurance protects your company's building's and/or their contents from damage, destruction, theft and vandalism.

Commercial Real Estate Insurance

Rental property owners, real estate developers and property managers should keep an accurate survey of each property they own or that is in their care. This survey should include inventories of furnishings and equipment at those properties. These documents establish the extent of their insurable interest, facilitate the arrangement and placement of insurance and minimize controversy and confusion if a loss occurs.

Insurance coverage on property, general liability and professional or errors and omissions liability should be arranged and placed for every real estate and rental property risk.

The main goal of any commercial property insurance program is to protect the insured's real and business personal property. Buildings and their contents property usually represents a significant portion of its total assets, regardless of the size of the business. A commercial property program can provide the coverage you need if a loss should occur.

The ISO Commercial Property Building and Personal Property Coverage Form is an insurance industry standard that provides this needed coverage. As a result, it should always be reviewed and used as a benchmark for comparison when evaluating any commercial property coverage form.

This policy treats business personal property as more than just the contents of a building. When there is a limit of insurance on the declarations, property can be covered if inside the building or structure or within 100 feet of the building or premises and either in the open, or even in or on a vehicle.

There are many endorsements available to tailor the ISO Commercial Property Coverage Forms. Some are mandatory for all policies while others are mandatory for specific classifications and types of business. Others are optional and permit a standard form to be customized to meet a specific risk's coverage needs. Endorsements broaden, restrict, delete, modify, or add coverage.

These policies can provide the following additional coverages for small specific limits of insurance: debris removal, preservation of property, fire department service charge, pollutant clean up and removal, increased cost of construction and electronic data.

Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Signs, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.

Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, and Stop Gap Liability.

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