Inland Marine insurance is coverage that truck carriers can use to protect themselves against industry risks. We’re going to explore Inland Marine coverage, what it is, and how it can benefit small businesses.
What Is Marine Insurance?
Marine insurance is not an insurance option for truckers because this is a form of insurance for transporting goods overseas. While policies may be customized to meet a company’s specific needs, this type of insurance covers loss or damage of:
However, there is also “inland” insurance, which is a different form of insurance that truck carriers should consider obtaining.
What Is Inland Marine Insurance?
“Inland” marine insurance is considered an offshoot of traditional marine insurance.
Adding the term “inland” allows a property to be covered when it’s transported on land, like, for example, when a truck carrier transports it.
The insurance offers coverage for transportable items owned by someone else and/or stored at the policyholder’s location, including:
If this insurance sounds a lot like property coverage, it is, but there’s one main difference: it covers items often excluded from property insurance. Coverage will either repair the item, if possible or replace it.
Items are covered in the event of damage caused by natural disasters.
Theft is also covered.
What Do They Cover?
Inland marine insurance extends to the above, but it also covers loss or damage due to mishandling, accidents and even missing property.
The following are some of the many items which may be covered:
- X-ray machine
- Solar panela
- Wind turbines
Fine art, collectibles, miscellaneous property, radio and bridge towers and other special equipment are often covered. It’s crucial to look at your policy to see what miscellaneous property is covered in your policy and what’s not.
An insurance provider should be able to list these items for you and supply you with a custom quote for anything that does need coverage that is not on the list above or in your policy already.
Does Your Transporation Business Need Commercial Inland Marine Policy?
Maybe. You may have adequate coverage under your Commercial Package Policy (CPP) or Business Owners Policy (BOP), but there’s no way to know without examining the policy itself.
For example, property is often covered when housed if you own a trucking fleet.
However, let’s assume that employees need to haul the equipment or tools to a job site, and during this transport, damage occurs.
In this case, the items may not be covered under your BOP or CPP. Additionally, if you have motor truck cargo coverage, there’s a good chance that your policy will already cover much of the items that would be covered under inland marine insurance.
The following two types of insurance may also negate the need for inland marine insurance:
- Fine art and exhibition coverage. If you’re a truck carrier that hauls a lot of fine art and goods, you’ll likely have fine art and exhibition coverage. In this case, you probably wouldn’t need inland marine insurance.
- Bailee’s customer coverage. Bailee’s is designed to protect any items from a client that are left in your care. Suppose you store goods in a warehouse for your clients before transporting them to their final destination. In that case, this form of coverage is necessary if you don’t have inland marine insurance already.
If you have overlapping coverage, there’s a good chance that you don’t need inland marine insurance.
Inland Marine Insurance Costs
Your costs depend on two main factors:
- What policy limits you have
- Value of business property you haul
Traditionally, inland marine coverage costs less than $20 per month, but it will depend significantly on your business’s operations. If you own more than one truck, you’ll pay more. Additionally, if you have high-risk items or exceptionally fragile items, this puts more risk on the insurance company and will have a negative impact on your premiums.
The $20 or less figure is based on a $5,000 policy limit.
If you’re hauling or storing items that cost more, such as high-end photography and video equipment, premiums may be $500 to $600 per year. The highest annual premiums are in the following fields:
- Retail – $500
- Photo / Video – $580
- Consulting – $1,500
- Building Design – $2,500
Anyone hauling specialty equipment can expect these costs to be even higher.
Saving Money on Your Inland Marine Coverage
If you want to save money on your inland marine insurance, one way is to add the coverage on to an existing policy. For example, you can often bundle BOP insurance with inland marine insurance to maximize coverage, fill in coverage gaps and save on premiums.
Sit down with an insurance professional to discuss your options and learn what coverage you may or may not need for your business. You may already have adequate coverage, but if you don’t, inland marine will also reduce your risks and control potential losses.