At one time, transporting goods via waterways was the most efficient and safest way to get items from one location to another. No matter the method of shipping, damages and thefts have always been a constant risk, and so inland marine insurance was created to cover the costs of these losses. As highways and trucking because more affordable, the insurance extended to these methods of shipping, but retained its original moniker. Today, Massachusetts businesses rely on inland marine coverage for a wide variety of items in transit and temporary storage.
If your business regularly ships or transports equipment, tools, products, or other items, you may be at risk for a devastating loss that falls outside your regular property insurance coverage. Whether it’s across town or across the country, goods in transit only have limited coverage in most policies, and are not enough for valuable items. Similarly, if your items are temporarily stored at a job site, warehouse, or other third-party location, you may not have adequate coverage. Inland marine insurance helps to protect Massachusetts business owners by filling in this coverage gap.
Inland marine policies cover a wide range of items that are mobile in nature. Coverage extends to items both in transit and storage, for comprehensive protection whenever your items are not on your office premises. Some types of items that typically qualify for inland marine coverage include:
Your policy will move to cover these items while they are in transit, but also if they are temporarily stored, such as equipment being housed at a job site. It can also apply to items that are shipped to a vendor and temporarily stored. Whenever your property is not in your possession, your inland marine coverage may help cover your loss when damage or theft occurs.
Coverage can either be “peril” or “all-risk”. Peril coverage will only cover named events that cause damage to your property; an all-risk policy will cover damage regardless of the cause, unless there are specifically named exclusions in your policy.
Inland marine coverage is more than just coverage for your company’s property. Many businesses, such as repair shops, dry cleaners, and storage facilities regularly have possession of their customers’ property. If that property is damaged or stolen while in your possession, your business will be liable for the repairs or replacement. Inland marine coverage can provide insurance for these items that are placed temporarily in your care.
Inland marine insurance is important coverage for businesses that regularly transport, store, or have possession of other people’s property. While your property insurance policy may offer some coverage, as may your shipping provider, it is often not enough for your valuable tools, equipment, and other items. Your insurance agent can help you determine if an inland marine policy is right for your Massachusetts business.