Whenever equipment, supplies or inventory are transported between locations, the goods are exposed to a range of potential risks. They could be damaged, destroyed or stolen. Inland marine insurance helps Massachusetts that move goods between locations protect these items from covered risks while the goods are in transit.
Inland marine insurance is a specialized type of commercial property insurance that protects against many of the unique risks that come with moving goods. Most policies include coverage for transportation by both employees and third-party carriers.
There are many businesses in Massachusetts that might benefit from having an inland marine policy, and any business that moves goods between locations should at least consider the insurance. The following are only a few examples of businesses that may want a policy:
Businesses that are unsure whether this coverage makes sense for them can talk with an agent who specializes in inland marine policies about their particular situation. A knowledgeable agent will be able to make an informed recommendation after reviewing a business’ specific risks and insurance needs.
While not often purchased by individuals, some insurance companies do offer inland marine policies that are appropriate for individuals. People who send or receive a large number of packages may want to explore this option, as coverage may insure packages during delivery and while they’re on a doorstep. A knowledgeable agent can help individuals consider whether this coverage is appropriate for their situation.
Many standard commercial property insurance policies that have contents coverage do a good job of protecting equipment, supplies and inventory so long as the items remain on a company’s property. These policies, however, commonly limit coverage to when items are on a company’s property, and provide either no or minimal protection when goods are in transit and off of a company’s premises.
Thus, businesses often can’t rely on commercial property policies alone to protect goods that are transported between locations. Inland marine policies usually offer more robust in-transit protection, and businesses that move large numbers of or expensive goods may want this insurance in addition to their commercial property coverage.
Third-party carriers that deliver goods usually offer some protection for the items they move, but the provided protection is sometimes limited. Depending on the value of goods being delivered and what protection is offered by a third-party company, businesses might want to secure their own inland marine policy as a supplement to any protection that’s provided by the delivery company.
The nomenclature of “inland marine” is a carryover from days when goods were most efficiently transported by water. Inland marine policies primarily insured goods that were moved by inland waterways, such as lakes, rivers and canals. These policies were distinct from ocean marine policies, which mainly covered goods that were transported across oceans and seas.
Today, both types of policies have been updated to account for advancements in transportation. For example, inland marine policies typically cover transportation by truck, train and other vehicles now, and aren’t limited to only boats. The distinction between inland marine and ocean marine still remains, however, and the two original names continue to be widely used.
For help finding inland marine insurance, contact the independent Massachusetts insurance agents of Charles River Insurance. Our agents have the expertise necessary to get your business a policy that offers the appropriate protections, and they have the freedom to show you policies from multiple insurance companies.