What Is Inland Marine Insurance?
A Bit of a Misnomer
Right away, the words “inland marine” would suggest some sort of river transport insurance, but inland marine policies actually have nothing to do with water. These policies emerged as an offshoot of standard marine insurance, which covers the value of cargo aboard a shipping vessel. However, marine insurance only covers transportation over water. Once your shipment arrives, your policy no longer applies. But as every importer and exporter knows, there is more risk on land than on the seas.
All of the goods in your shipping container still need to be loaded onto a truck and hauled to their final destination. There may be temporary storage locations involved as well. Who covers the value of your goods during this phase? Although warehouses and trucking companies have insurance, they rarely cover the full value of your cargo. An inland marine policy fills this gap and helps you to avoid risk all the way through the last mile.
Who Needs an Inland Marine Policy?
Inland marine insurance is ideal for any business that does a lot of shipping over land, especially when high-value cargo is involved. You don’t necessarily need to be a major importer or exporter to benefit from an inland marine policy. For instance, car manufacturers typically use an inland marine policy when transporting valuable prototypes to automotive expos. Medical machine manufacturers also use inland marine coverage to insure their expensive equipment until it reaches its final destination.
If you do import and export in large quantities, you may also want to consider adding an inland marine policy to your portfolio. Even if you aren’t moving extremely high-value items, cheaper items in large quantities can quickly exceed the transporter’s insurance policy. Having your own coverage guarantees the value of your shipment and simplifies the claims process. Instead of going through another company’s insurance, where you’ll fight tooth and nail, your own policy will pay out much faster.
How an Inland Marine Policy Works
To use this coverage, all you have to do is specify the items that you need insured and provide details related to their transit and storage. You can also activate this coverage when you are temporarily holding a client’s valuable property. The policy protects you from criminal activity, including robbery or vandalism, as well as accidental damage that may occur during shipping or installation.
To learn more about inland marine coverage, or to find out if it makes sense for your business, contact ISU Armac insurance services.