Inland marine insurance is often misinterpreted, and consequently, underused. Inland marine is a branch of ocean marine cargo coverage insurance that protects trains, trucks and other land modes of transport.

What is it? (And what is it not?)
Inland marine insurance covers business property when it is in transit or stored away from the business location. Unlike commercial property insurance, inland marine insurance does not cover the buildings or vehicles owned by a business. Inland marine also doesn’t cover earthquakes or flood damage, nor does it cover damage to materials prior to shipping. Perhaps ironically, inland marine insurance does not cover cargo shipped by sea.

To understand the scope of inland marine coverage, consider the risks a business is susceptible to when merchandise or equipment leaves the primary business location. Are the expensive tools in the bed of a pick-up truck covered? Is the equipment in transit and stored for an off-site event protected? Inland marine coverage may be able to assist in filling potential coverage gaps in a businesses’ existing property or builders risk policy.

What does it cover?
Independent insurance agents need to familiarize themselves with the benefits inland marine insurance can bring to their clients. Coverage options are available on a named peril or all-risk basis, offering protection to a wide range of businesses including trucking and cargo, construction and artisan contractors, solar companies, photographers, videographers and many more. Typically, inland marine insurance can cover the following:

  • Property being transported over land: Construction tools, materials or equipment transported to or from a job site
  • Property being stored in a moveable vehicle: Ingredients on a food truck, artwork for delivery, etc.
  • Property being stored remotely: Equipment stored at trade shows
  • Infrastructure property: A bridge owned by an insured owner
  • High value property stored at an insured’s location: An artist’s work stored at an insured’s auction venue

Many of these scenarios are applicable to businesses already on an insurance agency’s client list. Independent agents can find opportunities with clients by analyzing their existing policies and educating them about the potential risks they assume when moving or storing property.

Getting personal. Protecting your clients’ high value possessions.
For your personal lines clients with valuable items or collections, an inland marine endorsement can be added to their homeowners to better protect their investment. Jewelry, furs, fine art, firearms, coin or stamp collections – this coverage solution will follow the property everywhere and can cover items that exceed the coverage limits of their home insurance.

Inland marine insurance can be an ideal fit for many clients under a number of circumstances. An easily bundled and affordable option, inland marine insurance can offer independent agents yet another tool to better serve their clients and foster a relationship built on expertise.