Words can be a lot of fun, especially when they say something that seems to be contradictory but really isn’t (a.k.a. an oxymoron.) Business insurance has its fair share of funny words, and one of those phrases is “inland marine insurance.” How can marine insurance be inland? You may think that the name doesn’t make a terrible lot of sense, and you would be correct. However, we can explain what inland marine insurance is and even why it has such a funny name.
What is inland marine insurance?
Contrary to what the name suggests, inland marine insurance does not have anything to do with boats. Basically, inland marine is a way for businesses to fill gaps in their insurance coverage. Certain parts of your business might not be covered anywhere within your other insurance policies, which is why you may want to think about inland marine when you’re buying business insurance. We’ll explain what inland marine insurance covers in a moment.
Where does the funny name come from?
Okay, here’s the deal with the name. Once upon a time, shipping used to use boats – hence why it’s caused shipping. Marine insurance was a way to protect ocean shipping businesses from loss. But then “shipping” became less dependent on the ocean because the cargo was loaded onto barges to be transported inland. And, since the cargo still needed coverage, a new form of insurance evolved – complete with an oxymoronic name.
But that’s not where the word fun ends. Within inland marine insurance, there’s something called a floater that protects cargo while it’s being moved from place to place. Guess where the name came from? In the days where shipping meant ships, the cargo that “floater” policies protected was actually, literally floating. Nowadays, the property that’s protected by a floater policy doesn’t have to be floating or levitating. Though that would be pretty neat.
What kind of business uses inland marine insurance?
Many types of business have inland marine insurance so that they can cover the gaps in their business insurance. There are different forms of inland marine insurance, such as bailee insurance (which is not just for people named Bailey) and contractor’s equipment.
We’ll give a few examples. If your business ever has your clients’ property in your care, you may need bailee insurance – for example, a computer repair shop where clients drop off their devices. If you ever transport property or equipment, you might need a floater policy. If you install products in your clients’ homes, you might consider installation coverage.
What we’re trying to say is that a variety of businesses, like construction business, technology or communications businesses, and transportation businesses, can benefit from inland marine insurance. Here’s a breakdown of different forms of inland marine by industry:
- Builder’s risk: Protects buildings that are being constructed or repaired.
- Contractor’s equipment: Protects tools and equipment used in construction that aren’t covered under builder’s risk.
- Installation: Covers machinery and equipment while it’s being moved and during installation.
- Rigger’s liability: Coverage for when you’re acting as a rigger for someone else’s property.
- Technology and communication
- Cable television: Covers property that is needed for cable television service.
- Electronic equipment: Insures certain pieces of electronic equipment.
- Medical imaging equipment: Covers medical equipment that is mobile and used by hospitals, clinics, etc.
- Physicians and surgeons: Covers medical, surgical, and dental equipment used by those professions.
- Telecommunications equipment: Protects phones, fax machines, audio and visual equipment for video conferencing, and computers.
- Commercial transport: Coverage for truckers and warehouses that protects goods while they’re being transported.
- Legal liability: Covers the expenses you’re legally obligated to pay for a covered loss if you damage someone else’s property.
- Motor truck cargo: Protects trucking businesses against losses to their cargo and their property while it’s in transit.
- Railroad rolling stock: Protects rolling stock that’s owned/leased by railroad or other companies.
- Tank storage: Protects tanks and pipes while they are in the policyholder’s care, custody, and control.
- Bailee insurance: Covers your clients’ belongings while they’re in your care, custody, and control.
- Armored cars: Protects against losses related to armored trucks.
- Furrier’s block: Protects items that include fur while they’re in the care of department stores, furriers, retailers, etc.
- Jewelers block: Covers jewels and gems used in the policyholder’s business.
- Floaters: Covers movable property.
So, to conclude, inland marine insurance doesn’t relate to boats at all. Yes, the name is confusing. Anyways, inland marine insurance is meant to help businesses close the gaps in their insurance by providing coverage for areas that don’t have any. There are many kinds of inland marine insurance out there, so you might want to think about inland marine when considering what type of insurance your business needs.
If you want to save money on your business insurance, we can help. We can shop for the best rates for your commercial insurance so that you can be assured that you’re getting the coverage you need at the best possible price. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.