Transporting goods is a risky, but often necessary, part of business. When your equipment, materials, or products are out on the road or in temporary storage, they could be damaged by an accident, weather, or vandalism, or lost to theft. Property insurance often cannot cover the extent of these losses for items not on your premises. Massachusetts businesses rely on inland marine insurance to protect their investment and materials in transit.
The term “inland marine” stems from a time when the only way to transport items was via the sea and other waterways, which was a risky prospect. Marine insurance was developed to help protect businesses from devastating losses if their items were lost or damaged. As more items began to be transported over land, inland marine insurance was created to extend the same kind of coverage to this shipping method. If your business regularly ships or stores equipment, tools, products, or other items, whether within Massachusetts or across the country, you may need inland marine cover your financial investment in the event of loss or damage.
Property insurance typically covers most of your business property against common losses. While this important protection sometimes includes coverage for your property even when it is not on your premises, the limits are often too low to fully protect your business, especially for valuable items or large quantities. Inland marine policies can fill this coverage gap, providing insurance for a wide range of items in transit or storage. Commonly insured items include:
Whether on the road, at a job site, or shipped to a vendor and storage, your inland marine policy will help to cover these items when they are out of your possession and off your business property.
Inland marine coverage can either be “peril” or “all-risk”. With peril coverage, you will only have insurance for named events that cause damage to your property.
This more limited policy is appropriate for many businesses, and provides affordable coverage. An all-risk policy will cover damage regardless of the cause, providing broad protection for your items in transit or storage. There may be specific exclusions to your policy and it is typically more expensive than a peril policy.
If your business regularly takes possession of property that belongs to others, you are considered a bailee, and are liable for any lost or damaged property. Types of businesses that fall into this category include dry cleaners, repair shops, and storage facilities. To protect your business and your customers, you need to make sure you have proper insurance to cover any losses or damages that occur. Inland marine coverage can provide this essential protection for items placed temporarily in your possession.
Many Massachusetts businesses can benefit from obtaining inland marine insurance. Whether you regularly ship items, store equipment at a job site, or store customers’ property on your premises, an inland marine policy can help cover losses and damages due to a wide range of events. A friendly insurance agent can help determine if an inland marine policy is the right choice to protect your business.