Why You Need Inland Marine Insurance
Any contractor who regularly moves expensive materials, equipment, or supplies from job site to job site should have some type of inland marine insurance coverage in addition to a comprehensive commercial auto & truck insurance policy (designed to cover the vehicles used in the transport). This way, in the event of an accident, the goods or materials being shipped are protected separately, and fixed auto insurance coverage limits for property damage are not applicable.
Also, in the event of an accident involving a civilian driver, the contractor does not have to rely on reimbursement through that driver’s personal auto insurance policy to recoup any material losses.
Inland marine insurance coverage can help to fill in the gaps in a traditional general liability insurance policy. While most general liability policies will offer coverage for property damage on contractor-owned goods and equipment, even while that equipment is at a location other than the main place of business, many contractors find that equipment, documents, computers, and other goods being transported regularly exceed the limits of the general liability coverage. An inland marine insurance policy grants extra protection to certain valuable items without the cost or broad range of an additional excess general liability policy.
If goods and materials are shipped via a third party such as FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, or a private carrier, inland marine coverage would still protect the goods, and it is far less expensive to carry inland marine coverage in a contractor’s insurance portfolio than to pay shipping insurance costs each time a carrier is utilized. Also, if goods or materials must be held for a period of time at a fixed location, such as in customs or by a bailee, coverage does not cease for the period where the goods are stationary. Materials in other fixed locations like warehouses are also protected by most inland marine insurance policies, as warehousing is considered to be a part of the transport process.
Contractors who are shipping goods that are not directly used in the process of construction such as computers, communications equipment, or valuable documents between job sites, should also consider obtaining inland marine insurance coverage to reduce potential losses resulting from theft or damage in transit. Obtaining this coverage allows property loss and damage claims against commercial auto insurance policies to remain at a minimum.
What Inland Marine Insurance Does
If you’re a contractor who’s constantly moving materials and equipment from one place to another, whether it’s across town or across the country, you should consider the addition of inland marine insurance to your contractor’s insurance portfolio.
Simply put, “inland marine” insurance covers goods in transit over land, or over any place that does not involve marine or oceanic transport. The term “inland marine” was coined in the 1800s, during a time when railroad lines and river barges emerged as more common methods of transporting trade goods. Today, inland marine insurance coverage extends to any domestic goods in transit, or any goods exposed to possible loss or theft while being shipped, warehoused, or held by U.S. Customs officials or the U.S. Post Office. Coverage may also include goods or equipment other than building materials, but which are frequently transported from one location to another.
Nearly any product, equipment, or material may fall under the umbrella of inland marine insurance. Some examples of coverage typically classified as inland marine insurance are scheduled properties, processing risk coverage, rigger’s liability, builder’s risk, contractor’s equipment, goods and properties classified as accounts receivable, computer coverage, and communications towers an equipment. Each contractor’s specific needs for inland marine insurance coverage can be addressed by an insurance professional, so that the contractor emerges with a policy that has been tailored to their specific needs
Whether you’re a contractor with a multi-million dollar business, a sole proprietor, or somewhere in-between, you can rely on the insurance professionals at ContractorsInsurance.org to assist you with all your insurance needs. No matter what type of contractor’s insurance you need, we can help you find excellent coverage for the right price. For more information, click for a free quote or call 1-800-649-9094 today.