Inland marine insurance for contractors is an often-misunderstood product because of its bizarre name. Basically, inland marine insurance protects the transport of goods across land in the event that damage happens to them during their travels. Whether that damage happens as a result of construction materials shifting after a driver slams on their brakes or when a business van gets in a wreck that destroys thousands of dollars’ worth of tools, inland marine insurance will protect the commercial property of contractors.
As you can see, this product can prevent the huge costs of replacing materials, tools or equipment in the event of an unexpected accident. Prevent a nerve-wracking collision situation from being much worse than it needs to be by protecting the commercial goods being transported at the time.
Why Does Inland Marine Insurance Have Such an Odd Name?
Inland marine insurance’s name comes from a long tradition of financial products in America. Until the construction of the railroads and later the interstate highway system, transportation of goods over land was not nearly as common as it was now. Most “shipping” literally took place on ships.
Marine insurance covered the cargo carried by these ships in case they capsized, a fire broke out or some other incident occurred that could damage the transported goods. Shipping companies and other business people came to depend on marine insurance to reduce the risks of sending valuable goods across potentially turbulent waters.
Businesses that transported their goods over land as opposed to water began to demand that same coverage, especially as locomotives and automobiles made land transportation more realistic. This coverage was referred to as “inland marine insurance” to differentiate it from water-going transport. Even though trucking goods and equipment over land has become much more common, the name stuck.
What Contractors Need Inland Marine Insurance?
With very few exceptions, all contractors and construction businesses should carry inland marine insurance. Even if you have commercial auto insurance designed specifically for contractors, the job site materials, tools and equipment you carry may not be covered as part of collision insurance. If these items do happen to be covered, coverage limits often fail to compensate for their full value.
Since materials like stone tiles and tools like plasma cutters can often cost tens of thousands of dollars, ignoring the risk of damaging them during transport can be a huge financial mistake. Most contractors are going to be carrying these items back and forth on a day-to-day basis as they travel from job site to job site or retrieve materials from suppliers. These contractors may not be aware of the limitations of their commercial auto insurance on covering these items. Should one of their employees get into an accident during work, they may suddenly be shocked to discover that thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars are expected to come out of their own pocket.
Do not let this situation happen to you. Any contractors that travel to job sites to perform work — which is nearly all of them — puts their business at risk when they transport materials without inland marine insurance. Find the coverage you need to stay confident and remain afloat even when accidents occur on the way to or from jobs.