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The 5 Best Providers of Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine insurance can be a confusing term. The word marine makes you think that this type of insurance only covers boats, and you don’t need to worry about it if you’re not a sailor. However, inland marine insurance actually covers anything that is transported on land or while warehoused temporarily. Basically, if you ship, store or transport goods as part of your business operations, you should consider inland marine insurance. So below we’ll look more in-depth at this type of insurance, where you can find it, and what it costs.  

The 5 Best Providers of Inland Marine Insurance

  • The Hartford: Covering a variety of items, including equipment that facilitates transport and communication like rail systems
  • AmTrust Financial: Bundling inland marine insurance with other products
  • Chubb: Variety of specialty insurance products
  • State Farm: Independent and short-term inland marine policies 
  • Nationwide: Add-ons like endorsement or floaters 

Below we’ve listed out some of the top places to find inland marine insurance.

The Hartford – Covering a variety of items, including equipment that facilitates transport and communication like rail systems

The Hartford’s policy is interesting in that it covers both the items themselves, like medical equipment or fine art, and also property that facilitates transport and communication, like cell towers or rail systems. The Hartford also works closely with a wide variety of industries that it recommends carries inland marine insurance, like construction, technology, transportation and equipment companies. For this type of insurance, the company wants you to find a local agent, which you can do with the agent locator tool.  

AmTrust Financial – Bundling inland marine insurance with other products

Inland marine insurance is actually a major component of the company’s business owners policy, as well as an optional add-on for its commercial packages. AmTrust Financial relies on their agent network to distribute small business insurance products to their customers. As such, the company wants you to talk to an agent for quotes.  

Chubb – Variety of specialty insurance products

Chubb is notable for its wide variety of specialty products related to inland marine insurance. For instance, it lists products like builder’s risk insurance, contractors equipment insurance and homebuilders builder’s risk insurance. It also has inland marine engineering services that offer regular loss control services. This is another company that has you work through an agent.  

State Farm – Independent and short-term inland marine policies 

State Farm offers inland marine insurance both as something that can be endorsed onto a State Farm Business Owners Policy, or you can purchase it on an annual basis. The company is notable in that it also offers inland marine insurance on a short-term basis. State Farm is another company that prides itself on face-to-face agent relationships.  

>>MORE: Business Owners Policy (BOP) Insurance: Coverage, Cost, and Best 4 Providers

Nationwide – Add-ons like endorsement or floaters

Nationwide is known for its comprehensive coverage for both personal and commercial policies. Inland marine insurance is no different. As such, Nationwide’s plans have a variety of floaters, endorsements, and other options you can add on to a main inland marine insurance policy, such as specific coverage for mobile medical equipment or installation floaters. You can find an agent or call the company directly.    

What is Inland Marine Insurance? 

The Insurance Information Institute (III) defines this type of insurance well: “Inland marine insurance covers products, materials and equipment when transported over land—e.g., via truck or train—or while temporarily warehoused by a third party.”

To put it in more real-world terms, the III offers the example of your cargo being stolen or damaged in a collision as the most common situations when this type of insurance would offer coverage.  

The most common types of businesses that should consider this type of insurance are ones that ship a high volume of goods or store items for third parties. However, if you ship or store expensive items for your own business, this type of insurance can come in handy then, too.  

According to Allstate, inland marine insurance can also cover in the event of fire, wind, hail and water damage. Some policies can even be tailored to cover mysterious disappearance and accident drop and damage

>>MORE: The 7 Business Insurance Policies Independent Contractors Needs

What Inland Marine Insurance Coverage Should Small Businesses Look For? 

Inland marine insurance is interesting because it is commonly broken down into different types.  Some common types the III lists are:

  • Motor truck cargo coverage: This keeps other people’s goods covered while you deliver and transport them.
  • Builder’s risk: This covers materials and structures during construction and renovation. 
  • Exhibition and fine art coverage: Keeps items protected while they are in transit, on exhibit or on a loan.
  • Bailee’s customer coverage: This protects someone else’s property when it is left with your business, like if you run a repair shop or warehouse.
  • Installation floater: This covers items when they are put on a truck to when they are used.

You should consider talking with an agent when looking at this type of insurance. Since the policies are so specialized, it’s important to fully understand what’s right for your situation.

How Much Does Inland Marine Insurance Coverage Cost? 

The cost of your inland marine insurance policy will depend on your:

  • Business size
  • Amount of protection you feel comfortable with
  • State required limits 

The value of what you all ship should strongly inform what type and how much coverage you carry, as well. For instance, a trade show display you ship around the country will need considerably less coverage than a company that routinely ships a high volume of electronics around the world.

What Benefits Should You Consider for Inland Marine Insurance? 

Like most types of insurance, it’s important to look at the deductible on the policy. That’s the amount you pay out of pocket toward coverage.  

Also, like most insurance types, inland marine insurance operates under limits that can be paid out, both aggregate and per incident. You will need to fully assess the value of what you are shipping based on product type and amount to make sure you are getting enough coverage in the event that your goods are damaged.  

Finding Inland Marine Insurance Quotes Online 

Because of the very customized and specific nature of what needs to be covered in inland marine insurance, direct companies want you to talk to an agent. However, online or digital broker companies like Insureon and CoverWallet claim to tell you how much you can expect to pay.

To get an idea of what quotes look like, we selected a photographer who ships their camera equipment around to different events they photograph.  

Insureon: This website has a page detailing inland marine insurance. However, when you start the quote process, it just lists the basics of business insurance, like general liability. Surprisingly, at the bottom of the inland marine page, it tells you to talk to an agent or fill out an application, which routs you to the same general quote process.     

CoverWallet: This site is far easier to navigate. The inland marine insurance page links you right to inland marine as a pre-selected option. However, once you get to the quote page after entering all the information, it gives you a phone number to call, informing you that the system could not generate an online quote.  

Due to the highly specific and customized nature of inland marine insurance, finding a quote online is nearly impossible. Considering that different businesses need vary specific coverage types and limits for inland marine insurance, this makes sense.

Frequently Asked Questions about Inland Marine Insurance

The history of inland marine insurance? Why is it called inland marine insurance?

That’s because inland marine insurance got its start from ocean marine insurance. As a neat bit of background, ocean marine insurance originally covered goods if they were lost to pirates or a shipwreck. As more goods were shipped on land, similar policies began to be offered, which were simply called inland marine policies.  

What does an inland marine policy cover?

Inland marine insurance policies cover goods in the event that they are damaged or stolen while being transported on land. These policies also cover goods that are held by third parties, such as items that are warehoused.  

Does inland marine insurance cover theft? 

Yes, inland marine policies commonly cover theft of items while they are being transported or stored.

How much is inland marine insurance?

Inland marine insurance is a type of coverage that does not boil down into a single estimate well. Many factors can affect the price, like the value of goods shipped, number of items shipped, state requirements and how much coverage each individual feels secure carrying. In this case, it’s best to talk to an insurance agent.

Final Thoughts

  • Inland marine insurance covers you when items are damaged or stolen while they are shipped or stored.  
  • This type of insurance is commonly broken down into a wide variety of subtypes that can apply best to different industries and situations.
  • The cost of inland marine insurance depends heavily on business size, state minimums and the amount of coverage the business owner wants. It can also flex based on important factors to consider, like deductibles and limits.
  • Some of the five top companies to look into that offer inland marine insurance include the Hartford, AmTrust Financial, Chubb, State Farm, and Nationwide.
  • Looking for quotes online likely won’t lead to much, since inland marine insurance is a highly customized product that often requires real agents to help you determine the best coverage for your business. 
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