There are a lot of funny names for insurance, and this coverage is certainly at the top of the list. This article will answer questions such as ‘what is Inland Marine insurance?’, ‘when do I need Inland Marine insurance?’, ‘what is the most common type of Inland Marine coverage?’, and ‘where is property covered with Inland Marine insurance?’
Inland Marine (IM) insurance coverage can refer to a broad spectrum of property insurance, for both personal and commercial lines, but the most common form of Inland Marine insurance is called a ‘Floater’ policy. Despite the aquatic themes, this type of coverage is only for property that is located on the land, and most policies limit the coverage for property located in the USA or its territories and Canada; importantly, Mexico is NOT usually covered (lo siento Méjico).
Commercial Inland Marine insurance is used when you have property that is taken away from the insured premises, which is important because standard Business Personal Property coverage only provides coverage while the property is on/in the insured premises. A Floater policy, for example, provides coverage for your property wherever it is located. Additionally, the coverage provided in a Floater policy usually covers the property more broadly than a Business Personal Property coverage would: Floater policies typically cover Flood and Earthquake losses.
Specific types of Floater policies are available, with the most common being the Contractor’s Equipment Floater. This type of policy provides coverage for specific, high-cost tools along with general coverage for less expensive tools on a non-specific basis. For example, if a lawn maintenance company has a couple very large commercial mowers, they may specifically list those on the Floater, but then they would put all the other tools and equipment in the non-specific coverage, which is usually subject to a sublimit and a different valuation.
Despite its odd name, Inland Marine insurance has a wide variety of uses, and it can fill the gaps in your insurance program.