Inland Marine Insurance in Vermont
What is Inland Marine Insurance?
Inland marine insurance is a unique type of insurance that’s designed to protect items while they’re being transported over land. A policy may insure small items, like product samples, or large equipment, such as construction equipment. It also may insure products that are sent via shipping or freight service, and those that a business transports itself.
Who in Vermont Needs Inland Marine Coverage?
Inland marine coverage is one of the few insurance coverages that’s useful to both businesses and individuals in Vermont. Businesses are more likely to need coverage, since they tend to send and receive more shipments than individuals. Individuals who do a lot of shopping online, however, may also want coverage because policies frequently over shipments that are being sent to the policyholder (as well as those that are sent out from the policyholder).
In many cases, businesses and individuals may have some coverage for shipments through another insurance policy. A commercial property policy or homeowners policy, for example, might provide coverage in certain situations for shipped items. Additionally, many couriers and shipping companies offer some insurance. The incidents that commercial property and homeowners policies cover can be narrowly defined, and the insurance provided by shipping companies often offers only minimal protection.
When a business or individual wants more protection than these other policies afford, inland marine coverage is often the most affordable way to secure extra protection.
What Protections Does Inland Marine Coverage Provide?
Most inland marine policies cover physical products both while they’re temporarily stored in a third-party warehouse, are in transit via a shipping or freight service, and when a business transports items themselves. Often, policies cover the same kinds of perils that many commercial property and homeowners policies cover, like fire, theft, vandalism and similar risks (exact coverages vary, and depend on a policy’s terms and conditions).
Where Does the Name “Inland Marine” Come From?
The term “inland marine” is used to distinguish this coverage from ocean marine insurance. Both coverages were first offered before there were trains, trucks, and airplanes for shipping goods. When goods were sent across the ocean via ship, they were insured through ocean marine policies. Once the ship arrived in port and unloaded its goods, the goods were then insured via inland marine policies. “Inland marine” was the original name for this latter insurance, because goods were still typically sent via boat -- just along inland waterways rather than across oceans.
As transportation methods have advanced, the coverages for inland marine and ocean marine insurance have been updated. The two coverages still generally work like they did before trains and trucks could take shipments across land. Ocean marine insurance usually protects goods while they’re aboard an ocean-going vessel, and inland marine coverage typically provides protection when shipments are temporarily stored in warehouses and transported across land.
How Can Vermont Residents and Businesses Get Inland Marine Insurance?
Since inland marine insurance is a specialized form of insurance, it’s not as widely advertised as some other types of insurance. Most insurers that offer policies in Vermont have inland marine policies, though. For help finding and comparing policies, residents and businesses in the state can contact an independent insurance agent near them.
When shipments are in transit, they’re exposed to several possible risks. Whether being shipped from Vermont to Oregon via a third-party carrier or towed across Burlington, VT on a company trailer, items can be damaged, stolen or lost before they reach their destination. Inland marine insurance can help protect shipments against these and other possible risks while they’re in transit.