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What is Inland Marine Insurance?

By April 23, 2020August 11th, 2023No Comments

Inland marine insurance, despite its name, has nothing to do with water or oceanic transport. Rather, it is a practical way of covering your products or assets when transported over land

While ‘marine insurance’ is relegated to insuring items transported over the water, inland marine insurance covers most forms of travel overland, such as via cargo trucks, trains, or other logistics-geared vehicles. It can even cover items temporarily warehoused by a third party.

This differentiation is important. 

Does your business need inland marine insurance?

If your business doesn’t frequently ship products or equipment, there’s a good chance your standard Business Owners Policies (BOP)  are sufficient. In most cases, those policies will cover property at specific locations and may, in fact, cover property transported to nearby job sites. 

Of course, you should review your policies and talk to your agent to be sure, but if you aren’t doing a lot of shipping and warehousing, inland marine may not be an important part of your commercial insurance portfolio.

If you frequently ship products or equipment, then you most likely need inland marine insurance. If what you ship is expensive, then it’s even more important.

What does inland marine insurance cover?

It’s important to know what can be covered before you commit to a plan. Luckily, coverage is flexible and can be designed to cover to most valuables you can transport. Typical coverage includes:


While inland marine insurance covers property that is movable or transportable over land, it can often cover property that’s involved in in the transfer of information as well. That can include:

  • Computers
  • Servers
  • Networking equipment
  • Tablets

You get the idea. While your typical property insurance may cover some of those items, it may not cover all of them. Or to their full extent. If you use computers (and who doesn’t, these days?), you should ask about inland marine insurance.

Tools & Equipment

If you’re a contractor moving tools and equipment between job sites, inland marine insurance coverage may be necessary. This is especially the case if you occasionally leave this equipment at a job site or transport it back and forth in either your vehicles or employee vehicles.

large commercial equipment covered by inland marine insurance
Large commercial equipment is often covered by inland marine insurance

Large, Commercial Equipment

If you transport large equipment such as backhoes, forklifts, or tractors, it’s very likely you should consider inland marine insurance. Items like expensive photography equipment or medical equipment can also be covered by inland marine insurance.


If you participate in trade shows and transport furniture, artwork, or other valuable property, your standard policies may not cover them. Know what will? You guessed it, inland marine insurance.

More than meets the eye

Like most insurance policies, inland marine insurance can be adapted to meet your needs. Exhaustive coverage lists can be given by your provider and navigated with the help of a trusted agent. 

For example, some inland marine insurance policies could also cover:

  • Jewelry
  • Furs
  • Guns
  • Musical instruments
  • Valuable records
  • And more!

Examples where inland marine insurance coverage might be valuable

Tools & equipment at a job site that's covered by inland marine insurance
Tools & equipment at a job site that’s covered by inland marine insurance

Coverage can help grant you peace of mind when transporting your goods to a particular event attended for professional purposes, such as setting up equipment for a concert. Other scenarios might include:

  • A restauranteur who has cooking supplies stored in a food truck
  • A marketer or business owners transporting a booth (and related fixtures) to a trade show
  • A photographer Moving photo equipment to a location for a photo shoot
  • A contractor transporting equipment to and from a job site
  • A manufacturer or contractor shipping expensive equipment across the country

How Much Does Inland Marine Insurance Cost?

Inland marine insurance, like most insurance policies, will entirely depend on the coverage depth you need and the necessity of its regular use. Finding a quote specifically for your business will help you shop around or more easily understand the state-required limits you need to meet.

Our Advice

Generalities can go a long way in the world of insurance. However, every case is different. If you’re not sure whether inland marine insurance is right for you, take a minute to complete our free business insurance quiz. It’ll only take 3-5 minutes and it can help you start to figure out whether you’ve got the right coverage for you.

Prefer to talk to a human? No problem, just give us a call at (517) 694-0149 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Holt & Dimondale Agency

Holt & Dimondale Agency is a premiere personal & commercial insurance agency in mid-Michigan. Contact us today for a free assessment of your insurance portfolio.