Engaging in commerce during the 21st century means transporting goods and properties across great distances at times, and that means the proper type of coverage is necessary. Inland marine policies were devised centuries ago to provide coverage for goods transported by sea. As the Industrial Revolution took hold during the 19th century and helped to create the extensive overland transportation routes of the 20th century, the need for coverage for diverse goods and properties while in transport became great.
Whether transporting products via railroad, truck, airliner of seagoing vessel, an inland marine policy can help insure businesses and products against a variety of possible perils, whether they be accidental loss, damage that might occur during a vehicular accident, theft or some other form of destruction, such as an all-consuming fire. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 1933 first began defining and establishing regulations for inland marine plans to clear up the confusion created when traditional marine policy providers competed with more traditional insurance operations to provide protection for the overland transportation of products.
Inland marine policies account for about 2 percent of all premiums collected by property and casualty firms in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Also called “floaters,” the policies provide coverage for diverse commercial goods and properties being prepared for transport or while in the process of transportation. That means goods that actually are being moved, such as by a semi-trailer traveling along a freeway, or while being stored and awaiting transport, such as in a warehouse, are protected by the policies. No matter where the products are located, so long as they are being prepared for and actually moved, the policy still applies.
And with the 21st century advancements in diverse goods and services, the policies have expanded upon what they protect. Some insurers now extend coverage to new technologies and “clean energy,” such as wind power enterprises, their owners, developers, contractors, consultants and others involved in such types of commerce. The policies provide risk mitigation, claims services and specialty investigations, depending on which insurance firm is underwriting the policy.
Even construction firms can have the protection provided by such plans to ensure their valuable equipment as well as the projects they might have underway. Whether building a relatively small storage facility or working on a large office building, a diverse commercial goods and properties plan is available to ensure no unnecessary losses occur and business can continue.
Consultation with insurance professionals can help business owners determine the type and extent of protection they need and ensure they won’t go bankrupt or have their clients sue them if something bad should happen.