For builders navigating the complex landscape of insurance, one often overlooked but crucial aspect is Inland Marine Insurance. Despite its maritime-sounding name, this insurance is not just for boat owners; it’s a versatile coverage that safeguards against risks that may not neatly fit into other categories. Let’s delve into what Inland Marine Insurance entails and why it’s an essential consideration for builders.
Understanding Inland Marine Insurance
Inland Marine Insurance serves as a catch-all for diverse coverages that don’t neatly fit elsewhere. While it may encompass material shipping, its reach extends to cover materials on job sites and various other risks. In the realm of property and casualty, the Inland Marine market remains stable even as other markets experience fluctuations. Often considered the default option for unique and non-standard coverages, it’s frequently placed under excess and surplus lines.
Scenarios Where Inland Marine Comes into Play
Builders may encounter scenarios where Inland Marine Insurance becomes imperative. For instance, when materials or equipment need storage on a construction site, which isn’t covered under typical General Liability (GL) policies. This is where Inland Marine steps in to provide the necessary coverage for these non-standard risks.
Distinguishing Inland Marine from Ocean Marine
It’s crucial to distinguish Inland Marine from Ocean Marine insurance. While Ocean Marine pertains to boats on the ocean, Inland Marine focuses on property insurance for products, materials, and equipment transported over land. It also covers property warehoused by third parties, offering a comprehensive shield for inland transport and storage.
Impact of the Pandemic on Inland Marine
As with many types of insurance, the pandemic has had an impact on Inland Marine Insurance. While most carriers are experiencing rate increases in the high single-digit range, the market itself hasn’t been as severely affected as some other lines of business. The reduction in business has somewhat offset losses, making Inland Marine a relatively stable market amid economic fluctuations.
Shopping for the Right Coverage
Given the non-standard nature of Inland Marine policies, rates can vary significantly. As a builder, it’s essential to stay informed about the available coverages. Engage with your agent or broker to explore different markets and options that not only meet but potentially exceed your current coverage. Don’t hesitate to inquire about potential savings and improved coverage, as carriers in this space may offer more competitive rates for non-standard risks.
Inland Marine Insurance may not always be top of mind for builders, but its versatility and ability to cover unique risks make it an indispensable part of a comprehensive insurance strategy. As a builder, staying informed about the options, rates, and potential savings in this space can lead to more robust coverage, ensuring that your projects are safeguarded against unforeseen risks and challenges.