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Inland Marine Insurance in Vermont

What is Inland Marine Insurance?

While equipment and products are en route to a destination, they’re exposed to several potential risks. Theft, collisions and other perils can lead to lost or damaged shipments. Inland marine insurance helps both businesses and individuals in Vermont protect equipment, products, and shipments from many potential risks while the items are in transit.

Inland marine coverage is one of the few types of insurance that’s specifically designed for insuring items while they’re being transported over land. It may be used to insure both small items, such as product samples, and large equipment, like construction equipment. Additionally, it may be used by both businesses and individuals to insure products items they have in transit.

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What Coverages Does Inland Marine Insurance Provide?

While particular coverages vary, many inland marine policies provide coverage for theft, collisions, and other sources of damage. Many policies also provide coverage for goods that are temporarily stored at a third-party warehouse.

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Who in Vermont Can Benefit from Inland Marine Insurance?

Businesses and individuals all across Vermont, from Burlington, VT to Brattleboro, VT, that regularly transport items themselves or frequently have items shipped by a third party may want an inland marine insurance policy. While other insurance policies may provide some coverage for equipment or products that are in transit, the amount of coverage that other policies afford is often limited.

For instance, few commercial auto policies will cover the full cost of specialized medical equipment if it’s damaged in a collision. Similarly, many shipping companies offer some insurance, but their policies frequently only provide bare-bones coverage for freight that’s in their care.

Some specific examples of businesses and individuals that might benefit from an inland marine policy include:

  • Contractors that have equipment they transport to construction sites
  • On-site medical providers that bring medical equipment to patients’ homes
  • Photographers and videographers who must bring several cameras to clients’ locations
  • Art exhibitors who move collections from one gallery or museum to another
  • Tradespeople who have tools and equipment they bring to job sites
  • Individuals who purchase a lot of items from online retailers

(Whether a specific policy provides the proper coverage for these scenarios depends on its terms and conditions).

What’s the Difference Between Ocean Marine Coverage and Inland Marine Coverage?

Both ocean marine coverage and inland marine coverage are used to insure items while they’re in transit, but the forms of transit they cover differ.

Ocean marine coverage is typically used to insure items while they’re being transported across the ocean. Coverage usually begins when items are loaded onto an ocean-going vessel, and it stops once they’re taken off the vessel at the destination port.

Inland marine coverage usually begins where ocean marine coverage ends, insuring items that are temporarily held in third-party warehouses at ports and while they’re transported over land. The term “inland marine” comes from days before railroads and paved roads, when items were offloaded from ocean-going vessels onto smaller vessels that navigated inland waterways. As transportation had evolved, the protections included in inland marine policies have generally also been updated to reflect modern methods of transporting items. Inland marine protections usually end once an item reaches its destination.

How Can Vermont Businesses and Individuals Get an Inland Marine Policy?

Businesses and individuals that want to learn more about the protections that inland marine insurance can provide should contact an independent insurance agent who’s licensed in Vermont. An agent can help businesses explore stand-alone policies and policies that are included in commercial package policies, to determine which is the better option. For individuals, an agent can help compare stand-alone policies’ coverages to find one that fills in gaps left by other policies.

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