Why Does A Builder Need “Inland Marine” Insurance?

As a builder, you may not initially perceive yourself as exposed to inland marine insurance, as it may seem associated with boats or cargo. However, inland marine insurance encompasses various coverages that defy conventional categories. For instance, it extends to material shipping and even provides coverage for materials on job sites or other unconventional risks.

  1. The Role of Inland Marine in Property and Casualty
    • Inland Marine: The Default Option : In many cases, when brokers encounter unique situations that don’t neatly fit into standard insurance categories, they turn to inland marine insurance. It serves as a default option for non-standard coverage, sometimes falling under excess and surplus lines. For instance, in construction projects where materials or equipment need storage on-site, inland marine insurance becomes essential.
  2. Distinguishing Inland Marine from Ocean Marine
    • Inland Marine: Land-Based Property Protection: Inland marine insurance, distinct from ocean marine insurance, which pertains to sea vessels, safeguards products, materials, and equipment during land transportation or while warehoused by a third party. For example, building materials or equipment placed on a job site, even if not owned by the contractor, fall under inland marine risk.
  3. Navigating the Current Market Landscape
    • Inland Marine: Resilient Amidst Market Shifts: While the pandemic has spurred increases in various insurance types, inland marine insurance has maintained a relatively stable market, with carriers achieving rate increases in the high single digits. This stability is attributed to losses being offset by reductions in business activities.
  4. Optimizing coverage and costs
    • Inland Marine: Opportunities for Cost-Effective Protection: For contractors and builders, specific project-related policies may not always offer the most effective coverage compared to general liability (GL) or professional liability policies. However, by staying informed and consulting with agents or brokers, it’s possible to explore alternative markets for coverage that align better with your needs. Non-standard policies like inland marine offer opportunities for cost savings and potentially enhanced coverage options.
  5. Maximizing coverage options
    • Exploring Alternatives in Inland Marine Insurance: Given the variability in rates and coverage options among carriers for inland marine and other non-standard excess risk policies, it’s prudent to seek out multiple quotes. Don’t hesitate to ask your broker or agent to explore different markets to secure competitive rates and superior coverage for your specific needs. While general liability or builder’s risk policies may offer consistent coverage, inland marine and similar non-standard policies may present opportunities for improved protection and cost efficiency.

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