What Is an Inland Marine Policy?

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The Inland Marine Policy, by title, does not reveal all that can be covered under this type of policy. From the name, you might correctly infer that it has something to do with watercraft due to the word “marine.” However, the policy actually has many more uses for things that a lot of us have in our possession – things you would assume are covered under property policies such as Homeowners, Mobile Homes or Farm Owners. Although these policies may provide some coverage, there are usually limitations and restrictions.

Jewelry, watches and guns are very common items found in homes today. But under the Homeowners Policy, coverage is limited for the peril of theft. Other items, such as watercraft, trailers, items used in business, etc., have special limits for all perils. These limits are common to Mobile Home and Farm Owners policies as well. The Inland Marine is a great policy for items that have these special limits or may not be covered at all under a property policy.

The Personal, Farm and Commercial Inland Marine Policy Forms can provide coverage for a wide range of items. The characteristics of the items covered by these policies is that they have to be mobile, insured to their current value, insured against named perils with specifically listed exclusions and, most commonly, the items have to be scheduled individually as there are very limited options for blanket coverage.

See more: The Claim Game: What to Do When Your Insurance Claim Isn’t Covered

Some common items insured under the Personal Inland Marine (IM) Policy would be jewelry, watches, furs, cameras, musical instruments, silverware and fine arts. Some common items insured under the Commercial IM would be all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles such as Polaris RZRs and John Deere Gators, and construction machinery and contractor’s equipment. Other examples of items insured under Commercial IM would be excavators, graders, mixers, air compressors, hearing aids, motorized wheelchairs, pig cookers, golf carts and personal-use tractors/lawnmowers/equipment, etc. The Farm Form typically provides coverage for farm equipment used in farming, livestock and tobacco bulk curing barns/shelters.

Items are typically scheduled individually at current value as claims are settled on an actual cash value basis, which is a depreciated value at the time of loss. This makes it very important to periodically review the items and update the coverage amount. Remember that most items do depreciate over time, although a few actually appreciate in value. Keeping items insured at their appropriate value will help reduce the chance of overpaying premiums.

This is a high-level overview of the Inland Marine Policy. If you have a need for this type of coverage or have questions, your local Farm Bureau agents are there to help and just a short drive or phone call away.

– Allan Williams

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