Inland Marine Insurance

When I started in the insurance industry in 1970 the Excess and Surplus Lines Industry was just starting to take off.  At that time, in the extremely conservative world of property and casualty underwriting, Inland marine insurance coverage seemed like a virtual playground.

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland Marine has freedom of rate and form.

All other types of commercial property coverage were extremely regulated by the states, whereas inland marine underwriters could set rates and establish coverage limitations, exclusions, and scope without going through a complicated filing process and gaining approval from regulators.

Inland Marine coverage applied worldwide in most policies, whereas most Fire Insurance contracts were limited to specific described locations.

I’m reminded at this point of a Aircraft Liability policy that refused to pay for a communications tower their client had collided with and caused considerable damage due to collapse. Their attorneys took the amazing position that the tower the insurance company insured had actually moved because it had been built over one hundred feet from where its license had stated. Those attorneys prevailed in court. The company I worked for paid the claim (because it didn’t matter where the tower was at the time of loss) under the Inland Marine commercial insurance policy and was unable to subrogate against the Aircraft Liability insurer.

Inland Marine covers much more interesting property than what is normally covered by building and content coverage:

  • Accounts Receivable

  • Animal Mortality Floaters

  • Bailee Customer’s Goods

  • Builders’ Risk

  • Camera and Photographic Equipment

  • Communication Towers and Equipment

  • Contractors Equipment Floaters

  • Commercial Floaters

  • Equipment Dealers Floaters

  • Fine Arts Floaters

  • Furriers Floaters

  • Golf Floaters

  • Guns Floaters

  • Installation Floaters

  • Jewelers Blocks

  • Medical Equipment Floaters

  • Motor Truck Cargo Floaters

  • Musical Instruments Floaters

  • Rigger’s Liability

  • Software and Hardware Coverage

  • Trip Transit

  • Valuable Papers

  • Warehouse Legal Liability

Inland Marine coverage is normally broader in scope than most Fire Insurance policies.

As an Excess and Surplus Lines Underwriter, I used the Inland Marine format most often for Motor Truck Cargo, High Valued Personal Articles, and Animal Mortality policies. These three were a reflection of personal expertise and their inclusion in this list is not a representation of much premium volume is placed in the United States.

Motor Truck Cargo is a broad policy applying to property in transit. Normally it is tied to a specific kind of cargo in a stated maximum amount to a specific semi-tractor trailer. Rates are set depending on the damageability of the cargo, the experience of the driver, the quality of the semi-tractor and trailer, where it is going and how long the trip will take. The premium for a trailer hauling grain across one of the prairie states to a Great Lakes port would be a fraction of what it would cost to insure a load of electronic goods to be hauled to New York City.

Most high valued horses are insured for mortality on an Animal Mortality Floater. The rate depends highly on the kind of horse and its use. A thoroughbred that is still racing will cost much more to insure than a quarterhorse used for personal riding. The rates for a quarterhorse would run from 3% to 5% of the value of the horse, while a thoroughbred would run from 6% to 8%. Underwriting a horse’s value can become quite complicated in that a bill of sale merely reflects one willing seller’s agreement with one willing buyer. Unfortunately, thoroughbred horse owners have accumulated a bad reputation for passing horses amongst a “ring” of owners to build a fictitious high value in small increments until it becomes profitable for the horse to have “an accident”.

I was able to have a policy rescinded when we proved that a false valuation escalation had taken place with a horse in North Dakota. The animal died from a lethal arc of electricity from a welder.

Insurance underwriters see the seamier side of life on a daily basis when people try to make the policy a tool for enrichment. Every common criminal seems to think they’re the first one to think of a particular scam, when most scams have been done many, many times and are readily apparent to insurance company claims adjusters and underwriters.

It was my experience working on with an agency who was endorsed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association that Animal Mortality on a quarterhorse used in rodeo work was an excellent risk. The animals were treated extremely well by their owners. Further, the tack for rodeo participants insured under an Inland Marine Personal Articles Floater rarely resulted in a loss from theft or fire.

My agency also places quite a lot of Contractors Equipment Floaters for scheduled tools. In most instances the policy lists a maximum amount per loss and a maximum amount per any one tool.

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Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.

While the majority of people want an agent involved in their purchase of insurance, many people want to see if they can save money by buying direct from the insurance company. Others want to try a direct quote to make sure the premium they’re now paying through their local agent is fair. If you want a quote for your coverage, click on the competitive quote button on the right side of this page.