Every importing or ecommerce company should have a marine or maritime insurance policy. While it’s not mandatory through federal or state regulations. It should be considered mandatory if you ship anything by sea, air, or land. Even though the sound of marine insurance makes it appear that it’s only for shipments that come to the U.S. by water. It actually covers goods and vessels that cross international and domestic waters by plane, ship, truck, or train.
Industries that primarily take out marine insurance policies include importers, exporters, fishermen, yacht owners, marine service companies and contractors, and marine transportation companies. As you can probably figure out by the industries that use this type of insurance, these policies cover risks to cargo on a vessel and the vessel itself. Additionally, a marine liability insurance policy will protect the vessel’s operator from injuries or property damage that arise from neglect.
Cargo coverage is of particular interest and need for importers and exporters because it covers lost cargo, lost revenue. And legal liability in case a customer sues them for a shipment that didn’t arrive on time or at all because it was lost or misplaced. With cargo containers falling off ships at an alarming rate. You never know when your container might be the one to fall to the bottom of the ocean. And you’ll need to recover the costs you have put into that cargo and a marine insurance policy will help you do that.
Maritime Vs. Inland Marine Insurance
You’re bound to come across both maritime and inland marine insurance policies when you’re searching for how to protect yourself from the risks associated with shipping goods across the country or world. It’s important to understand the differences between these two policies. A maritime policy can cover both your cargo and the vessel it’s on and will provide continuous coverage whether your goods are transported over water by any transportation means.
Inland marine insurance, on the other hand, only covers goods and merchandise in transit. The policy will follow your goods no matter where they go. But it doesn’t cover the actual vessel in which they travel. This type of insurance is usually more appropriate for domestic goods that are shipped by rail, road, or air. It’s usually cheaper than maritime policies because it doesn’t cover the transportation vessel. But it’s a good choice if your cargo isn’t going to travel over water at any point during its journey.
Your Current Business Insurance Policy Does Not Cover Goods in Transit
Most business insurance policies such as commercial property insurance, general liability insurance. And professional liability insurance policies do not include coverage for goods in transit. Your commercial property insurance might cover your inventory once it arrives at your warehouse. Or other storage facility, but it won’t cover it while it’s en route. The other types of insurance cover incidents that are deemed to be your fault. But not the loss or damage of cargo.
You simply have to have a maritime or marine insurance policy if you’re shipping cargo over water by ship, air, truck, or train. Protect your assets and your business by taking all the steps. You can to guarantee you aren’t out of any money if the worst possible scenario comes to pass.