Inland Marine: Not Just for Boats

Got a collection of art, jewelry, watches or electronic equipment to insure? You may want to purchase personal inland marine insurance for that.

No, really.

The name inland marine is kind of a relic, left over from the early part of the 20th century when insurance regulations in our country were very different from what they are today.

Marine insurance was less heavily regulated than fire and casualty, because it had stiffer competition overseas. It also specialized in covering risks that were in transit. It was a short hop from there to covering “floating” risks — items that moved easily from one place to another, such as jewelry, fine art and cameras.

Lenient regulation made it easy for marine insurance to branch out into more and more coverages, while more generous policies — including coverage against all risks and throughout the company’s operating area — made it attractive to Policyholders.

The term inland marine insurance came into use during the 1920s to differentiate these floater policies from marine insurance that still applied to boats — now the somewhat redundantly named ocean marine insurance.

A National Marine Definition was created in 1933 to determine what could and could not be covered under marine insurance. The document was updated in 1976, and currently contains six categories:

  • Imports
  • Exports
  • Domestic shipments
  • Bridges, tunnels and other instrumentalities of transportation and communication
  • Personal property floater risks
  • Commercial property floater risks

Of these, the latter four are primarily inland marine, while the first two are ocean marine.

Erie Insurance’s Inland Marine Policy

ERIE Policyholders can add an endorsement to existing home or mobile home insurance policies or purchase a separate personal inland marine policy for expensive items such as jewelry, furs, watches or precious stones. This type of policy provides all-risk coverage, including theft, misplacement or loss of a valuable item. The policy can be purchased with no deductible; or, for a premium credit, a deductible can be added.

Refer to the article New Bling from Your Valentine? Make Sure It’s Covered for more information.

Any time you purchase an item with considerable value like jewelry, you should contact your Agent to find out if any additional coverage is needed.

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