A research study in 2018 showed that 92% of shipping companies experience some loss, damage or delay every year. While most shipments proceed as planned, a single incident can substantially cost the company in both revenue and reputation with clients. Although these losses can’t always be predicted and prevented ahead of time, a good insurance policy helps soften the blow and grant some peace of mind. Transportation companies should consider carrying inland marine insurance for their domestic shipments, whether by land, air, or waterway.
Despite the name, inland marine insurance covers property—products, equipment, and materials—transported over land. This includes items currently in transit, items being held by a bailee (e.g. for temporary warehousing), equipment moved between work sites and property that is “an instrumentality of transportation or communication” like radio towers and bridges. These insurance policies are also called “floaters” because they cover property that doesn’t exist at a fixed location—something that commercial insurance doesn’t always cover. Inland marine coverage protects high-priced items, from servers and laptops to medical or photography equipment, that other policies leave out. For transportation companies, which deals extensively with property in transit, this coverage is far more complete than that from more basic commercial policies.
Marine Insurance vs. Carrier Liability
A related term in the shipping industry is “carrier liability,” which describes a carrier’s responsibility for cargo being lost, damaged or delayed. While this applies broadly to freight shippers and carriers, thanks to the Carmack Amendment, the extent of the coverage is limited compared to marine insurance. Most notably, carrier liability’s coverage is independent of the actual value of the property in question—instead, it depends on the cargo’s weight or the number of shipping units, meaning valuable items are scarcely covered. Also, carrier liability only applies if it can be proven that the carrier is at fault for the loss, putting the burden of proof on the shipping company, and “acts of God” aren’t covered at all. Marine insurance policies not only work based on the value of the transported property but also cover any damages short of intentional on the company’s part. Carrier liability alone rarely suffices for businesses in the transportation sector, where cargo is often both high-value and subject to unforeseen risks.
Formed in 2013, AmSuisse, Inc. has quickly distinguished itself as a wholesale operation that specializes in working very closely with our agents and broker partners to develop responsive, individualized service for each client. Our unparalleled writing support, industry-specific expertise, marketing support, responsive proposals and quotes, strong customer service, and strong relationships with our carrier partners have all helped us to provide the best possible coverage for our clients. To learn more about our available coverage, contact us today at (855) 912-8697 to speak with one of our representatives.