Inland Marine Insurance covers equipment and property not tied to a fixed location.
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As a cleaning services company, you may rely on highly-specialized equipment that could be expensive and inconvenient to replace if damaged. Inland Marine Insurance can fill gaps in your insurance coverage by providing funds to repair or replace your mobile property if it’s damaged or destroyed.
Table of Contents
- What is Inland Marine Insurance?
- Why do cleaning services companies need Inland Marine Insurance?
- What does Inland Marine Insurance cover?
- Types of Inland Marine Coverages
- What risks are covered by Inland Marine Insurance?
Inland Marine Insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for property that does not remain at a fixed location. Coverage could include a variety of equipment, tools, goods, and other items that a company may need to transport from location to location or store at client sites. This insurance helps fill the gaps in coverage left by standard commercial property policies and will protect your property no matter where it is.
- Your cleaning company is hired to clean all of the fountains and pools at a local historical mansion. The job will take several days and you store some of your equipment, including your high-end portable pool vacuums at the property. Overnight, your equipment is stolen from the mansion. Inland Marine Insurance would help cover the costs of replacing your equipment.
Although Inland Marine Insurance’s name can be confusing, the name is simply an artifact from the early days of insurance, when cargo transport mostly took place by ocean. Inland Marine Insurance coverage developed to cover the portions of the journey that were not over the ocean. Nowadays, this coverage extends beyond shipping to many types of mobile equipment, property being moved, and property that you hold for someone else.
Inland Marine Insurance is a key coverage for cleaning services companies that own valuable mobile equipment, which might include carpet cleaning machines, industrial vacuums, floor buffers and polishers, pool maintenance equipment, and other specialized items that may not be covered by standard commercial property policies.
If your company performs cleaning services that do not require specialized equipment and only uses items that would be fairly inexpensive to replace, you may not need this coverage. However, if your company does use equipment that would be burdensome to replace and is not covered by your commercial property insurance, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing Inland Marine Insurance to protect your property.
Inland Marine Insurance covers the property that is moveable and does not stay at a fixed location. Although many companies may believe that commercial property insurance will cover all of their property, this coverage is typically restricted to damage that occurs on your business premises or for property that remains on or near your business’s premises.
Commercial property insurance generally has some limited protections for tools and equipment that travel offsite, but it commonly excludes coverage for items valued above a certain price. Mobile equipment is often excluded from commercial property insurance coverage, and commercial auto insurance will cover your vehicles, but not their contents. Inland Marine Insurance can step in to fill these gaps in coverage.
Inland Marine Insurance can cover many types of property, but the most relevant coverages for cleaning services companies are:
- Property that is being moved or transported.
- Property that moves from place to place. This could include cleaning equipment that you move from one work site to another.
- Property installed in a vehicle. For example, an inbuilt carpet cleaning machine in a truck would be covered.
- Your carpet cleaning company’s van is at a client’s home when a diseased tree falls onto the extractor hose that reaches from your truck into the client’s home. The hose is ripped out of the carpet cleaning truck mount in your van, which severely damages the truck mount. Inland Marine Insurance would cover the damage to the truck mount.
Inland Marine Insurance can provide a broad range of coverage, but the types of Inland Marine coverage that are most relevant to cleaning services companies are movable equipment and property coverage and bailee’s customer coverage.
Movable Equipment or Property
Inland Marine Insurance covers the equipment that you regularly move to various locations and use as part of your work. This coverage applies regardless of where the covered property is located.
- Your janitorial services company’s van suffers an engine fire after an accident. The fire damages a power floor cleaner. Although commercial auto insurance would cover the damage to the vehicle, your Inland Marine Insurance would cover the damage to the floor cleaner.
Bailee’s Customer Coverage
For certain types of cleaning businesses, taking temporary possession of a client’s property is a necessity. In these situations, your customer’s property may be considered under your care, custody, or control. If the property is lost or damaged, bailee’s customer insurance can provide coverage. Although general liability insurance typically provides coverage if you damage someone else’s property, it often contains an exclusion for property under your care, custody, or control. Furthermore, commercial property insurance only covers property that you own. Bailee’s customer coverage can step in and fill this gap in coverage.
- Your rug cleaning company specializes in the restoration and cleaning of oriental rugs. An employee accidentally uses the wrong chemical in the wash process for a client’s rug, causing irreparable damage. Because the carpet was considered under your company’s care, your general liability insurance would not cover the damage. Bailee’s customer insurance would provide coverage in this case.
Inland Marine Insurance is generally written on either an all risks basis or a named perils basis. All risks policies cover any hazards except those that are specifically excluded by your contract, while named perils policies cover only the specific risks that are defined in the policy. Because they provide protection in a broader range of situations, all risks policies are typically more expensive than named perils policies.
Inland Marine Insurance can vary widely, so it’s important to read your contract carefully and consult with your insurer to understand what is covered and what is excluded.
Commonly covered named perils include:
- Fire or lightning
- Theft or vandalism
- Damage from vehicles or airplanes (excluding those owned by the business)
- Water damage, sprinkler leakage, or burst pipes (but water damage from flood is excluded)
- Windstorm or hail
- Smoke from accidental fire
- Riots or civil commotion
- Sinkhole collapse or building collapse
When you operate a cleaning services company, it’s important to understand what coverage your insurance provides. Although commercial property insurance covers much of your property, it might not cover the equipment that your employees take with them to various locations in order to perform their work. If your company depends on valuable mobile equipment, Inland Marine Insurance could be a good choice. This type of insurance will provide financial protection for your equipment regardless of its location. With this insurance, you can be assured that an unexpected accident that damages your equipment will not impede your ability to continue working.