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The Who, What, Where, and Why of Inland Marine Insurance

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commercial kitchen bakery
Last Updated: 10/25/2023

We get it, food liability insurance can be confusing…and we’re insurance nerds! There are so many terms and stipulations it can be hard to make sense of it all. However, having liability insurance could save your business a lot of money, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with some of the most common insurance terms. 

Instead of giving you all of those at once, let’s just focus on one: inland marine insurance. Our goal with this blog is to help you understand what inland marine insurance is, who it is for, where you would need it, and most importantly, why your food business needs inland marine insurance.

What Is Inland Marine Insurance?

Inland marine insurance is an added insurance coverage that helps protect your business equipment from accidents called “named peril” events (any event that is covered under your insurance policy). These accidents are often expensive and could seriously hurt your revenue.  Inland marine insurance can help protect the following pieces of business equipment: 
  • Ovens
  • Microwaves
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Inventory
  • Merchandise inventory (Ex: t-shirts, mugs, etc.)
  • Office contents (Ex: legal papers, computer, printer, WiFi routers, etc.)

Why Is It Called Inland Marine Insurance? Are There Other Names for It?

Inland marine may be a confusing name for products and equipment used on land, but it might make more sense once you’ve learned the interesting history behind it.

Marine coverage refers to goods or equipment that are transported over waterways and across oceans. During the Industrial Revolution, there were new types of property being transported over land that marine insurance did not cover, and so the term “inland marine” was born. It simply refers to goods and equipment that are transported across land rather than water.

Inland marine insurance goes by several other names including tools and equipment coverage, business property not at a permanent location, and more.

Chef standing proudly in commercial kitchen

What Does Inland Marine Insurance Cover?

Inland marine insurance can cover your tools, equipment, and inventory from named peril events. Inland marine does not cover your truck or trailer and instead covers your refrigerator, oven, deep fryer, or freezer.

An example of a piece of equipment that would not be covered is the sunroof of a food truck. A piece of equipment that would be covered, though, is a refrigerator that broke due to a fire or windstorm. 

Listed below are many named peril events where your tools and equipment could be covered:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Explosion, but not one caused by or resulting from water
  • Windstorm
  • Frost or cold weather
  • Hail, rain, sleet, snow, or ice
  • Smoke damage causing sudden and accidental loss
  • Vandalism
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Items or contents damaged by collision, upset, or overturn of a vehicle while being transported
  • The collapse of a building caused by the weight of snow, ice, sleet, or rain
  • Breakage 
  • Theft, with certain exceptions such as mysterious disappearance (a police report must be provided in order to receive coverage)
  • Sprinkler leakage from an automatic sprinkler system
  • Sinkhole
  • Volcanic action

Who Needs Inland Marine Insurance?

If you are a food truck, home-based baker, food trailer, personal chef, farmers market vendor, or overall food enthusiast who owns a food business and has business equipment, then you need inland marine insurance. 

For extra consideration, our agents recommend that any business that answers “yes” to any of these four questions needs inland marine insurance:

  • Does your business sell products online and ship them to customers?
  • Is your business mobile in nature?
  • Do you do business away from your main premises where your equipment or inventory is taken with you?
  • Do you attend fairs and festivals as a vendor?


Where Would You Need Inland Marine Insurance?

You would need inland marine insurance at any of the following types of settings:

  • Food truck festival
  • Farmers market
  • Your house (if you cook, bake, or prepare food for your business at home)

These are just a few places you would need inland marine insurance. The most common place that you would need inland marine insurance is anywhere you cook your food.

Why Do Businesses Need Inland Marine Insurance If It’s a Covered Loss?

Equipment is costly, so it is only natural that equipment claims are equally expensive. When your equipment or inventory is damaged due to a covered loss, you could experience a serious decrease in profits.

With inland marine insurance, you won’t have to pay to have your equipment or inventory fixed or replaced. Not to mention the relieving peace of mind you could experience knowing your business equipment is protected even when accidents happen. 

How Much Does Inland Marine Insurance Cost?

Inland marine insurance is not included in your general liability insurance policy and the price varies based on the limits selected. 

For example, if you choose an inland marine policy with limits of $5,000 per item and $10,000 per year, your inland marine coverage would be $8.25 per month. Or, if you’re looking for higher limits, you have the option of $10,000 and $50,000 for $28.25 per month. This can be added to your base general liability policy.  

With FLIP you can customize your inland marine coverages to your needs. If you need higher limits and more coverage the cost of inland marine insurance would increase. 

How Can You Purchase Inland Marine Insurance?

You can purchase your inland marine insurance policy in less than 10 minutes! 

Yes, you read that right—simply create an account, choose the policy that works best for your business (if you need a food truck policy or farmers market policy), fill out the application with your credentials, and choose what inland marine limits fit your business best. Once you’ve completed the application, simply purchase your policy and you’re ready to go! Enjoy! 

We hope this blog was a helpful guide to inland marine insurance and that you feel more confident choosing the right coverage for your business because of it.

For more information about food liability insurance, check out the 3 things you need when looking for food vendor insurance.

Remember, if you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to any of our USA-based and licensed agents. They are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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