Personal Inland Marine Insurance


A standard homeowner or renter policy has serious shortcomings if you have a significant amount of money tied up in guns, jewelry, gems, watches, furs, fine arts, trading cards, coin collections, or other valuables. The most significant shortcoming is found in a section titled something like Special Limits of Insurance for Certain Personal Property where you will find phrases like these that limit what the policy will pay:

  • $1,000 for theft of jewelry, watches, precious and semi-precious stones, and furs
  • $2,500 for theft of guns and their accessories, parts or equipment
  • $1,000 for trading cards
  • $250 for money, bank notes, and bullion; coins and medals and other numismatic property; and precious metals including platinum, gold and silver
Another shortcoming for such items include the lack of any coverage when these items are missing but evidence of theft cannot be proven, also known as mysterious disappearance. The value of these types of items at the time of loss can be major point of disagreement, and policy deductibles will also be applied.

Most of these shortcomings can be addressed by a personal inland marine insurance policy (yes, an oddly named policy).

Personal inland marine insurance is a specialized type of insurance coverage designed to protect valuable personal property, especially property that may be frequently on the move or not confined to a single location.

Key points about Personal Inland Marine Insurance:

  1. Added to Home Policy or Purchased Separately: When added to a home policy, this type of coverage is referred to as "Scheduled Personal Property". When purchased separately it is referred to as a "Personal Inland Marine"" policy.
  2. Describe and Value: You describe each valuable item that you want to insure separately, and its value. This might include items like expensive jewelry, artwork, antiques, collectibles, valuable electronics, musical instruments, or other significant possessions.
  3. Appraisal or Documentation: In many cases, the insurance company might require you to provide documentation to prove the value of the items. This could involve obtaining appraisals, receipts, photographs, or other relevant information that helps establish the item's worth.
  4. Individual Coverage: Once the items are identified and their value is established, the insurance company adds them to the policy as "scheduled" items. This means that each item has its own specified coverage amount.
  5. Enhanced Protection: Coverage on inland marine or personal property schedules typically protects against a much wider range of risks, including accidental damage, loss, theft, and even mysterious disappearance (where the item is lost but the cause is unknown).
  6. Premium Adjustment: The cost of adding a scheduled endorsement to your policy will depend on the total value of the items being insured and the level of coverage you choose. You'll typically pay an additional premium for the endorsement. The premium is usually quite inexpensive.
  7. No Deductible or Lower Deductible: Inland marine or personal property schedules often come with either no deductible or a lower deductible compared to the deductible applied to other policies. This means that in the event of a claim, you might have to pay less out of pocket.

By purchasing Inland Marine coverage, you can ensure that your high-value possessions are adequately protected. You can have peace of mind knowing that your most prized and valuable items are safeguarded against a wider range of risks.

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