Homeowners Insurance Vs. Inland Marine Insurance

How are homeowners and inland marine insurance different when it comes to coverage for your belongings?

Part of your responsibility as a homeowner is securing the right insurance coverage to take care of the personal possessions you keep on your property.  Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance automatically offers policyholders coverage for their belongings.  While this coverage is typically adequate, there are some cases in which you may have to secure additional coverage through a home insurance policy rider.  For instance, many homeowners choose to add inland marine riders to their policies. But what additional coverage does this endorsement offer?  Here’s what you need to know about standard home coverage for personal property and the coverage offered by inland marine riders.

Homeowners Insurance

Your standard homeowners insurance is designed to cover the belongings that are damaged, lost, or stolen due to a covered peril.  Covered perils are a specific risk or cause of loss covered by your home insurance policy.  For instance, home policies typically offer coverage for the damages or losses related to the following perils:

  • Fire and smoke
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Lightning strike
  • Explosion
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from an aircraft, car, or vehicle
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Falling objects

Every homeowners insurance policy is different, so you must speak with your insurance provider to see which perils your policy offers coverage for.  It is important to note that the personal property coverage offered by your homeowners insurance is subject to certain limits.  For instance, your policy will only offer to cover your belongings up to a certain dollar limit.  Valuable items that exceed your policy’s dollar limit will not be covered, and you will have to secure policy riders or list these items as scheduled property to ensure that they are protected.  Additionally, your home insurance will not offer coverage if your belongings are damaged by a non-covered peril.  Again, if you would like to secure protection for these events, you will need to do so with a policy rider or a separate personal property policy.

Inland Marine Insurance Rider

Inland marine insurance endorsements can be added to your homeowners insurance to secure coverage for certain high-value personal property that may have specific dollar limits on your homeowners and or belongings while they are in transit.  For instance, many homeowners secure an inland marine insurance rider to cover the expensive jewelry that exceeds the coverage limits of their home insurance.  Below is a list that we commonly see limited on a homeowners policy:

  • Jewelry, watches, furs, precious or semiprecious stones
  • Coin Collections and other types of collectable items
  • Firearms and or related equipment
  • Electronic equipment that reproduces, receives or transmits audio, video or data signals
  • Money, bank notes, gold, gift and or cash cards
  • Watercraft, trailers, outboard motors
  • Property use for business purposes

This is only a limited list, we recommend that you have a conversation with your insurance advisors to discuss items that you may need to schedule on an inland marine insurance rider, or need coverage for transportation of such items.

Inland marine insurance offers coverage for the property that is damaged or lost due to theft, fire, wind, hail, water damage, and the other covered perils listed on your policy.  Additionally, your inland marine rider can be used to cover the types of personal property that your home insurance does not provide adequate coverage for.  This coverage can be as broad as open peril coverage which includes all coverage unless specifically excluded i.e. wear and tear.

Like your homeowners insurance, your inland marine insurance is subject to certain coverage limits.  You have the ability to set these limits, so it’s important that you set limits high enough to accurately reflect your personal property’s value and your individual risk factors.

This is what you need to know about the personal property coverage offered by standard home insurance versus the coverage offered by inland marine policy riders.  Do you have further questions about your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at CIA Insurance and Risk Management for assistance today.

Post written by Sam Crudo, Chief Executive Officer

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