Some business owners and employees travel. When they do, they might have to take along a few resources to help them do their jobs. In your company vehicle, you might carry tools, computers and other sensitive equipment. What happens if these items get damaged in a car wreck or in an accident at your worksite? Will your business’s property insurance cover the damage? Will you need to buy additional coverage?
Property Insurance and Items in Transit
Many small business owners buy commercial insurance through a business owners policy, also called a BOP. Among the critical pieces of coverage the policy might offer is property insurance. Property coverage will help the insured business repair or replace possessions and equipment. It might apply if items get lost or damaged in fires, severe weather, theft, vandalism or other hazards.
The question is, however, do these items still have coverage when you take them off your property? If a car wreck damages these items, will your BOP’s property coverage still insure them?
Limitations for Items Carried Offsite
BOPs are a bit complicated when insuring items that you take off your premises. Property coverage might provide a degree of coverage for certain items moved offsite. However, this coverage might apply only in limited cases, and some BOPs do not these scenarios at all. Only items at the insured location might have coverage.
Regularly taking items out of the business adds an extra level of risk for those items. Therefore, the terms of your standard BOP might not adequately protect them. As a result, you might have to buy additional coverage called inland marine insurance.
Inland Marine Coverage and BOPs
An inland marine policy applies specifically to items transported off your business premises. So, when you move tools, supplies or customer deliveries, then this policy can help you out. The policy will apply both to damage that occurs during transport and damage done while at a work site. In many cases, the policy will continue to cover tools even if you store the items at the worksite for more than a day.
Inland marine policies come as endorsements for most BOPs. So, when your standard property insurance doesn't include coverage, you might be able to add inland marine coverage. The inland marine coverage will have limits, too. Therefore, you might have to buy your coverage altogether separate from the BOP in some cases.
To get optimal property coverage, talk to your agent. They can get a better idea of how your transportable items need insurance coverage, and which policies to offer you.