Most business insurance covers the office structure and some property but may have limited coverage for tools and equipment. If your policy does not cover off-site equipment, you should consider inland marine coverage. This is a separate insurance that can be purchased as a stand-alone or endorsed to the business policy. It offers broader coverage and flexibility for tools in transit. The additional fee depends on the types of items and nature and location of use.
Inland marine insurance covers equipment in any location — be it a jobsite, en route to a site, in a trailer, or in an employee's vehicle.
Jan Weyrich, Marine Insurance Program Manager at State Farm in Bloomington, Ill., says owners can choose blanket or scheduled insurance. A blanket policy covers the total value of all the tools and equipment. A scheduled policy covers each tool or tool category for a specific amount. The two types can also be combined — for example, scheduled insurance for a backhoe and blanket insurance for hand tools. Individual carpenters can also purchase an inland policy for their personal tools.
Weyrich advises keeping a detailed inventory. “Include brand names, model numbers, and serial numbers. Keep receipts or purchase documents for expensive equipment,” he says. Taking digital photos of tools in a truck or of groups of tools is also a good idea. “It helps document and provide proof of ownership in case of loss,” he says.