Inland Marine Insurance, Why It's Medically-Necessary
Craig Skerpac, MBA
Medical providers must protect their property and equipment. Given that medical devices are not cheap, the insurance for these items needs to be concrete. One of the types of coverage that can benefit these items is inland marine insurance. It covers items under transport or shipment. No matter why you decide to move these items, there’s a chance they could get damaged. Your inland marine coverage can come in handy in these positions. But why is it necessary? Don’t you have property insurance for these items?
Don’t assume you have enough protection for medical equipment. In many ways, you can never have too much. Inland marine insurance is another cog in that machine. It can help in cases of property damaged under transportation.
The Cost Risks of Medical Insurance
Medical devices might range from stethoscopes to full-fledged operating room materials. As lifesaving equipment, it is going to cost money. Even simple devices, like stethoscopes, might cost a couple of hundred dollars.
Concerning the value of devices, the stethoscope falls on the low end of the spectrum. Some items might easily cost thousands of dollars. Take for example, an ultrasound machine. Portable devices might cost upwards of $3,000 to $4,000. Full-sized machines could cost well over $20,000. Even the probes on these devices might cost several hundred.
If something happens to any machinery or equipment in your practice, that’s a cost loss. You’ll want your commercial insurance to protect you from paying to replace items out-of-pocket.
How Inland Marine Insurance Applies to Medical Devices
Inland marine insurance has nothing to do with water. It insures items in transport from one place to another. In other words, it can cover items when they leave the business’s property.
Let’s say you are a doctor who makes house calls. You have to transport equipment to do your job. There’s always a chance some of these items could become damaged while out of the office. You might have a car wreck, destroying these items. Or, while at your client’s home, a freak accident, like a fire, might destroy these items.
You drive safely. Your patients keep safe homes. While accidents like the ones above have a very low chance of actually occurring, it could happen. That’s where your inland marine insurance could jump in. It aims to protect you in unexpected, unpredictable cases of property damage. Your coverage can lessen the burden that might result from repairing these items.
But wait, you ask, don’t you have property insurance for cases like these?
Inland Marine Insurance Equals Better Property Protection
Many practitioners assume that commercial property insurance covers losses to their medical equipment. Often, that’s true. However, limitations do exist, and that’s where inland marine insurance can come in handy.
Some property insurance does not cover equipment when that equipment leaves your practice. Furthermore, providers that transport or ship equipment frequently might find this coverage more beneficial than standard property insurance. Home health providers, for example, spend a lot of time on the road. This coverage therefore may better benefit their items under transport. Even when moving offices, you might find coverage beneficial to protecting your equipment.
With inland marine insurance, you can better target property insurance to unique items. That’s the main benefit of this coverage. Even if you have separate insurance on some items, inland marine coverage can better target transport risks.
Your coverage can also extend to property belonging to other people that’s in your care. If transporting another practice’s equipment, or even a patient’s items, you could cause a loss. Though your liability coverage might provide help, specialized bailee’s customer coverage can extend better coverage. Ask your agent to tailor your coverage based on the transport needs of your practice.
Protecting Items in Your Care
Practices that transport equipment still have to do so safely. If you can protect your belongings, that’s often a better alternative than filing and insurance claim. Indeed, practices that neglect the safety of their equipment might face denied claims.
Insurance companies generally pay the claims that you could not prevent otherwise. Neglecting your equipment, or intentionally damaging it, might lead to a claim denial. Furthermore, damage that results from simple transportation wear likely will not have coverage.
You should therefore focus on the protection of your possessions. Always package items with the utmost care. Secure these materials appropriately within your vehicles. Wherever you use your belongings, monitor them. Keep them under lock and key when necessary. If you ever face equipment damage, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance provider.
For the risk-aware medical provider, New York inland marine insurance can provide significant property protection. So, don’t put off exploring your coverage options. With the help of your insurance agent, you can generally find policies comprehensive, yet affordable. Therefore, there’s no reason to hesitate if you have a legitimate need for this protection.
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