Marine insurance doesn’t come in a box

This is a great marketing ploy to show the average person how simple and easy insurance is. But is it that easy in real life?

Too often I am asked by one of our agency’s personal lines insurance agents to look at the coverage for a large client and I discover that the insurance they bought, most likely online or by phone, was totally wrong for their needs. Liability limits are way too low, no personal umbrella coverage, minimum automobile insurance limits, and sometimes even the wrong ownership of vehicles and property. 

Insurance is not a thing that is packed up and given to you. Insurance is something that should be tailored to your individual needs. It is very flexible. So flexible that one from Column A and one from Column B, perhaps chosen by checking some boxes on a website, just won’t cut it.

Even more important is that your commercial insurance, whether for land or water, is so broad in its extent of available coverage that even some insurance agents miss what’s available to their clients.

There are agents for almost every kind of coverage. For instance, there are insurance specialists in bonding, construction, professional liability, on-land marine and trucking. Ocean marine insurance specialists are a different breed. They have their own language and use specialized insurance forms. Ocean marine insurance is a completely separate division within an insurance company, and the claims people are trained to only handle ocean marine claims.

Why is this important to you? Because in the insurance world, literally nothing comes in a box and nearly everything is negotiable. When you see so many different vessels doing so many different missions, then you might understand why ocean marine insurance is so diverse and so “un-box” like.

About the author

Gene McKeever

Gene McKeever is a marine insurance agent with Allen Insurance and Financial. He can be reached at

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