As a business owner, you have a certain responsibility to the people who purchase your products. Ted Devine, CEO of small business insurance provider Insureon, said that U.S. laws have evolved in recent years to favor consumers by applying a “strict liability” doctrine. This means that anyone – vendor, distributor, manufacturer, etc. – involved in the sale of a product that causes injury or illness when it is used correctly can be held legally and financially responsible for those damages.
While product liability itself is often covered within a general liability policy (though Devine advises double-checking to make sure), you’re not covered if you need to undergo the expensive, time-consuming and potentially reputation-damaging process of a recall. To help you with this, product recall insurance may be available as a rider to your general liability policy.
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“Product recall insurance … can cover the cost of recalling products, including getting them off the shelves, destroying them, and running a PR or advertising campaign to rebuild public trust,” Devine said.
Don’t let the name fool you – this coverage has nothing to do with water. The Insurance Information Institute defines inland marine insurance as insurance that “covers products, materials and equipment when transported over land – e.g., via truck or train – or while temporarily warehoused by a third party.” Collisions and cargo theft are the two most common reported losses under inland marine insurance.
For most businesses, your coverage under your BOP or commercial package policy (CPP) will be enough. However, if you frequently ship high-value products like computers, construction equipment or medical equipment over land, inland marine insurance might be necessary.