One of the best parts about living in Michigan is being able to enjoy its five Great Lakes. With its 242 streams and 11,000 lakes and ponds, boating is a popular hobby for many families.
For those lucky enough to live near the water and own a boat, you may find it helpful to understand whether your boat dock is protected from accidents and risks.
In most cases, there are ways to have your boat dock covered by insurance. While you must meet specific criteria, most homeowners insurance companies offer some type of boat dock coverage.
However, if your boat is being docked at a marina, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover that dock. In this case, you would need to discuss dock protection with the marina you’re renting from, as it would be their responsibility to provide coverage.
There are multiple ways to keep your dock safe so it can be used for years to come, even if it isn’t covered by insurance. Let’s learn more about how you can protect your boat dock and exactly what is covered by insurance.
What a homeowners policy can cover
Homeowners insurance policies can be tailored to suit your needs. To get the most out of your insurance plan, the coverage you choose should be based on your home and lifestyle. When you have a boat dock, there are add-ons you will want to look into.
Not all policies automatically include the specific type of coverage you may need. With the help of an insurance agent, you can determine the best policy that works for you.
Other Structures Coverage
When an insurance company mentions Other Structures Coverage or Coverage B, they are referring to detached buildings and structures on your property. Boat docks and lifts will fall into this category as long as they are a permanent structure on your land.
When this coverage is included in your policy, it will protect your dock from damages and losses due to vandalism, fire, lightning, and falling objects.
Personal Property Insurance Coverage
Coverage C would be helpful if you have a boat dock that comes out of the water and is stored away. Once a boat dock or lift is removed from the water, it is not considered a structure. Therefore, it would no longer be covered under other structures and would be treated as personal property.
What does dock insurance not cover?
Through your homeowners insurance policy, your dock will be protected from the same types of damage as your home — typically, accidents or losses caused by nature or vandalism. Hail storms, fires, and wind knocking a tree over onto your boat dock are a few examples.
However there is some damage caused by certain acts of nature or natural disasters that will not be included in your insurance policy. There are a few instances where your dock insurance will not cover some common accidents, such as:
- Freeze-related damage
- The collapse of the dock, unless it was caused by a structure falling onto it
- Flood-related damage
- High winds that cause severe wave action resulting in damage
Why your dock is probably not covered by flood insurance
In most cases, flood insurance does not protect a boat dock, lift, or pier from damage or loss. There are only rare circumstances where your flood insurance would cover damage to your dock.
To find out if your insurance company does cover flooding, or what else they may offer in place of flood insurance, reach out to your insurance agent for those details.
Another way to determine whether your boat dock is covered by insurance is to read through the fine print. Many insurance companies will use exclusionary keywords in their policies that are a sure sign that flooding is not covered.
Keywords and phrases to look out for in your policy include:
- Surface water
- Tidal water
- Overflow of any body of water
- Storm surge
If your policy uses these words or phrases in relation to damage from a flood, know that these occurrences will likely exclude coverage.
How boat insurance can help
While your homeowners insurance policy and flood insurance may not be enough to cover your boat dock, you have another option.
Many insurance companies offer boat insurance. Boat insurance would protect your boat and boat dock from damage and loss.
On top of the additional dock coverage, by adding boat insurance to your home insurance policy, you will reap the benefits of not only more protection but also multi-policy discounts.
Boat insurance is a responsible and beneficial decision, though it is not required. Protecting your assets saves you money and eases worries when an accident takes place. Like homeowners insurance, boat insurance is there to ease your mind and protect your pocket from the high costs of even the most minor accidents.
Connect with Frost & Remer to have your boat dock covered by insurance
At Frost & Remer, we understand that accidents happen, and we can help you decide what type of protection coverage you need.
If you don’t already have insurance on your boat dock or would like to include boat insurance in your homeowners insurance policy, we can do this for you. We take pride in offering our customers reliable advice, great rates, and discounts.
To learn more about the type of coverage we can provide you with, schedule a virtual appointment with us for a free, full-risk assessment.
You can also contact us to speak with one of our professional insurance agents if you have immediate questions or concerns.