How to Insure your Boat Dock against Hurricanes and Damage

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Insuring your boat dock against damages and natural disasters is a great investment you will ever make. Buying and maintaining a boat is already a pricy venture – given the fact that you allot so much of your time and finances to the boat, you might as well get the dock insured so that you can protect yourself from any unforeseen damages. Say a hurricane comes around and it’s a strong one. They might just pay to rebuild you another one or fix what’s been damaged.

When looking for boat dock insurance, many people tend to get confused about the type of insurance they should opt for –should it just revolve around maintenance after a hurricane or natural disaster? Or should it be a complete coverage insurance against all damages? There are always many factors to consider when going about the process of getting insurance for your boat dock.

The types of individuals that benefit from a boat dock insurance can be homeowners obviously.But also fishing businesses, waterfront restaurants, seafood related business, between others also benefit and probably already take advantage of it as the cost to replace a large or any dock can be around the cost of wasting a full size building. General estimates for a boat dock replacement run around U$D125 per linear foot for a dock and double that for bulkheads and the yearly insurance premiums run between 2% to 4% of insured value.

For homeowners and businesses that lift boats out of the water it’s important to note that  boat lifts may not be covered typical boat and boat dock protection policies and may require their additional policy.

Damaged boat dock after Hurricane in Florida.
Damaged boat dock after Hurricane in Florida.

Look at features of the boat and the dock

In order to determine the right kind of insurance for your boat dock, you will want to take into account a few of the following features:

  • How long has the dock been standing?
  • What is its total size?
  • What is it made out off?
  • What condition is it in?
  • Where is the boat dock located?
  • Does it have a strong support system underneath?

Where you live

Knowing whether you need insurance depends highly on where you live. If your country, state or city is highly susceptible to floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, lightening, high tides, strong waves and the like, you might want to consider getting dock insurance along with your boat insurance. However, if you are living in a fairly calm area then you might just get away without boat dock insurance. Nevertheless it is always good to remain proactive and to protect yourself from dangers that might surprise you.

Some policies ensure peace of mind by providing $30,000 of coverage to a permanent pier, wharf, or dock when physical damage is caused by freezing, thawing, pressure or weight of water or ice, whether driven by wind or not.

In Everglades City, Fla., crab fishermen Shane Reamao, left, and Dalton Daffin hurry to repair a commercial fishing dock that was destroyed during Hurricane Irma. Frank Morris/NPR


Coverage by insurance policies

Depending on the kinds of risks you want yourself to be insured against, your policy will cover a wide range of damages. Usually, all risks and damages that have not been clearly omitted from the policy guidelines are covered. So, you will be able to get marring, denting, natural disaster damage defects, wear and tear and such fixed through the insurance company. Even the injuries sustained by the people on board at the time of harm are, in some instances, covered –all this under a boat dock policy.

Condominium owners policy dictates that every part of the boat dock that you use for yourself will be insured. However, if you were to rent it out, it would fall outside the ambit of the coverage of the insurance policy.

According to Commercial liability policy, you are able to get your rental boat docks insured against damages caused. They are usually more expensive because of the added risk of a lack of ownership of the boat dock. You might also want to look for policies that relocate your boat if the dock has been damaged.

It is important to note that some boat dock insurance policies will not cover damages from things like ice, freezing, thawing, and total collapse. Property Coverage on the dwelling extension does not cover damage from wave action or ice movement so be aware of that.

Covering claims

Throughout the time that you own and use a boat dock, you will want to escape any chances of being in a position where you have to make a claim from an insurance company. You would not want to think about the possible damage that a hurricane, a rainstorm, electrocution and the like will cause to your dock and boat. However, there may be many instances where you will have to make the claim. In order to be able to go through the process efficiently, you should ensure that you are prepared beforehand.

While you are not required, by law, to carry the proof of insurance on the boat but it is good to keep that information anyway. Keeping it on the boat ensures that you have quick access to all of that information just in case you need it. Additionally, when you are looking for insurance policies, you should ask them about detailed information regarding making a claim so that, if need be, you can start the process without risking more damage.

You should also hire a representative or an agent who will help you with the proceedings after a claim has been made. The repairs that will be made, the information the insurance company requires to be communicated and through the process of inspection as well. You want to ensure that your claim is taken seriously and that you are getting a return on the investment you made in the insurance company by paying premiums.

The value of getting your boat dock insured against external harms and natural disaster damages is undeniable. You want to protect your boat by ensuring the dock is as stable, reliable and safe as possible. Make sure that you come to an informed decision about the kind of coverage you want to opt for after taking all this information into consideration.

Max Francisco

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Max Francisco