What is coastal home insurance?
Waterfront property offers a lifestyle that no other home location can match, but living along the coastline also comes with risks that other locations don’t have. To protect against common and less common risks that these properties are exposed to, Massachusetts residents with waterfront properties can purchase coastal home insurance.
Coastal home insurance is specialized homeowners insurance for waterfront properties. Policies generally provide standard homeowners coverages, along with additional ones for waterfront risks.
Who in Massachusetts is coastal property insurance right for?
Anyone who owns waterfront property in Massachusetts may want coastal property insurance. Policies are especially well-suited for oceanfront properties along the coastline and on islands.
In some cases, these policies might also be good for lakefront and waterfront houses. These houses are exposed to many of the same risks that oceanfront properties are.
Moreover, both primary residences and secondary residences can be insured with this type of policy. Most of the same coverages are needed regardless of whether a house is inhabited year-round, or only during the more pleasant months.
Property owners who are unsure whether this is the best type of policy for their particular property should consult a specialized insurance agent. An agent who knows coastal property insurance well will be able to advise what’s the best type of policy for a given property.
What coverages are included within coastal property insurance policies?
Coastal property insurance policies typically come with a number of different coverages. Some of these are common coverages found in standard homeowners insurance policies, but even the standard converges often have terms adjusted for the additional risks that waterfront presents. Coverages that policies typically make available include:
- Dwelling Coverage, which might inure the actual house located on a waterfront property against damage and destruction
- Secondary Structures Coverage, which might insure boathouses, boat launches, docks, gazebos and other smaller structures
- Personal Property Coverage, which might insure docks, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, personal belongings and other possessions
- Vacant Property Coverage, which might insure a seasonal property during the off-season months when it’s not used
- Loss of Use Coverage, which might insure against the cost of finding other lodging if a year-round residence is damaged
- Personal Liability Coverage, which might insure against common accidents that could occur indoors, outdoors or on the water
If insuring a primary residence, then vacant property coverage probably isn’t needed. Most primary residences are used year-round, and not vacant for multiple months.
If insuring a secondary residence, then loss of use coverage and personal liability coverage probably aren’t needed. Personal liability is likely included within the primary residence’s homeowners insurance. Loss of use may not be necessary because there’s another house to live in, should something happen to the waterfront home.
An insurance agent who knows coastal property policies well can help determine whether these or other coverages are appropriate.
How are docks covered by coastal property policies?
Most coastal property policies make coverage for docks available. Which coverage applies to docks normally depends on the type of dock and the policy’s terms, though.
Permanent docks that remain in the water year-round are most likely to be insured under secondary structures coverage. These are other structures located on the property.
Seasonal docks that get removed during the offseason are more likely to be insured under personal property coverage. Because these aren’t actual permanent structures, they might be treated as belongings.
Docks are one of the unique insurance considerations that many waterfront properties present. To make sure a dock is properly insured, waterfront property owners should work with a knowledgeable insurance agent.
How can Massachusetts waterfront property owners get coastal home insurance?
For help insuring waterfront property located in Massachusetts, talk with the insurance agents at Flavin & Flavin Insurance. Our independent agents are well-versed in coastal home insurance, and we’ll make sure your place is well protected.