Boat Dock and Animal damage

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Nov 18, 2012

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Insurance Question from Oklahoma City, OK

Asked on 11/18/2012

Boat Dock and Animal damage My boat dock floats, made out of stayer foam, was badly damaged by beavers causing the dock to drop to the point where it's now touching the water. This, of course, accelerated the water damage to the metal (rust.)I checked my insurance and found that there is no exclusion to animal damage, in fact, it is part of the overall comprehensive. The dock is insured as "other structure" to the mobile home (secondary residence.)I have not filed any claims in the past and I'm curious if I should file one for this case. Do you think I should? Any advice? Thank you in advance.

Answer given on November 20, 2012

Based on your description of damage, you should look back at your insurance policy to check for exclusions. Beavers are usually considered vermin or rodents. The standard homeowner policy specifically excludes this type of loss. Since the dock is considered an “other structure” it is subject to the same exclusions as the main structure.Other structures is usually a percentage of the dwelling limit, most often 10% of the dwelling. You can purchase extra coverage for structures. If you have the standard coverage, be sure there is sufficient coverage for the dock.If it turns out there is coverage for the damage caused by the beavers, you need to be sure you want to submit a claim. You need to review your deductible and be sure the loss is sufficient to exceed the deductible. In addition, you could lose your claim free discount, which can be a substantial savings to you.

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