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Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance Policy Information

Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance

Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance. Dock and pier contractors build, maintain, or repair structures on or near a shore to allow watercraft to be accessed for boarding or disembarking passengers or for loading or unloading cargo.

Some also build seawalls, run utility lines that can be accessed by watercraft from the dock, or install boatlifts. Docks and piers are built on pilings that are sunk well-below sea level to provide a solid foundation for construction. At least one end of the dock is secured to the land.

While most docks allow access while the vessel is in the water ("wet docks"), dry docks are used for shipbuilding or to allow vessels to be brought ashore for maintenance and repairs.

Docks or piers may be built of wood, iron or steel, stone, masonry, concrete, or some combination of these materials. The contractor often uses subcontractors for specialty work, including concrete contractors, electricians, excavators, metal fabricators, painters, or wrecking specialists.

In addition, dock and pier contractors are frequently able to take on related marine construction jobs, such as the construction of boat lifts or jet ski lifts. By also managing the building permits and other paperwork, dock and pier contractors can be a delight for clients to work with.

There is no question that dock and pier contractors play a vital role in constructing and maintaining marine infrastructure, but the work they perform can, at times, be obstructed by unforeseen circumstances.

While these businesses are deeply committed to health and safety, risks can never completely be eliminated. That is why it is so important for contracting firms in this industry to arm themselves with an dock and pier contractors insurance plan - but what types of coverage should these companies carry? Read on to discover more.

Dock and pier contractors insurance protects your construction business from lawsuits with rates as low as $87/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Below are some answers to commonly asked dock and pier construction insurance questions:

What Is Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance?

Dock and pier contractors insurance is a specialized type of liability insurance designed for companies that construct and repair docks, piers, and marinas.

This insurance protects these companies from financial losses due to lawsuits or claims arising from accidents or injuries that occur on the construction site or from a defective product. It covers damages or losses due to property damage, bodily injury, and third-party property damage. Additionally, this insurance covers the cost of legal defense in the event of a lawsuit.

This type of insurance is essential for companies involved in the construction and repair of docks and piers, as it provides financial protection against potential losses from accidents or lawsuits.

How Much Does Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance Cost?

The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small dock and pier contractors ranges from $87 to $119 per month based on location, size, revenue, claims history and more.

Why Do Dock And Pier Contractors Need Insurance?


Dock and pier contractors should make insurance a top priority for three reasons. Certain types of insurance are legally required and lenders will require proof of insurance before they offer you a business loan, and carrying the right insurance is the best way to protect your financial health even in the event of a major peril.

Like any other business, dock and pier contractors can be impacted by acts of nature as diverse as serious floods and storms, earthquakes, and wildfires. Theft, vandalism, and accidents that cause damage to your commercial property represent three additional threats. All these perils have the potential to cause devastating financial losses, both in the form of repair and replacement costs and prolonged business interruptions, unless you are properly insured.

An employee could suffer a work-related injury, a client could accuse your company of performing negligent work, or you may accidentally damage property belonging to a third party as your company constructs a dock or pier.

Without dock and pier contractors insurance coverage, the lawsuits that may arise from any of these events can be genuinely ruinous.

By carefully evaluating their risk profile and partnering with an insurer who understands the marine sector, businesses in this industry will be able to protect themselves from financial losses even if they were to be impacted by a disastrous event.

What Type Of Insurance Do Dock And Pier Contractors Need?

There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a universal pier and dock contractors' insurance plan that will meet the needs of all companies in this branch of commerce.

Each business is unique, after all, and factors that range from the size of your operation to the value of your equipment, and from how many employees you have to the jurisdiction in which your business is based, all have an impact on your insurance needs.

For this reason, it is vital to discuss all your questions with a skilled commercial insurance broker who is familiar with your company. Having said that, the key types of dock and pier contractors insurance that are needed include:

  • Commercial Property - Should your office premises or storage facilities be impacted by perils such as acts of nature, vandalism, and theft, this form of insurance will cover your physical building as well as many of the contents.
  • Commercial General Liability - Were a third party to be injured on your premises or as a result of your company's activities, costly lawsuits may arise. The same holds true if your company were to cause damage to third party property. Commercial general liability insurance is essential in helping you cover the associated legal expenses.
  • Professional Liability - This type of dock and pier contractors insurance instead pertains to the work you provide. Whether you are sued for breach of contract or accused of professional negligence, these policies, which are also known as errors and omissions insurance, cover a large portion of your legal costs.
  • Workers' Compensation - Construction workers, in any sector, face a relatively high risk of occupational injury. Should one of your employees suffer a work-related injury, this type of insurance will pay their medical bills and also cover any income they may lose.

While these types of dock and pier contractors insurance are essential in protecting against financial loss, your company may also benefit from additional forms of coverage. To find out more, consult an experienced commercial insurance broker who specializes in the marine sector.

Dock And Pier Contractors' Risks & Exposures

Boat Dock

Premises liability exposures at the contractor's office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Outdoor storage may present vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards. Off-site exposures are extensive. Digging and other operations pose numerous hazards, especially if the contractor exercises inadequate control of the area. There must be barriers in place to protect against unauthorized access.

The public or employees of other contractors can be injured due to trips and falls over debris, equipment, or uneven terrain, be struck by falling objects, or drown. Dock or pier construction can result in damage to underground lines or pipes, disrupting operations of neighboring properties. Improper signage or barricading could result in a vehicle or watercraft collision and loss of life.

Welding of steel parts poses a fire or explosion hazard to neighboring structures. Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it.

Equipment and piles of rubble at job sites present attractive nuisance hazards. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it.

Security guards should be provided as necessary. The use of subcontractors as well as any contractual liability exposures should be examined.

Personal injury exposures include assault and battery and invasion of privacy. Background checks should be conducted for any employee who will have regular contact with customers.

Completed operations liability exposure can be severe should a dock or pier collapse due to the number of people who could be injured or killed and the potential for damage to the property of others. The competence of the designer and engineer, the quality of materials, and the integrity of the completed structure are all critical.

The absence of an aggressive quality control program that documents full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications may indicate a morale hazard and make it impossible to defend against serious claims. Any changes made by the engineers and carried through in the design must be noted prior to implementation. Hazards may increase in the absence of proper record keeping of work orders and change orders, as well as inspection and signed approval of finished work by the customer.

The size and type of jobs previously completed will give a good indication of the jobs that will be sought in the future.

Environmental impairment exposure is moderate from the placement and construction of pilings due to the potential for air, land, and water pollution. Spillage or leakage of pollutants can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Spills must be controlled. Operations can disturb aquatic life or result in claims or noise pollution by neighboring properties. The contractor must comply with all federal, state, and municipal requirements.

Professional liability exposures can be severe from the design of the project and the interpretation of specifications by the contractor's engineers. The exposure increases if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employee's education and training, permit other workers to do tasks that only professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.

Collapses are rare but can be catastrophic. Other factors must be taken into account, including seabed conditions for pilings, historic flood and tide levels, proximity to seismic activity, and especially wind shear. Designs for docks and piers should be submitted to wind tunnel testing.

Many contractors have engineers that will do incidental draft work, such as water drainage channels.

Ocean marine hull and protection and indemnity exposures are from watercraft being used to access the pilings and underside of docks and piers. The size of the vessel, the equipment used, and the distance the craft travels from shore impact the potential severity of loss. Hull coverage is needed as watercraft used for dock or pier work are ineligible for coverage under standard watercraft policies.

These may be damaged by fire, sea or weather conditions, sinking, stranding, or collision with stationary objects or other watercraft. Regular maintenance of the vessel and all equipment must be documented. Protection and indemnity exposures include bodily injury and property damage caused by the vessel. The captain and crew must be trained in navigating the construction area and must have the needed tools to prevent contact with other fixed objects such as piers, bridges, docks, and other vessels.

Injury to the crew and captain may be considered an ocean marine exposure instead of a workers compensation exposure because of the Jones Act. In addition, workers not members of the crew who are injured while building structures on a waterway may try to claim the higher benefits provided under the U.S. Longshore and Harborworkers Act.

Safety equipment, including personal flotation devices (PFDs), should be appropriate for the job.

Workers compensation exposures is severe due to the potential for back injuries, crushing, suffocation, or drowning at any phase of the operations. Sudden changes in wind or weather can make work less safe. Serious injuries may arise from work with hand tools, large, heavy machinery, or from the carelessness of fellow employees.

Common hazards include slips and falls, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, cuts or puncture wounds, bites from insects or vermin, temperature extremes, auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites, being hit by falling objects, striking objects or utilities, collapse of retaining or holding walls, mudslides or landslides, or exposure to pollutants.

The absence of good maintenance, proper use of basic safety equipment, such as properly installed guards, steel-toed shoes, and eye protection, and strict enforcement of safety practices may indicate a morale hazard. U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers coverage may be required. As operations are often conducted in remote areas, it may be difficult to transport an injured worker to a medical facility to receive prompt treatment.

Property exposures at the contractor's own premises are generally limited to those of an office and storage of equipment and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems.

If fabrication and repair work on vehicles and equipment, which may include cutting or welding, is done inside the building, the potential for fire or explosion increases due to sparks and flames produced by these processes and the presence of flammables including fuels and lubricants. These must be properly labeled and stored away from combustibles. Welding involves the use of tanks of gases that must be stored and handled properly to avoid loss.

There should be basic controls such as chained storage in a cool area and the separation of welding from other operations away from combustibles, either in a separate room or with flash/welding curtains. Equipment and supplies stored in the yard are subject to loss by wind, vandalism, and theft.

Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, computers, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for customers', regulators', and suppliers' information. Backup copies of all data should be stored off premises.

Construction equipment is heavy and difficult to transport without adequate loading, tie-down and unloading procedures. Equipment may be damaged by exceeding its load capacity, striking underground objects or utilities, sinking, or bursting into fire from overload. Equipment may be subject to changes in the weather, water hazards, drop and fall from heights, being struck by vehicles or watercraft, or colliding with land structures.

Equipment left at jobsites can be targets for theft and vandalism unless proper controls are place. Equipment should be secured and rendered inoperable when not in use. Jobs may involve placement of large precast concrete supports manufactured off site and transported to the jobsite. These may be lifted up onto pylons or other types of foundation with a crane.

Instability of the load can damage both the crane and the building materials. The insured may rent or lease cranes from others, with or without operators. For work over water, the insured may hire barges, which are unstable and could collapse from overload or list and drop equipment into the water.

Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted prior to hiring any employee. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. All items should be physically inventoried on a regular basis.

Business exposures can be high due to the transport of oversize machinery and equipment. Special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts, and hoists may be awkward and require special handling and tie-down procedures. Drivers should be properly trained to prevent overturn and to navigate through high traffic areas.

Roads near waterfronts may be narrow and the ground uneven, increasing the risk of collision and upset losses. Serious property damage or injury to passing pedestrians or motorists or to employees of other contractors can arise during loading and unloading of equipment and materials. Long drives with oversized equipment may lead to driver fatigue.

For long-term projects away from home base, personal use of company vehicles poses a concern. Similarly, employees may use their own vehicles on company business for long periods, especially to transport crews to the jobsite.

All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be maintained, and the records kept in a central location.

What Does Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance Cover & Pay For?

Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance Claim Form

Dock and pier contractors can be sued for various reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Personal injury: If a person gets injured while on a dock or pier that the contractor built, they can sue the contractor for their injuries. For example, if someone slips and falls on a wet dock surface, they may sue the contractor for negligence.
  • Property damage: If a contractor damages a boat or other property while building or repairing a dock or pier, they can be sued for the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Breach of contract: If the contractor fails to deliver the promised work or does not complete the job on time, the client may sue for breach of contract.
  • Design defects: If the dock or pier collapses due to design flaws or faulty construction, the contractor may be sued for damages.

Insurance can help protect dock and pier contractors from the financial consequences of these types of lawsuits. For example:

General liability insurance: This type of insurance can cover the cost of lawsuits arising from personal injury or property damage claims. If a person sues the contractor for slipping and falling on a dock they built, the general liability insurance policy can help pay for legal fees and damages awarded.

Professional liability insurance: This type of insurance can protect contractors from lawsuits related to errors or omissions in their work. If a client sues a contractor for a design flaw or other professional mistake, professional liability insurance can help pay for legal fees and damages awarded.

Contractual liability insurance: This type of insurance can cover the cost of lawsuits related to breach of contract claims. If a contractor fails to deliver the promised work or complete the job on time, the client may sue for damages. Contractual liability insurance can help pay for legal fees and damages awarded.

Builder's risk insurance: This type of insurance can cover the cost of repairs or replacement of damaged property due to a construction-related incident. If a contractor damages a boat or other property while building or repairing a dock or pier, builder's risk insurance can help pay for the cost of repairs or replacement.

In summary, insurance can protect dock and pier contractors from the financial consequences of various types of lawsuits. Depending on the type of policy, insurance can help pay for legal fees, damages awarded, and other costs associated with defending against a lawsuit.

Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification

Description for 1629: Heavy Construction, Not Elsewhere Classified

Division C: Construction | Major Group 16: Heavy Construction Other Than Building Construction Contractors | Industry Group 162: Heavy Construction, Except Highway And Street

1629 Heavy Construction, Not Elsewhere Classified: General and special trade contractors primarily engaged in the construction of heavy projects, not elsewhere classified.

  • Athletic field construction
  • Blasting, except building demolition-contractors
  • Breakwater construction
  • Bridle path construction
  • Brush clearing or cutting-contractors
  • Caisson drilling-contractors
  • Canal construction
  • Central station construction
  • Channel construction
  • Channel cutoff construction
  • Chemical complex or facilities construction
  • Clearing of land
  • Cofferdam construction
  • Coke oven construction
  • Cutting right-of-way
  • Dam construction
  • Dike construction
  • Discharging station construction, mine
  • Dock construction
  • Drainage project construction
  • Dredging
  • Earth moving, not connected with building construction-general
  • Flood control project construction
  • Furnace construction for industrial plants
  • Golf course construction
  • Harbor construction
  • Hydroelectric plant construction
  • Industrial incinerator construction
  • Industrial plant appurtenance construction
  • Irrigation projects construction
  • Jetty construction
  • Kiln construction
  • Land clearing-contractors
  • Land drainage-contractors
  • Land leveling (irrigation)-contractors
  • Land reclamation-contractors
  • Levee construction
  • Light and power plant construction
  • Loading station construction, mine
  • Lock and waterway construction
  • Marine construction
  • Mine loading and discharging station construction
  • Mining appurtenance construction
  • Missile facilities construction
  • Nuclear reactor containment structure construction
  • Oil refinery construction
  • Oven construction for industrial plants
  • Oven construction, bakers'
  • Petrochemical plant construction
  • Petroleum refinery construction
  • Pier construction
  • Pile driving-contractors
  • Pond construction
  • Power plant construction
  • Railroad construction
  • Railway roadbed construction
  • Reclamation projects construction
  • Reservoir construction
  • Revetment construction
  • Rock removal, underwater-contractors
  • Sewage treatment plant construction
  • Ski tow erection
  • Soil compacting service-contractors
  • Submarine rock removal
  • Subway construction
  • Tennis court construction, outdoor
  • Timber removal, underwater-contractors
  • Tipple construction
  • Trail building
  • Trailer camp construction
  • Trenching-contractors
  • Washeries construction, mining
  • Waste disposal plant construction
  • Water power project construction
  • Water treatment plant construction
  • Waterway construction
  • Wharf construction

Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance - The Bottom Line

To learn more about the exact types of dock and pier contractors insurance policies you'll need, what limits to have and the premiums - speak with a reputable agent that is experienced in commercial insurance.

Additional Resources For Marine, Boat And Watercraft Insurance

Learn about marine, boat and watercraft insurance - a specialized form insurance that provides coverage for hull losses, cargo losses as well as liability for passenger injuries, environmental damage, and third-party damage caused by watercraft accidents.

Marine, Boat And Watercraft Insurance

The boat and watercraft industry, like any other industry, needs marine insurance to protect against a range of potential risks and liabilities. These risks can include accidents or injuries on the water, damage to boats or watercraft, and financial losses due to unforeseen circumstances.

One major risk in the boat and watercraft industry is the potential for accidents or injuries on the water. Whether it's a collision with another vessel, a capsizing, or a passenger falling overboard, accidents can happen at any time. Marine insurance can help cover the costs of medical expenses, legal fees, and damages resulting from such accidents, protecting the business from financial ruin.

Another risk is damage to boats or watercraft. Whether it's due to storms, accidents, or wear and tear, damage to these vehicles can be costly to repair or replace. Marine insurance can help cover these costs, ensuring that the business can continue operating without incurring significant financial losses.

In addition to these risks, the boat and watercraft industry is also subject to a range of financial risks, such as lost income due to unforeseen circumstances or damage to business property. Marine insurance can help protect against these risks, ensuring that the business is able to weather any storms and continue operating in the face of unexpected challenges.

Overall, marine insurance is an essential part of running a successful boat and watercraft business. It helps protect against a range of risks and liabilities, ensuring that the business is able to weather any storms and continue operating smoothly.

Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Bailees Customers, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, Ocean Marine – Hull, Ocean Marine – Protection and Indemnity, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto & Workers Compensation.

Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Burglary, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Robbery, Goods in Transit, Signs, Ocean Marine - Hull, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Liquor Liability, Ocean Marine - Protection and Indemnity, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Longshore and Harborworkers Compensation Act and Stop Gap Liability.

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