New York marina owners face insurance-coverage shortfall

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Marina owners in New York who had reduced coverage to save money in the downturn are going to be hard-pressed to repair their docks by the spring.

Storm-ravaged areas might experience a big dock shortage in the spring as a result of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. That’s according to New York Marine Trades Association director Chris Squeri, who told Soundings Trade Only that many marina owners had high deductibles on their docks.

“Some guys didn’t have dock coverage,” Squeri told Trade Only. “That’s something that’s definitely out there.”

“The problem is, especially in this economic climate, some were looking to save money, so they were saying, ‘We don’t need this and we might not need that,’ ” Squeri said. “I can’t give you examples because I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but there are people out there who have reduced coverage because of the economic climate.”

The destruction was so deep in some areas that boat removal is happening by crane because there is no way to get other equipment into the locations, Squeri said. Five days after Sandy struck, only one boat had been lifted from the water because the destruction was so deep that people were focused on home repair, power and water.

“There’s a ton of bulkhead work to be done,” Squeri said. “There’s a lot of dock work to be done. The question is, who’s going to do it? How are they going to do it? Some of these guys have a $10,000 deductible.”

Squeri said he still spots random boats on people’s lawns, but the area is moving on as best it can.

A friend saw some workers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at lunch and asked, “What’s the difference between Sandy and other national disasters?”

“Without hesitation, they said, ‘New Yorkers aren’t waiting for someone to come rescue them,’ ” Squeri said. “My village, which got hammered, it’s still not normal, but we’re starting to get bits of normalcy back.”

— Reagan Haynes

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