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A Dockominums (Boataminium or similarly denominated facility) is created when a marina or any developer attempts to sell individual boat slips to individual owners, giving the owners condominium-style rights in the boat slips if allowed by applicable law. The legal foundation for a dockominium are the riparian rights held by upland owners. What this means is that the owner of the specific dock, slip or boat house has to have some connection to the shore.
Several issues should be considered when insuring a dockominium:
First, you should not issue coverage on a dockominium if it is prohibited by state law. Dockominiums are not prohibited by Texas law.
When insuring a dockominium, a policy exception should be taken as follows:
Navigable servitude of the US Government. State of Texas or any political subdivision thereof and rights of the public to the use of any navigable waters covering any land included in the description of the insured premises.
NOTE in Texas: Unless the lake is operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers or the dockominium is located on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, you may delete the US government from the exception.
Typically, the waters on which the dockominium is created is subject to the sovereign’s right to regulate waterways. Therefore, the dockominium will be granted and will exist by virtue of a license or permit from a government agency or agencies. The licensing entity may be the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a state agency, or a state environmental agency or coastal management agency. Exception should be taken as follows: NOTE : this would also mean the LCRA or in the case of a lake managed/owned by a city, the city will grant an easement.
The terms and conditions of all permits and licenses issued by federal, state, and local governments, their respective agencies, and quasi-governmental or private agencies having jurisdiction over the Project, including the US Army Corps of Engineers, the state of ________and the City of ________.
Additionally, the documents creating the dockominium regime should be reviewed for compliance with the state condominium statutes. Often, the state statutes will require the existence of a building and have no provision for creating a condominium on an open area over water. In that case, an arrangement may be made for the owner of the dockominium to take title to a “locker”, a storage space, located on the upland. The boat slip will be a limited common area attached to the locker.
NOTE : We would require evidence that the dock is affixed to the shore and doesn’t entirely float.
Additionally, in Texas such floating docks generally occur on constant level lakes. So, 2 additional matters need to be excepted:
Note ( not for inclusion in the policy) This means that as the level of the lake rises and lowers the dock essentially goes in and out from the shore and where it is at any one time is not a covered matter.
Company Policy requires approval from a Stewart Underwriter before issuing on Dockominiums.