Lake Estate program can protect your waterfront assets

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Summer means lots of time spent on the 11,000+ lakes we have here in Michigan. Lakefront living offers one of the best and most relaxing lifestyles that Michigan offers. And just as it offers special benefits and rewards, it also comes with special needs that are more involved than insuring a typical inland home. And that’s where the Lake Estate program comes in.

In addition to standard home insurance, homes on the lake need special insurance that you need to consider. This is why it is important to speak with the Doug Browne Agency, where we specialize in lakefront home insurance.

Things to consider when owning a lake estate home

Lakefront homes pose a higher risk than inland homes for injury and liability. Water sports on the lake, swimming and playing on the shoreline, and entertaining guests all present a multitude of ways for injuries and accidents to occur. The Lake Estate policy carries additional liability insurance beyond a normal homeowners policy.

And what about that new boat you just purchased? In your excitement to get it on the water, did you remember to insure it properly? With the Lake Estate policy, there’s liability protection for most watercraft up to 250 horsepower automatically included in the policy. In addition, we provide $5,000 of blanket physical damage coverage instead of the $1,000 or so that a normal homeowners policy provides.

Consider as well some of your other toys and items you need to insure. Water trampolines and slides, water rafts, removable docks and decks, even portable boat hoists all can be insured on the Lake Estate policy at minimal cost, and with a lower deductible than the main policy.

And what about that golf cart? Chances are you don’t have adequate liability coverage on it once it leaves your property. Again, the Lake Estate program automatically includes that coverage when the golf cart is used within your neighborhood association. And with a simple endorsement, we can insure the liability wherever you drive it. Something to consider as your teenager heads out the door with the keys!

Now let’s get down to the brass tacks. What if a serious accident or loss occurred, like the loss of your home? Ever seen an engineered septic field? Ever priced one out? Then you know that the cost is several times that of a regular septic field. If you lost your home in a fire and had to rebuild, you’d probably need to engineer your new septic, as did one of my clients on Lake Neva in White Lake. Here again, the Lake Estate policy covers these types of catastrophic situations. It carries a unique feature called Ordinance and Law, that provides tens of thousands of dollars more coverage if you need it.

Another type of insurance you need is umbrella coverage. Umbrella coverage helps to cover additional costs if your regular liability insurance reaches its limit. Not only do lakefront homes carry additional risk, lakefront homeowners have more money to protect. Umbrellas are available for $1MM, $2MM or more depending on how much you feel you need.

Lake Estate homes need additional insurance that homes away from water do not need. The best way to protect yourself is to speak with an insurance agent specializing in lakefront homes.

Doug Browne, owner of the Doug Browne Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, can be contacted at 248-486-1831 or

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