One of my favorite days each year is the day when it is warm enough to start wearing shorts and sandals. This year that day came a little earlier but I’m not complaining!
With the weather starting to warm up, many of us will start getting out and using our favorite summer time toys – pools, boats, golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles, motor homes and trampolines. And if we don’t own one of these toys, we will probably rent one.
However, are the toys you own or rent properly covered on your personal insurance policies? In some cases the answer is “yes”, but, all too often the answer is “no”. Let’s look at how the Insurance Standard Office (ISO) homeowner and personal auto policies handles coverage on our toys. Note that these provisions are not the same in all insurance company policies and you should always consult with your agent to understand how your policies apply.
Most of us who play golf, rent a cart. Any liability arising out of the use of that rented golf cart is covered under both the ISO homeowner and personal auto policies. However, the ISO homeowner policy will only pay up to $1,000 for the damage to the rented golf cart under Section II – Liability Additional Coverage for Damage to Property of Others.
What if you own a golf cart? The ISO homeowner policy provides liability only while it is being used on the golf course or being used within private community where golf carts can legally travel. Otherwise, there is no liability under the ISO homeowner policy. There is no coverage for damage to the golf cart under either the ISO homeowner or personal auto policy. Thus, if you own a golf cart and are using it to drive to and from the golf course and you want physical damage coverage, your best bet is to get a specific Recreational Vehicle policy.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
If you own an ATV, the ISO homeowner and personal auto policy provide no liability or physical damage coverage. Thus, you need to have a Recreational Vehicle policy. They are usually inexpensive to give you liability coverage equal to your homeowner and auto policies.
If you rent or borrow an ATV, the ISO homeowner policy will cover your liability and if the ATV is not subject to registration, it will pay up to $1,000 for damage to the ATV.
If you own one, you need a motorcycle policy because it is specifically excluded on the ISO homeowner and auto policy.
How about if I rent or borrow a motorcycle? No luck here either. You will need to buy the optional insurance from the rental company or make sure the friend you borrow it from has insurance. Otherwise, you are literally riding around uninsured!
If you own a motor home, many insurance companies will add it to your personal auto policy and insure it the same as your other covered autos.
If the motor home is rented or borrowed, the ISO personal auto policy provides liability coverage but no physical damage. Thus, you should purchase the physical damage insurance from the rental company or make sure your friend who you borrow it from has their own coverage with physical damage.
Boats and Jet Skis
The ISO homeowner policy will provide liability for smaller owned boats (out board motors 25 horsepower or less) and $1,500 for damage to the owned boat if caused by a covered peril. However, sinking and banging into a dock are not covered perils under the ISO homeowner policy and it best to get a separate boat policy.
How about renting a boat or jet ski at the beach or lake? The ISO homeowner policy excludes any rented watercraft over 50 horsepower if powered by an inboard or inboard-outboard motor, including a jet ski with water jet pump. Thus, get the insurance from the rental company.
However, if you borrow the same boat or jet ski you should have liability coverage under the ISO homeowner policy.
Pools, Trampolines, Etc
Yes you are covered for liability under the ISO homeowner policy, however, you if you have any of these “attractive nuisances” you still need an additional umbrella liability policy. Let’s face it, these things attract kids and anything can happen.
Remember, we are all about having fun in the sun but just make sure that fun doesn’t come at a risk of not having the right insurance.
This document is not a legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. The intent of this document is to provide a general background regarding the topics discussed, not to provide legal advice. Consumers should consult their agent regarding specific situations and questions with respect to topics covered in this document. Baron Insurance Group Inc shall be responsible for any errors or omissions regarding any statements made in this document, nor any errors or omissions regarding statues, regulations, court rules, and/or any other government documents cited in this document.