When your vacation, business, or personal travel requires use of a rental car, you may wonder about insurance protection. Is it necessary to purchase the optional coverage offered by rental car companies? What about the automatic coverage now provided by some credit cards? What protection will your personal auto policy provide? Watch this video from our friends at Central Insurance for answers to these and more questions about Rental Car Coverage.
Spring is finally here, and you’re cleaning out your garage and getting out of the house as much as you can. But as you take out your all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), golf carts, boats, recreational vehicles (RVs) and more, grab your insurance policy, dust it off and make sure your summer toys are covered. More than likely, they’re not.
Depending on how you utilize these vehicles, your claim will be denied — accidentally exposing your personal assets to lawsuits — unless you schedule them properly or obtain additional coverage.
Why aren’t ATVs, golf carts or other off-road vehicles included in the personal insurance you already own?
Your policy covers ATVs or golf carts when you stay on your own property and your family drives or rides on them — that’s it.
As soon as you go on the road, head over to the neighbors, load up the ATV to take it camping or allow someone else on the vehicle, you need to buy and list coverage for that specific unit on your policy.
Not only are you covered if the vehicle is damaged, but you also have bodily injury coverage. This is in case you hit somebody or someone riding on it falls off and hits his or her head, resulting in a lawsuit.
You might also need to buy coverage for your kids’ toys, such as motorized John Deere gators. If you know your kids’ friends will use it or they are going to drive over to the neighbor’s yard, you should pay a small fee each year to have it covered.
What does it cost to get coverage?
It’s not a huge amount of premium dollars but it can create a world of trouble if you don’t talk to your agent.
He or she can explain the benefits and where a particular item would best be covered, but you’ve got to have the conversation first. For example, a gator licensed for road use, even though it doesn’t go over 25 mph, could be put on either a homeowners or auto policy.
If it’s so simple, how does it get overlooked?
Your agent may have had a good idea of what you owned when they first insured you, but since then you probably have purchased, sold and gotten rid of a variety of things. It’s time to bring your agent up to speed on the toys you have now, and who plays with them and where.
When are people denied coverage with their sports cars?
Those who own Porsches, Corvettes or Ferraris often drive those cars on racetracks, perhaps on a track at a driving school.
These drivers think they are covered if they wreck their car, but nine out of 10 personal auto policies have a specific exclusion in the language that says, ‘We will not cover anyone who is driving — and they list it out — if they are racing, preparing for a race, practicing, qualifying, doing speed contests or demolition derbies.’
Some policies will go as far as stating that if you’re within a racing facility or compound, you’re excluded. There are, however, a few insurance companies who cover track driving at a school. Make sure to discuss this with your agent to confirm if you have coverage or not, prior to attending the driving school.
What’s the necessary coverage for watercraft, motorcycles or RVs?
Watercraft like motorboats, personal watercraft or pontoon boats are placed under a marine liability policy. RVs, motorcycles and summer cars require a separate auto policy specialized for unique autos.
In some cases, these items can be added to your current home policy as an endorsement. But again, the most important thing is to disclose that you have them.
So, as you’re doing spring-cleaning with your house and cars, look at your policy and look in the garage. What toys do you have out there?