Insurance Tips for Summer

May 5, 2017

"There 'aint no cure for the summertime blues!" Summertime brings a host of activities, most having to do with vacations and fun in the sun. Here is a list of common summertime activities, and some insurance implications that you should know about so you don’t end up with a case of the summertime blues.

Rental Cars: Your personal automobile policy automatically provides liability coverage for your use of a rental car when you are travelling away from home. If you have physical damage coverage on your auto policy, that coverage also extends to the rental car, subject to your deductible. Still, you should consider buying the physical damage coverage the rental car company offers, because they could hold you responsible for some costs that your auto policy does not cover, such as loss or rental income while the car you damaged is being fixed.

Rental Watercraft: Many folks rent a boat or personal watercraft for a summer day on the water. There are strict limitations on the personal liability coverage of your homeowners policy when it comes to watercraft. First, your homeowners liability will cover you for the use of a rental watercraft, as long as it is not an inboard or inboard-outdrive, and as long as it is less than 50 horsepower. You also have liability coverage for a rental sailboat as long as it is not over 26 feet. Personal watercraft like wave-runners and jet-skis are popular rental items, but beware. Almost all models of personal watercraft are propelled by inboard engines of over 50 horsepower, so your homeowners liability will not provide coverage.

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs): ATVs have become very popular in recent years. Many outdoor enthusiasts own an ATV, and many rental ATV businesses have sprouted up near trail systems First, if you own an ATV, liability coverage only applies on your residence premises. As soon as you trailer your ATV away from home, liability coverage is extremely limited. And physical damage coverage only applies if the ATV is used as a “service vehicle”, or to assist the handicapped. The answer to this situation is to purchase a separate ATV policy, which provides liability and optional physical damage, similar to an automobile policy.

If you rent an ATV away from home, most homeowners policies provide liability for the use of the ATV.

Weddings: Summer is a popular time for weddings, which pose some hazards both for personal property and liability. The good news is a standard homeowners policy provides coverage for weddings, both at home or at rented facilities, with some limitations. First, the personal property coverage on the homeowners policy picks up coverage for wedding gifts, but coverage limitations apply for theft of jewelry, silverware, etc. Typical bodily injury claims, such as slip and falls, are covered by the homeowners policy, both at home or at a rented premises as well. Some wedding facilities require you to list them as “additional insured” on your homeowners policy. Most insurance companies will not agree to do this. The best way to handle this situation is to purchase a separate wedding insurance policy. There are several different companies that offer special wedding insurance, and the coverage is typically very broad, and the prices are relatively reasonable.

Make sure you don’t suffer a loss that is not covered by insurance! Contact us to inquire about coverage for a wedding, a rental car or boat, or any other summertime activities! 800-360-3000

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