As the summer season approaches, your plans are likely to include more entertaining, travel and outdoor excursions. Sunshine may help you relax and recharge, but before engaging in some recreational activities, you should reevaluate your insurance risks and needs. These tips from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can help make sure you are protected while you enjoy summer fun.
Pools and Trampolines
Before inviting friends and family over to enjoy your pool or trampoline, know that either may increase your insurance risk. Consider purchasing an umbrella policy in addition to your homeowners insurance to increase your liability coverage. However, because pools and trampolines can be dangerous, some companies may not insure your property if you own them, or there may be policy exclusions for liability for related injuries. An insurance company may also deny coverage or cancel your policy if you do not follow the policy’s safety guidelines or fail to inform them when you build a pool or purchase a trampoline. Check with your insurance provider for rates, discounts and safety guidelines (such as installing a fence or locked gate). If you lease a property with a pool, discuss your insurance options with your agent or insurance company.
A boat insurance policy provides liability coverage if someone is injured on your boat. It also covers bodily injury inflicted on others and property damage to your boat. These policies may be suspended during the months your boat is not in use. Read your policy carefully and speak to your agent as some watercraft policies have minimum or fully earned premiums associated with them.
There are three types of boat insurance loss settlement provisions for damages to your boat:
- Actual cash value (ACV) or market value: Your insurer will reimburse you for the current value of the boat, minus your deductible, if you experience a total loss. For a partial loss, the insurer will pay for the depreciated value of lost or damaged items, minus your deductible.
- Agreed amount value: You and your insurer have agreed upon a value of your boat at the time you purchase the policy. This is the amount you will be paid if you experience a total loss, minus your deductible. Damage from a partial loss is paid on a replacement cost basis, minus your deductible. In other words, no depreciation is taken on a partial loss.
- Replacement cost coverage: In the event of a total loss, your insurer will pay to replace your boat with one that is as similar to your boat as possible.
The personal property coverage of your homeowners policy may cover a small boat for $1,500 or less in physical damage. However, coverage for your liability risk is limited. A large boat will be excluded from your homeowners policy for property and liability coverage. Personal watercrafts, such as jet skis, often require a separate policy that may be offered by your homeowners’ insurer. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase a policy from an insurer that specializes in boat insurance. Talk with your insurance agent and get quotes from other companies to understand your options.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
ATVs are not covered by standard automobile insurance policies, but your homeowners policy may partially cover liability. Ask your agent if you have sufficient coverage on your homeowners policy. If you do not, you should consider a separate ATV policy. Ask your provider about age restrictions regarding who may operate the ATV or if the policy covers friends and family. Make sure you have the right coverage for your situation and intended use.
Whether you’re leaving home for a weekend getaway or a long road trip, be aware of what your homeowners or renter’s policy will cover while you’re gone. Typically, your homeowners insurance will follow you, protecting you even while you’re not at home. Off-premises’ coverage means your belongings are covered anywhere in the world. If you’re staying at a hotel and your belongings are stolen, your homeowners policy will provide coverage but the exact coverage depends on your policy. In addition to your deductible, items will typically have a limit on things like jewelry and furs. If you’re traveling with high-priced items, it’s a good idea to get separate insurance coverage for these items. Contact your agent or insurance company to find out what’s covered under your policy.
Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners