01 Jun Insurance Talk — Insuring Your Toys and Recreational Vehicles
Rex and Cheri have the answers. Listen here.
Insurance Talk — Insuring Your Toys and Recreational Vehicles
Cheri Martinen – You are listening to Insurance Talk with Cheri Martinen, and I have a very special guest in the studio today, Mary Griffith. She is our newest personal lines agent at Bancorp Insurance and we are so happy to have her here today. But you might’ve already met Mary, maybe in the office if you needed something changed on your auto policy, or you came in to make a payment, she would be our go-to girl for that. And you might’ve met her on the phone. She also is probably Steve’s right-hand lady answering all of the questions he can’t because he’s already on the phone. So today I have Mary in the studio and we’re talking about our toys, right?
What are Toys?
Mary Griffith – Yes. I have two topics I want to discuss today. The first one is the importance of insuring your toys and your recreational vehicles.
CM – And so we just say toys, but what are toys?
MG – Toys can be anything from boats, travel trailers, snowmobiles, motorized scooters, dirt bikes, ATVs, all that fun stuff.
CM – So the things that we keep in our garage, pretty much, all the fun stuff.
MG – A lot of times, people will think that that kind of stuff is covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy and that is incorrect. So with that being said, we usually recommend having a separate policy for these toys.
Insurance for Toys and Recreational Vehicles
CM – Do you have to have one policy and say you have everything on it? Or is it like each toy has its own policy?
MG – It would be based on the type of toys. So if it’s an ATV and you have two or three ATVs, they can be on the same policy, but that’s all that would be on that policy. If you have a motorhome, it’s not going to go on your ATV policy, but it would be on its own separate policy. So depending on the type of toy, it would have its own policy. Like I was saying a lot of people think that they’re covered under the homeowner’s policy because they’re in the garage or in an outbuilding, but that is incorrect. Most homeowner’s policies won’t cover theft or damage to these items. And they’ll actually exclude any personal property that has a motor and wheels unless it is a vehicle solely used for the purpose of maintaining the covered property.
CM – And we’ve talked about this, but like lawnmowers, that’s classic. Right?
MG – Right, so that would be covered if it’s in your garage because like I said, that’s used for maintaining the property. CM – And I think another one that we get questions on is snowblowers because in our neck of the woods, you’ve got the lawnmower for the summer and you’ve got snowblowers for the winter.
MG – Yes. Again, that’s something that would possibly be covered under the homeowner’s policy. But say you have a boat in the garage, I get this a lot. I’ll ask somebody, ‘Do you have a boat policy?’ And their first response is, ‘No, but it’s covered under my homeowner’s policy. I keep it in the garage,’ and that’s very incorrect.
Boat Insurance Policies
CM – So let’s just say I had a boat and it was in my garage right now, and it’s winter and so I’m not using it so I don’t have my boat policy on it. It’s not covered.
MG – It is not covered. Some companies will cover for theft of the boat but only up to $1,500 to $2,500, and that’s for theft only. So if your garage were to collapse, say we had a major snow and your garage were to collapse over the winter and completely demolish the boat, you would not be covered. You would just lose out on that boat, sadly. And so for that reason, we do recommend having a separate boat policy. It’s very important.
CM – Are these expensive policies? Is this something that I really have to worry about for my budget?
MG – No, the premium on these items is usually a small fraction of the amount a person would have to pay out of pocket if there were a total loss to one of those items. And you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars on a boat and you can more than likely get a yearly premium for just a couple to a few hundred dollars.
Liability Insurance for Toys and Recreational Vehicles
CM – That’s not bad. And same with ATVs and stuff like that. I think side-by-sides are really popular right now. And mainly you think of theft for those, but really they could be damaged in a snow collapse just the same. We live in Central Oregon, it happens all the time, so it’s very important to have your own coverage on these vehicles. And we’ve really just been talking about the physical damage on these, but there’s other coverage as well. I think of snowmobiling. Sometimes someone might say, ‘Hey, join me for snowmobiling.’ And then they’ve got somebody on their snowmobile, or they’re a passenger with them.
MG – Yes, not only is the physical damage coverage important, but liability is a big thing. If you have people with you and somebody is hurt, it could cost a lot of money out of pocket to pay for this person’s injuries. And with that being said, a lot of these policies for these toys offer certain things that could help in these circumstances. For example, with a motorhome policy, you can add vacation liability. Say Joe from the campsite next door comes over and he’s in your motorhome, and as he’s walking out the door he trips and falls and lands on his head. That is where the vacation liability would kick in and pay for the injuries that happened to Joe because he was over in your campsite.
CM – And you could actually not even use Joe for this. I think Rex actually did this with one of our friend’s RVs. Don’t wear flip-flops and go downstairs. It was a pretty good fall. Good example, this is real life. My example was something that actually happened and it happens all the time.
MG – So that’s an example of a coverage that comes along with a motorhome policy. Another one, like with the boat policy, you’re out on a lake and there’s an accident where there’s fuel that spills out into the lake. Who’s going to clean that up? That’s where your liability from the boat policy would kick in and cover any spillage or debris removal from that lake or wreckage removal. So that’s another important reason why you might want to have a boat policy.
Importance of Separate Policies for Toys
CM – I don’t know actually how much it costs to take gasoline out of a lake, but I’m just guessing it’s expensive. I would rather have an insurance company to help me out with the payments on that. Even if there was a deductible, chances are you’d reach it if there was an accident on this and it would be worth it. So there are many reasons why you want to have your recreational vehicles covered by their own separate policies. And really I would ask your current agent. Like if someone has homeowner’s insurance with Bancorp Insurance or with us, ask Mary or ask Steve. Ask the agent you work with every day, say, ‘Hey, I just got my new snowmobile. What do I do?’
MG – Yes, for sure. It’s pretty easy for us to get a quote when you call us. Just have the serial number, the VIN number, year, make and model, and probably within 10 minutes we can get you a quote. And like I said, the premium on a policy like that is well worth what you would have to pay out of pocket otherwise.
CM – Get your toy insurance, remember the toys are the fun things: the RVs, the boats, the ATVs, the side-by-sides.
MG – The expensive stuff that you want to have covered.
CM – Yeah, the fun stuff, the snowmobiles, anything that makes you go, ‘Woo!’ when you ride it, or if you might need a helmet, that’s going to be a toy. That’s when you need to talk to your agent. I know you’re excited when you buy them, but you have to get the insurance on them, too. It’s not a bad idea. Call Bancorp Insurance, we are the family-run, family-owned insurance agency out of La Pine, Oregon. We’re here to help you with all of your home and auto as well as toys. Call 1-800-452-6826.