Big Boy Toys and Auto Insurance
Someone once said that boys never give up their toys when they get older. They just get bigger and more expensive! Boats, jet-skis, motorcycles, dirt bikes, and ATVs are all vehicles, but are not all treated the same way when it comes to insurance. Here is a quick rundown on what you need to know about these various “toys” and how to insure them.
Motorcycles are treated much like automobiles when it comes to insurance. Every state, except New Hampshire, requires liability insurance on motorcycles driven on the highways. State minimums are stated in three numerals, for example, 25/50/10. In this example, it would reference $25,000 bodily injury protection per person, $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident and $10,000 property damage liability. Motorcycle insurance is generally much less expensive than automobile insurance especially in cold weather states where bikes may be stored seasonally. If you have a loan on your motorcycle, it is likely your lender will require full coverage.
If you have a canoe or a non-engine powered watercraft, it is likely covered by your homeowners insurance. For powered boats, however, you will want additional coverage under your homeowners’ insurance policy. At the very least, you will want sufficient protection should your boat be involved in an accident that causes injuries or property damage. If you have financed your boat, your lender may require full coverage.
Sold under brand names like WaveRunner, SeaDoo and Jet-Ski, these powered personal watercraft should be insured beyond the minimal coverage that may be provided by automobile or homeowners’ insurance. Separate coverage will help make sure you are sufficiently protected for injuries or property damage that may occur during usage.
ATVs and Dirt Bikes
Some states require insurance on these vehicles if they are used on public lands but may waive the requirement if only used on private property. Some homeowners insurance policies may also provide some minimum coverage. You should contact your insurance agent when considering the purchase of a dirt bike or ATV.
It may also be helpful to know that these vehicles may be at least partially covered by your automobile insurance while they are being towed. It is when they are independently operated you may have bigger concerns. Feel free to contact your independent insurance agent when considering adding any motorized vehicle to your garage.