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Are Golf Carts, ATVs and Other Vehicles Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

DHB Insurance | June 2011

There is an easy test to see if your self propelled vehicle is covered on your homeowners policy. Are you having fun? If so, its not covered. Well, that isn't exactly the case, but the protection provided by your homeowners policy is very limited.

Golf Carts and Homeowners Insurance

Property Coverage:

You have property coverage for owned "motor vehicles" that are not required to be registered for use on public roads or are either used to service an insured's premises or designed to assist the handicapped. If your home were damaged in a fire, your riding lawn mower and electric wheel chair would be covered. It leaves a big gap for many other vehicles.

Liability Coverage:

You have liability coverage for the same types of vehicles covered by your property insurance. Coverage for your liability from using any other vehicle is going to be limited. Liability arising out of the use of vehicles designed for use off public roads (ATVs, Power Wheels, Dirt Bikes, Go Carts) is covered as long as the vehicle is being used on an insured location. Your liability coverage ends at your property line. If you live in Raleigh and have a half acre lot, this is going to make for a disappointing afternoon on your ATV. Golf Carts get a little broader coverage and their liability coverage is extended to include their use on golf courses and in private residential communities that allow golf carts.

How to I get coverage?

Many of these issues can be resolved by adding the vehicle to your auto policy or with an endorsement to your homeowners policy. If you have an exposure, give us a call and we can discuss the best way to handle it.

Storage for Autos

If one of your cars isn't listed on your auto policy, you only have liability coverage on your homeowners policy if the vehicle is in "dead storage" on an insured location. There is no coverage for physical damage.

Exactly what "dead storage" means has been debated in the courts. In one fairly recent case, a prospective buyer asked an owner to start a vehicle that was up for sale. The owner's foot slipped off the clutch and pinned the buyer against the vehicle in front of them. The insurance company denied coverage and the courts upheld the decision. If you can start the car, it isn't in dead storage.

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