Things to consider for ATVs, boats, and travel trailers
With the longer days and warmer weather, many of you will change gears from snowmobiles, snow skiing, and other winter outdoor activities to ATV’s (OHV’s), boats and personal watercraft, travel trailers, and other related outdoor activities.
It is a good time to assess insurance needs for the personal property you own, rent, or may borrow in your enjoyment of these activities.
Many of you will be transporting three to four ATV’s; or one or two, two-seater type units on a trailer being towed by your SUV or truck. Same thing with your personal watercraft, you are probably towing around significant dollar value units. Unless you have specific coverage for these units, they will not be covered if you are involved in an accident, not to mention the cost of the trailer or other unit you are using to transport the units. Your greatest risk of damage is likely when you have them all loaded up, in tow. It is easy to have $20,000 to $75,000 of property value behind your vehicle.
We suggest you check with your local agent to ensure you have adequate coverage for the risk exposures you may encounter. Don’t assume you have coverage. You will also want to make sure that if you rent or borrow these units adequate coverage will be there. This would include borrowing or renting the trailer used to haul the units. Some auto or homeowner policies may provide some minimal coverages for the trailer, but don’t assume that your policy has this type of coverage or that it is adequate for the situation. You may want to obtain sections of the policy to ensure that what you are being told is the same as what is contained in the policy. Having someone telling you it is covered, and verifying there is coverage may not be the same when the time comes to settle a claim. Remember the old adage “saying it is so, doesn’t make it so.”
Take the time to read and understand any rental contract you sign. If you rent a travel trailer, are you responsible for the damage to the trailer if you are involved in an accident or incident that damages the trailer? What is your best option to address this risk exposure?
Mandatory minimum coverage does not necessarily mean you have adequate coverage based on your individual needs and risk exposure. Even though it may not be mandated by law for you to obtain liability coverage for your ATV, utility vehicle, off-road motorcycle, or other motorized vehicle, you may be held responsible for the amount of damages you may be found legally liable for as the result of your actions. This would include bodily injury and property damage expenses to others.
It is required in Utah to have a valid liability insurance policy on most boats and all personal watercraft (PWC). It is also required in Utah to have valid liability insurance for certain ATV’s. We suggest you check with the Utah State Parks to determine if you are required to have liability insurance for your boat or ATV.
Mandatory liability coverage does not protect you from damage to your own personal property or personal property you have borrowed or rented. In other words, it does not provide physical damage coverage.
Another consideration is personal injury to you and your passengers if you were to have an accident. Do you have insurance that would cover you in this situation? Do your passengers have insurance to cover them in this situation? Will you be responsible for the medical expenses incurred by your passenger?
Make sure to provide enough information to your agent so they are able to assist you in determining what coverage you may need. We are able to assist with some of your questions; but there is no substitute for reading and understanding your policies.
Enjoy the upcoming warm weather with the peace of mind of knowing you have taken the necessary precautions to avoid potential financial hardship while engaging in these wonderful spring, summer and fall activities.