Fall is upon us! It’s time to start thinking about what you want to be for Halloween. Good luck on finding your costumes – I’m certain you’ll all find a good one. With winter fast approaching, let’s talk about insurance ramifications for your summer toys. Many summer toys that we have in Wisconsin are seasonal, including collector vehicles, boats and motorcycles. Many in Wisconsin also use ATV’s or snowmobiles in the winter and late fall for hunting season. Insurance carriers treat these things in different ways, so let’s take a quick look.
These go on and off a typical policy via endorsement. They come out in the spring and get stored in the fall with a call to your agent. Note, that if you do not call in spring, your stored vehicle is not covered and if you forget in fall the car might be covered through the winter. Once it goes into storage, we always make sure to leave comprehensive/other than collision coverage on to make sure the vehicle is covered while stored for fire, theft or any other accidents that could occur while it’s put away for winter.
Most carriers cover motorcycles on an auto policy where they typically have a lay-up built into the rate. This means that you are paying an annual premium based on a combination of comp-only for the winter and full coverage in the summer. There is no need to call and make changes as the annual rate applies for the entire year.
Boats, ATV’s, and snowmobiles:
These can get tricky. Sometimes they are included on a homeowner’s policy and sometimes on an auto policy. These too are rated as seasonal use with an annual rate. To ensure they are covered properly, you should identify where they might be on the policy. Often the units are rated based on their value. It’s good practice to review unit values every other year and update accordingly, as the items tend to depreciate each year. Unlike vehicles, insurance carriers do not have as much data on these items, so they do use the value listed on the policy to rate the various items. The policy would give you the LESSER of the cost to repair, the actual cash value, or the amount of coverage on the policy in most claims, so it’s important to review the coverage.
One final message: our thoughts go out to the victims of the recent hurricanes and fires. We hope everyone and their families stay safe and well with the crazy weather we’ve been seeing around the country.
Thanks again for allowing us to keep your families protected.