Are you sure your toys are properly insured?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 19, 2013

The ATV Mud Nationals in Jacksonville, Texas were held recently. Literally thousands of people brought their four-wheelers and side-by-sides modified to the max to compete in events like the poker run, the Mudda-Cross and the Obstacle Course with prizes as high as $1,000.

While most of our ATV usage isn’t this extreme, many of us in the Miss-Lou have toys like boats, ATVs, campers, motorcycles and RVs. Often these are overlooked when it comes to insurance. Many people have the misconception that they are covered under their personal liability coverage. This is true if you operate only on your property, but the minute you step off your land your coverage ends. (Liability insurance provides protection from claims arising from injuries or damage to other people or property)

However, coverage can usually be added to your existing homeowners and/or auto insurance package.

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Basic liability is extremely inexpensive for these items. If you choose to insure them for the physical damage additional premiums will be involved. Additionally, a personal umbrella can be purchased to extend the limit of liability above and primary limit on your personal liability, auto liability, and “toy” liability.

Here are a few claims examples:

Two friends are riding four-wheelers and the passenger is thrown off the back while going around a turn too sharply. The passenger is hospitalized for several days with broken ribs and a punctured lung. The driver is found liable for damages and hospital bills

The driver of a pontoon boat approaches a dock too fast and hits the dock. Two passengers fall against bulkhead and sustain minor injuries. One passenger hits her head and has to be airlifted to a hospital due to suspected spinal damage. The driver/owner of the boat is found to be negligent.

Think of some of the events and activities that we have right here in the Miss-Lou that could increase your liability such as the annual Flotilla on Lake St. John, local mud riding events, hunting using an ATV, motorcycle riding on the Natchez Trace and the list goes on.

The moral of this story is when talking to your insurance agent be sure to tell them about all your potential exposures and let them help you get the proper insurance coverage.


Tate Hobdy is a vice present at Stephens & Hobdy Insurance in Natchez.