By John D. Doak, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner
The Memorial Day weekend is here, and for many of us, this marks the start of summer. Your plans are likely to include more entertaining, travel and outdoor fun. But before heading into summer, you may want to reevaluate your insurance needs. These tips can help make sure you are protected while you enjoy the warm weather.
Pools and Trampolines
While pools and trampolines can offer hours of entertainment, they also offer an opportunity for injury. Consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy in addition to your homeowners insurance to increase your liability coverage. Some insurance companies may not insure your property if you own a pool or trampoline, or there may be policy exclusions for liability for related injuries. An insurance company can also deny coverage or cancel your policy if you do not follow the policy’s safety guidelines or fail to inform them when you build a pool or purchase a trampoline.
The personal property coverage in your homeowners policy may cover a small boat for $1,500 or less in physical damage. But coverage for your liability risk is limited. A large boat will likely be excluded from your homeowners policy for property and liability coverage. A separate boat insurance policy provides liability coverage if someone is injured on your boat. It also covers bodily injury to others and property damage to your boat.
Personal watercrafts, such as jet skis, often require a separate policy that may be offered by your homeowners’ insurance company or from an insurer that specializes in boat insurance.
When it comes to boats, keep in mind that coverage varies. You’ll want to check your policy and ask your insurance agent for coverage and limitations on watercraft type and size.
ATVs are not covered by standard automobile insurance policies, but your homeowners policy may partially cover liability. Ask your agent if you have sufficient coverage through your homeowners policy. If you do not, you should consider a separate ATV policy. Ask your provider about age restrictions regarding who may operate the ATV or if the policy covers friends and family.
Whether you’re leaving home for a weekend getaway or a long road trip, be aware of what your homeowners or renter’s policy will cover while you’re gone. Typically, your homeowners insurance will follow you, protecting you even while you’re not at home. If you’re staying at a hotel and your belongings are stolen, your homeowners policy may provide coverage but it depends on your policy. Some policies exclude theft. In addition to your deductible, items like jewelry and furs will typically have a special limit. If you’re traveling with high-priced items, it’s a good idea to get separate insurance coverage for these items. It would be a good idea to review your policy for coverage limitations and deductibles to ensure that you are adequately covered.
Bottom line: check with your insurance agent if you have any questions on whether your current insurance will cover all your summer plans. For any other insurance information contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at (800) 522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.