Fun in the Sun
Ready for a vacation? This year’s vacation may look a little different from the vacations you have enjoyed in the past. Due to the 2020 Pandemic, many people are changing their behaviors and learning to live with the new normal. A recent survey by Twiddy & Company, a vacation rental company in North Carolina, found that 72 percent* of Americans traveling prefer to drive. With these changes come new risks and exposures you may not have considered in the past.
As states ease travel restrictions, we have many clients renting lake houses, mountain houses, and beach houses in various areas of the country. With these types of rentals, you may want to rent a boat, jet ski, or ATV for everyone to have a little fun on their time off. We hope you enjoy every moment of your time away, but we also want you to be safe and be properly covered and educated if an accident occurs.
Some people assume that there is coverage under a homeowner’s policy or a personal umbrella policy for rented boats, jet skis, ATVS, or any other recreational vehicles, but many times that is not the case. Each insurance company has a different policy that outlines what is covered and what is excluded. Please reach out to your Swingle Collins Personal Risk Advisor and ask them to review your policies to confirm your coverages.
Here are a few things to consider when renting a property:
Is property damage to a rented property covered under my homeowners policy?
Your homeowner’s liability coverage often extends only to damage resulting from fire, smoke or explosion. If there were to be any other type of damage caused by the renter, it would be excluded from the homeowner’s policy. Please carefully read through every rental contract before signing.
If I rent a boat do I have coverage?
Most homeowners’ policies do not cover rented boats with inboard/ outboard motors over 50 horsepower or rented sailboats over 26 feet long. This also applies to rented jet skis and personal watercraft. If you plan on renting a boat or personal watercraft, we suggest reading the rental agreement thoroughly and finding out what coverage is provided by the rental company. We are happy to review those agreements for you. In most cases it is best to purchase the additional coverage from the rental company, but you want to make sure it is the correct type of coverage with sufficient limits.
If I rent a car or ATV on vacation, do I have coverage?
Similar to renting boats, there are also specific requirements for rented vehicles under a personal auto policy. In most cases, if you rent a passenger vehicle, your auto policy will extend to cover that rented vehicle while in your possession. However, we do advise purchasing the additional insurance offered by the rental company so if an accident happens you would not have to file a claim on your personal auto policy and risk increasing your annual premiums.
Recreational vehicles are also a little different. Since they do not take the place of a personal auto, there is no coverage for a rented ATV. Again, we suggest reading the rental agreement and making sure that the rental company assumes all liability during the rental time.
The Swingle Collins and Associates personal risk management team is here to help you navigate all your insurance questions. Every homeowner’s policy and umbrella policy differ on what is and isn’t covered. Please reach out to us for any specific questions before you head off on your fun family vacation. It’s always best to be prepared in case of an emergency so your vacation will be worry-free.
We hope you safely enjoy this time away with your loved ones. Our number one goal is to make sure you are fully covered and aware of any risks that may apply to your trip. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen!
The descriptions of coverages listed in this article are brief and subject to the provisions, limitations, and exclusions that can only be expressed in your policy and related endorsements. For additional information of how Swingle Collins & Associates can assist in meeting your coverage needs, please contact your dedicated risk manager. The information contained in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It contains general information on insurance issues and may not reflect the most current developments in insurance coverage and is unlikely to apply in all factual scenarios. The information does not include all the terms, coverages, exclusions, limitations or conditions that may be contained in the actual insurance contract language. The policies themselves must be read for those details. Sample policy forms will be made available upon reasonable request. Thank you.
*Travel Agent Central, Stats: Americans Prefer Beach Vacations and Road Trips In 2020