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Every summer, I get a lot of questions about insurance coverage for ATVs, jet skis, golf carts, dirt bikes, and other recreational vehicles. One of the most common questions is whether these 'toys' are covered under the typical homeowner policy.
Sometimes I answer by describing a hypothetical situation: You have a long driveway and use your ATV to pick up your mail. If you crash into a tree on your way to the mailbox, some - though not all - homeowner policies will cover both your medical expenses and the repair costs for your ATV. But if on the way back, you decide to take a quick trip to the convenience store down the street and have a crash, you'd better be sure you have ATV insurance.
If you have a golf cart and use it on the street or at a golf course, condo complex, or vacation resort, you'll need golf cart insurance to protect you against an unfortunate incident in which someone is injured or property is damaged.
By now, you're probably concluding - accurately, as it turns out- that the jet skis you use to skim across a lake or the dirt bike your teen uses on a rugged trail also need their own coverage.
Collision. Comprehensive. Bodily injury and property damage liability. Additional coverage for personal belongings, equipment. or accessories. Given the range of possibilities, recreational vehicles give our Mid-State Insurance advisors a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to "individualized solutions." We'll help you select the right combination of coverage to replace or repair your vehicle and pay for injuries to people or damage to property if you're in an accident or if your vehicle is stolen or destroyed.
Promoting safety - our other priority
ATVs, jet skis, and dirt bikes are designed for fun - and, yes, thrills. But too often it can be a short jump from having fun to taking risks. A while back, an emergency room physician told me that many of the injuries he sees - especially among young people - are a result of ATV accidents.
Last fall, Governor Deval Patrick signed a law raising the minimum age for operating off-road vehicles in Massachusetts from 10 to 14 years. The bill also makes it mandatory for ATV operators 18 years old and younger to undergo safety training. In addition, every rider - passengers as well as operators - must wear a helmet.
At Mid-State, we're committed to safety. So if you or another family member uses a recreational vehicle, I encourage you to check out the rules, regulations and safety practices that govern its use. Make sure that everyone in your household takes them seriously. And then enjoy the ride!