Recreational Insurance Coverage: Are Your Summer “Toys” Properly Insured?

By Connie Tahinos

front end of a motorcycle

It’s that time of the year again: Relaxing days at the beach, summer road trips, and fun in the sun! It all sounds great, but before you decide to set sail on your new boat or take that motorcycle trip with your friends, you need to make sure your recreational “toys” are properly insured.

What is recreational insurance?

Recreational insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company that provides liability and physical damage coverage, plus specialized coverage for recreational vehicles that a standard homeowner’s or auto policy does not usually provide. Just like your home or automobile, your recreational vehicle is also an investment that can lead to a potential risk, and it needs to be covered to avoid unforeseen out-of-pocket expenses.

What is considered a recreational product?

Most carriers will provide a recreational insurance policy for the following products:

  • Boats
  • Yachts
  • Jet skis
  • Motorcycles
  • ATVs
  • Snowmobiles
  • Motorhomes
  • Travel trailers

Can’t I just add my recreational product to my homeowner’s or auto policy?

Yes and no. Some homeowner’s insurance carriers can extend liability coverage to a watercraft, but there are certain limitations. Coverage usually only extends to smaller watercrafts such as a canoes, small sailboats or small boats with less than 25 total horsepower.

When it comes to a recreational vehicle, some believe the personal property coverage on their homeowner’s policy would extend to their RV, but this is not always true. In most cases, the policy would provide very minimal coverage due to the personal property not being kept at the “residence premises.” Typically, only 10% of your homeowner’s personal property coverage would extend to an RV; or, depending on the carrier, it might not extend at all.

A motorcycle, meanwhile, is excluded from both home and auto coverage and legally needs its own policy. Many insureds tend to think a motorcycle is considered an “automobile,” but it’s not. Therefore, it is extremely important to secure a recreational policy to ensure you are receiving at least your basic coverage, such as:

  • Liability (property damage and bodily injury)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Comprehensive and collision

What are some of the “extra” coverages that come with a recreational policy?

In addition to the basic coverages listed above, recreational policies also provide specialized coverages that can be tailored to your specific needs. For example, a boat policy may provide the following additional coverages:

  • Cost replacement for fishing equipment – Coverage for damage to tackle, rods and reels.
  • Wreckage removal – Pays for raising, removal or destruction of the wreckage.
  • Fuel spill liability – Coverage for an oil spill that results in bodily and/or property damage.
  • Cost replacement for personal effects – Coverage for personal items on the watercraft, up to a specific amount.
  • “Roadside Assistance” type coverage – If your watercraft is stranded on the water, help would come to you to provide fuel, a tow or a jump start.

RV, motorcycle, jet ski and various other recreational policies will offer similar extended coverages as well. Although your agent will likely explain your coverages in detail, it is very important to ask questions about all the additional coverages that these policies can provide. Most of the time these endorsements come at a minimal cost.

Also remember: Once you are ready to put your summer investment away for the season, do not cancel your coverage. Although it is the off-season, there’s always the potential risk of a fire or theft, regardless of whether the recreational product is in use.

At Hanson & Ryan, we want to make sure you can continue to enjoy that summer “toy” for a long time to come – while staying young at heart. We offer the most comprehensive and affordable coverage options for all recreational products, and we’re always available to answer your questions and provide you with a quote.