Merry Christmas….and your kids got a “Barbie Jeep”, a Motorized Scooter and an ATV. Will your Homeowners Policy cover you when they run over the neighbor’s dog or kid?

Miniature Recreational Vehicles (a.k.a. Barbie Jeeps) are typically excluded from the Liability coverage section of your Homeowners Insurance Policy. Some Homeowner Policies will provide Liability coverage, but only while the vehicle is on the “insured premises”, and meets certain specs for age of rider and speed. When taken off of your property, coverage ceases. It’s okay – you can laugh now. I did too. Why is this important you may be thinking? Well, there have been enough claims involving miniature recreational vehicles that it is listed in The Insurance Journal as a “major policy gap”. Even if you do not own one, but maybe the neighbor kid does and brings the vehicle onto your premises, so it is still important for you to know how a liability claim involving one of these miniature vehicles would work.

Let me explain this coverage gap in more detail. People with young children are likely to have a miniature recreational vehicle – a “Barbie Jeep” or some battery-powered vehicle used to cruise the driveway and sometimes the street, with their friends. As long as the children are on the “insured location”, liability coverage is extended from the homeowners’ policy for any bodily injury or property damage the children cause. This little vehicle races along at about 10+ miles an hour and could really do some damage if the child ran over the neighbors or their children. If sued for these injuries, not to mention the parental “emotional distress” suit that would certainly accompany it.

The number of claims has caused most Homeowner Policy Carriers to include language that either excludes coverage for such miniature vehicles or sets conditions such as “on insured premises”. The gas and electric motorized “scooter”, ATV and Dirt Bike will typically fall into this same category. The policy language will govern your particular situation. Read your Policy!

If your Insurance Agent has not discussed this “gap” with you, give us a call for a full review of your liability exposures and how your present policy will respond.

Call 239-265-9577.

SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.

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