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Motorized Toys

Christmas is right around the corner and there are a few insurance concerns to consider as “Santa” packs his big, red bag.

If a motorized toy is on your list, it is as important to know that many Homeowner Insurance carriers want to have little exposure to the liability risk for “toys”, such as motorized skateboards, quads, scooters, and dirt bikes. To be fully covered, you should get a Recreational Vehicle policy, which can run $250-$350 a year.

On the other hand, less-powerful “toys”, such as child-sized Barbie cars and GI Joe Jeeps, are covered under the liability for standard homeowners policies, but carriers are very specific about the circumstances:

  • The vehicle that caused the damage or injury must be owned by the insured
  • The damage or injury occurred must be on the insured premises

So, if your child injures a pedestrian while using their own motorized toy in a public place, there is typically no coverage under a standard homeowners policy. Good news is that most of our preferred carriers will automatically extend liability coverage (the exception, unfortunately, is Travelers, who has no coverage off premises.) If your home is written with a non-preferred carrier, though, you might have no coverage available.

Are we saying it’s a bad idea to get one of these toys? No!! We just want you to be aware if you own or plan to own on of the smaller/slower toys (under 10 miles/hour). To be covered for theft and/or repair, these toys need to be declared as Scheduled Property on your homeowners by showing a copy of the receipt. Owners of the more powerful dirt bikes and quads should call in with the horsepower and VIN for each one.

What can happen if you do not have the right coverage and a claim occurs? Your insurance company may deny the claim and you would be responsible for the cost of all repairs and bills. They can and probably will, cancel or non-renew your homeowners policy. And this kind of activity on your insurance record will make it hard to get a good price for a replacement policy.

So make your list – check it twice – and call your agent soon to add the toy to your policy (they’ll keep it secret) or call in January to let them know what Santa left under the tree!

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