January 24th, 2018
Golf carts provide an affordable and fun alternative to walking or driving in heavy traffic flow areas, such as on golf courses, through HOAs, beach communities, and equestrian events. It’s no wonder golf cart ownership is on the rise.
However, each year approximately 15,000 golf cart-related accidents result in bodily injury, with children and teens accounting for up to one-third of the injured. These numbers do not include damage to property, landscaping and other motor vehicles.
As most carts are not required to be registered for use on public roads their owners often assume that either no insurance is required or their homeowner or auto policy insurance provides coverage.
These assumptions are untrue.
Insurance requirements vary based on how and where the cart is used, and if it’s been modified for speeds over 25mph and/or licensed for use on public roads.
The majority of standard homeowner policies will likely NOT provide coverage.
Over the holidays a golf cart owner was loading packages into his cart while parked, facing downhill, in the driveway. While the owner went back to his house to gather more packages, one of the packages on the front seat slid off, dislodging the brake and resulting in a “run-a-way” golf cart. The golf cart was totaled and caused considerable damage to the wall it hit.
While lucky that no one was struck by the cart while it was in motion without a driver, the claim exceeded his policy limit and he incurred considerable out-of-pocket expenses to fix the damage.
Runaway golf cart accidents are just one example. Others include roll-over/overturned carts, passenger ejections, and collisions. Damage, injuries and even death can occur. Are you properly insured?
Golf Cart Endorsement: Some insurance providers offer an endorsement for an additional premium (typically $50 annually). These endorsements are generally limited to $5,000, and subject to the homeowner’s policy deductible. The coverage afforded is limited and may have specified use, such as use only a golf course or only within a gated homeowner’s association community.
Auto Policy: Your auto policy does not provide automatic coverage for an owned golf cart. Some insurance carriers may add a golf cart to an auto policy for an additional premium.
Typically these types of vehicles are insured on a motorcycle policy form with coverages that mirror those found on an auto policy. Golf cart policies offer coverage for both “on the course” type use as well as “on road” use. Premiums vary depending on the usage and licensing requirements. Coverage and deductible options also vary by carrier. A typical premium for a cart used on a course and within HOAs is $150-$200 annually. Typical premiums for modified carts and those licensed for use on roads run $300+ annually.
Personal Umbrella: Adding your cart to your personal umbrella policy offers additional liability coverage.
If you own a golf cart, it is a good idea to purchase insurance. Uninsured or underinsured accidents can result in having to pay out of pocket for injuries and property damage or worse, having your wages garnished by the courts.
Keep yourself protected with the right coverage. Our Advisors offer comprehensive policy reviews and look forward to assisting you.