Very few of us ever actually read our insurance policy, but that’s exactly what we need to do. The latest ISO HO 3 insurance policy may actually exclude cover for household lawn equipment.
What does lawn equipment insurance actually cover? That of course depends on the type of insurance you have. Some policy’s may exclude your lawn equipment, on the grounds that you once cut your neighbors lawn.
Sounds crazy, right? Well that’s what some ISO policy’s state. In this guide we’ll take a look at it in greater detail.
I Don’t Have Mower Cover, So What?
You don’t have to have insurance, but there’s a real risk beyond the obvious risk of lawn equipment theft. Consider for a moment having to replace every small and large piece of garden equipment you own. I know I have collected lots of kit, I’ve maintained them and upgraded them over the years, replacing them all at once would sting.
Lawn tractors are pretty expensive. Lots of people buy them on credit, finance company’s will likely insist you have total loss cover. But the most important reason by far, for having insurance….. public liability. Imagine your mower causes serious injury to a person, animal or property. Legal, medical and repair bills could run into millions, certainly enough to bankrupt a home owner.
Does Your Policy Cover Mowers?
OK, so you probably have an insurance policy, and that’s great, but you may not have lawn equipment cover, and here’s why. ISO as you may know is the Insurance Services Office and they are an advisory organization for the insurance industry. They offer various services to insurance companies, including standardized text for insurance forms.
Insurance companies don’t have to use these forms but many do. There’s a good chance that your insurance provider uses these forms. Depending on which of these ISO forms your policy is written on, will dictate it’s cover limitations.
The policy will have the ISO form code at the top of the document.
It may read:
HO 00 03 04 91
HO 00 03 10 00
HO 00 03 05 11
Policy’s written on the 1991 forms don’t limit the liability of lawn equipment. “We do cover vehicles or conveyances not subject to motor vehicle registration which are: a. Used to service an “insured’s” residence; or”
Policy’s written on the 2000 forms moved things up a notch in favor of the insurance company. “We do cover “motor vehicles” not required to be registered for use on public roads or property which are: a. Used solely to service an “insured’s” residence; or”
This is an out for the insurance company, if you have ever used your lawn equipment or tractor mower off the boundaries of your property, ie cut a neighbors lawn, your mower is no longer covered by the policy.
Policy’s written on the 2011 forms moved backwards a little in favor of the insured. “Motor vehicles” not required to be registered for use on public roads or property which are: (a) Used solely to service a residence; or
This means you can cut the neighbors lawn and trim their hedge with your trimmer and your cover is in tact. But your cover will be extinguished if you cut, say a base ball field or use any of your garden equipment on public or commercial property.
What Type Insurance Do I Need?
I’m not trying to sell you insurance here, my aim is to give you a basic outline of insurance and how it relates to your liability as a lawn equipment owner and user. Policy’s are usually divided into Open Perils and Named Perils.
Open Perils, covers all homeowners risk, but I use the word “All” with caution. All insurance policy’s will have listed limitations, if it’s in the excluded section, it’s not covered.
Basically this is the best type policy and is obviously more expensive.
Named Perils will usually name about 16 common homeowner losses that they’ll cover. The advantage to this type policy, it’s cheaper. Of course it may not be cheaper, it depends what exactly it covers.
Policy’s are graded, HO3 is a common type policy, it’s also pretty basic. Read the fine print, this policy will typically have open perils for the property but named perils for the contents, so read those exclusions carefully.
Are tools covered under household insurance? Most household insurance policy’s will cover tools in its contents, however the size of your deductible may make a claim uneconomic.
Does homeowners insurance cover lawn damage? Most homeowners insurance policy’s will cover lawn damage, unless it’s listed on your policy as an “excluded peril.”