COLUMBUS — With Ohioans eager to enjoy the summertime weather, Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor is encouraging people to conduct an insurance review of their summertime activities to help prevent against a financial setback if an unfortunate incident were to occur.
“Summer in Ohio is about enjoying all of the great outdoor activities our state has to offer,” Taylor said. “As you plan your summertime activities, you should take time to make sure your insurance needs are met with the policies you currently have.”
Taylor said it is important to talk with your agent and let them know about any lifestyle changes you may have experienced and whether or not your coverage is adequate for your summertime plans. She also offered the following insurance information and tips:
Cars and Trucks
Whether driving around town or on a road trip, make sure your vehicle is adequately insured. Be sure to carry your vehicle insurance card, understand what to do and what information to gather if an accident occurs.
- If you are in an accident, remain calm. Call for an ambulance, if needed, and the proper law enforcement authorities. Ask the officer how to obtain the accident report.
- Get names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information of those involved and note the road name and conditions.
- Take pictures of the vehicles and accident scene with your cell phone or camera.
- Report the accident to your agent or company as soon as possible.
- An accident filed with your insurer may increase your premiums at renewal.
Motorcycles and Scooters
Motorcycles and scooters are not covered by your standard auto insurance policy. You must have a separate policy that covers liability and physical damage coverage.
- If you carry seasonal coverage, check that your policy is up-to-date.
- Be sure you understand Ohio helmet laws.
- Insurance companies have separate requirements for helmets.
- Some insurance companies might offer a discount for safety courses.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not covered by a standard auto insurance policy, but your homeowner’s policy may partially cover your liability.
- Consider a separate ATV policy to make sure you are properly insured.
- Ask your agent about age restrictions, permitted drivers, discounts for taking safety courses and riding with a helmet.
Boats and Jet Skis
Small boats may be covered by a homeowner’s policy but coverage for liability risk is limited. A boat of any significant size will be excluded from your homeowners policy for both property and liability coverage.
- Consider a separate policy that covers physical damage and the appropriate liability limits.
- Personal watercrafts, such as jet skis, will likely require separate coverage.
- Ask your agent about safety course discounts, permitted operators, and the liability of towing.
Pools and Trampolines
Some companies might not insure your property if you have a trampoline or swimming pool, or a company could have policy exclusions for liability related to trampoline or pool injuries. Determine what your homeowner’s policy requires in the way of safety measures such as a fence or locked gate around a swimming pool.
- Check with your agent for rates and safety guidelines before making your purchase.
- An insurance company can deny coverage or cancel your policy for not informing them about a pool or trampoline.
- Understand damages and injuries your homeowner’s policy covers.
- Consider purchasing an umbrella policy to provide liability coverage above what your homeowner’s policy offers.
If you have questions about insurance, call the Department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526 or visit www.insurance.ohio.gov. You can follow the Department on twitter @OHInsurance and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentofInsurance.