Toy Insurance in the Off-Season

Keeping your Specialty Vehicle Insurance in the Off-Season

For one reason or another, you aren’t going to be using your RV, motorcycle or boat for the next few months. Whether it is due to weather or a busier schedule, you consider cancelling your toy insurance policy on your specialty vehicle. But, not so fast… there are many reasons why you may want to keep that policy in-force in the off-season.

Toy Insurance in Florida:

  • Thieves: You’ve made sure that your toy is all prepped to sit for a while and it is tucked safely away. As much as you can plan to keep your toy safe, it can still be a target for thieves. If you’ve cancelled your insurance policy and your toy is stolen or damaged in an attempted theft, you’re on the hook for your loss. You may have kept a portion of your policy, just liability, which may not cover the theft of your toy.
  • Liability: Your specialty vehicle may be stored, but should someone be injured on it (even if they were there without permission) you may be liable for their medical bills. If your toy becomes dislodged and damages someone else’s property, that repair cost may be your responsibility.
  • Fire: If the unthinkable happens, there is a fire and your vehicle or trailer is damage or destroyed, your loss may not be covered if you cancelled your policy. With natural disasters like earthquakes, floods or windstorms it is possible that your earthquake, flood or homeowner’s insurance may cover your loss if your toy is stored at your home. Check with your insurance agent about this possibility.
  • Temptation: If you toy is insured and there happens to be a perfect day to take out your bike or getaway for the weekend in your RV, if your insurance is year-round there is no need to worry. However, if you cancelled your insurance you will not be covered – not only is that a huge safety (and financial) risk it could also be illegal.
  • Cost: Discounts! Did you know that most insurance carriers offer discounts on toy policies that are kept year-round. Not only will you be covered in case you want to take your toy out for a mid-winter spin, you will also be saving money. It’s a win-win!

It may seem logical to keep your toy insurance in effect while it’s stored for a season, but it could be a huge hit financially if your toy is stolen, damaged or liable for an injury. If you have questions about a year-round policy for your motorcycle, RV, boat or ATV ask the local, independent insurance agents at The Riccard Group in Florida. Their insurance experts can assist you with amending an existing toy policy or getting you a free quote for a new policy. Visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about the other insurance products they sell.

Boat Insurance Florida

RC vs. ACV – What does it mean?

An insurance policy’s usefulness is determined by the policy language used. Specific policy language determines what is covered, what is excluded and the amounts covered under the policy. Reviewing your insurance policy language every now and again may be helpful in the event of a claim, as you would have a better understanding of what may be covered.

Insurance policies are full of language and terms that may not be clear right off the bat. Many terms are specific to the industry and to the specific type of insurance that is being purchased. Two such terms are Replacement Cost (RC) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). These terms can be a bit confusing to decipher between.

RC vs. ACV in Florida:

  • RC is very simple: It is literally the cost to replace your item with an item of similar quality. Replacement cost policies tend to be a bit more expensive since you are essential getting a brand new item for one that may have otherwise depreciated. Replacement costs are agreed upon by all parties before the insurance policy is finalized. If you have high-ticket items (jewelry, art, RV, boat, luxury vehicle or classic car) this may be the best type of coverage if you can afford it.
  • ACV is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. For example, if you were in an auto accident and you had an actual cash value policy, your insurance would pay out the cost of the vehicle minus any depreciation, so if your vehicle is worth less than what you owe you would be responsible for paying that difference out of pocket, unless you had gap insurance. An actual cash value policy can put you in a tight spot if your items cost more to replace or repair than your policy pays out. Depreciation values for big ticket items like RVs or luxury cars can be quite large, so make sure that you have a nest egg and be prepared to pay some out-of-pocket for a loss if you have an actual cash value insurance policy.

No matter which policy type you choose, the local experts at The Riccard Group can answer any questions and walk you through the different types of scenarios to see which policy type is right for your situation. The Riccard Group Oviedo, Florida can guide you through your homeowner’s insurance policy and more, like auto insurance. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and they live right in your area, so know firsthand what your insurance needs might be. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the insurance products they offer.

Winterizing Boat Insurance

Winterizing your summer “toys”

Winterizing your boatAs winter approaches you start to prep your home and vehicles for inclement weather. You clean gutters, fix drafty areas and make sure that your emergency kit is stocked. You also store your summer toys. RVs, motorcycles and boats need to be prepped for winter too, just to make sure that they are in top condition to start the summer season next year.

In order to winterize your RV, motorcycle or boat, there are a few key areas that should offer special attention.

Winterizing your summer toys in Florida:

  • Motorcycles: With motorcycles, you are most likely going to focus on fluids. Make sure that brake fluid is topped off and the brake lines are clear. Give your bike a fresh oil change and check the tire pressure (and tread wear!). Now is also a great time to make sure that the engine and throttle are performing properly. If anything sounds “off,” take it in for repairs so that the motorcycle is ready to go when those first warm days arrive. You should also top off the gas tank. If your tank is less than full, ice crystals can form in the tank and cause expensive damage.
  • RVs: Prepping your RV for winter is a lot like prepping your daily commuter for winter. Make sure your RV has a full tank of gas, oil change and a check of the vital engine systems like spark plugs, etc. Make sure the fresh and gray water tanks are emptied and that the tires are checked for pressure and wear and tear. The interior of your RV should also be thoroughly cleaned and while doing so, check for any drafts or broken window seals. Before you seal up your RV until summer, add a dehumidifier or desiccant crystals to help absorb harmful moisture and help prevent mold damage.
  • Boats: Like an RV, you have to prep both the interior and exterior of a boat for winter. For the exterior, check for cracks in the hull and scrape off any barnacles or other marine life that made your boat its home for the summer. If you have an outboard motor make sure to flush it with fresh water and that all the water is expelled. Inboard motors need to be refilled with antifreeze, so make sure to consult your manual for the proper mixture. The interior of the boat should be cleaned and wiped down with some type of vinyl protectant to help keep it from cracking in the cold. Make sure that your cover extends below the water line of the boat and that the cover is snug.
  • Insurance: It may seem like you do not need to keep insurance on your toys during the winter, but it is a good idea to maintain a year-long policy. If someone is injured on one of your toys while it is being stored (even if they are trespassing) and you have no liability coverage, you may be forced to pay damages out-of-pocket. Also, if a warm day comes along and you feel like taking your bike out for a spin and even just filling up the gas tank on the RV, you should have collision coverage. You may also get a discount for continuous coverage.

Winterizing is proper maintenance for your toys and proper maintenance includes insurance. If you have questions about a policy on your motorcycle, RV or boat, make sure to talk to the insurance professionals at The Riccard Group in Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa, FL. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and they live right in your area, so know firsthand what your insurance needs might be. You can also visit their insurance website24/7 to learn more about the insurance products they offer like auto insurance.

 

Summer Camping Basics

A camping trip is one of the great adventures a person (or family) gets to have each summer. Our area is filled with great camping spots, some nestled in the woods some near streams and lakes, but most are great for meeting new friends. Preparing for this wonderful American tradition a camping trip can be challenging as you have to be ready for many different scenarios: wild animals, weather changes, illness, etc. Don’t fret, we are here to highlight some of the basics necessity one may need on a weekend camping trip.Camping Insurance Agent

Camping Basics in Florida:

  • Food:  Food and drink is a very important component of any trip. Most folks pack your standard camping fare like hot dogs, s’mores and plenty no-fuss ready to eat snacks. You’ll want to pack some energy bars, nuts, fruit and plenty of water if you plan on doing any physical activity as low blood sugar (and heat) can lead to dizziness and possibly fainting. Storing your food is also extremely important. Making sure all food is tightly sealed in containers will help keep pests and wild animals out of your campsite, you should also make sure that cold food stays cold to avoid food poisoning. Be sure to pack all food away in the evenings in a locked car away from any sleeping quarters as bears and other wild animals may enter camp looking for a snack.
  • Weather: Be prepared for all kinds of weather and be aware that it can change at any moment. Pack enough clothes to layer should it get chilly or rainy, hats and umbrellas for staying out of the sun and proper food gear for hiking or for swimming (including life jackets if you plan on using a canoe or raft). Being prepared for the weather also means being prepared for the pests warm weather brings. Mosquitoes and ticks can be an annoyance, but they can also cause health problems like West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Citronella candles (or torches) and repellant sprays can help protect against mosquitoes and ticks. For ticks, check yourself and your pets daily for ticks.  They prefer dark, warm areas like behind the knees, ears and inside the belly button. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some great tick prevention and removal tips.
  • Fires: Whether you are camping with a tent or in an RV or camper, you will most likely be starting a fire (in an approved fire pit) to cook food or just to enjoy. Make sure that your fire pit is well contained and the area around and above it is free of flammable material. Watch sparks and shifts in the fire to ensure that the flames stay within the pit. Having a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher hand is a very good idea. If a forest or brush fire should start, you’ll want to contact the authorities (in many cases a camping host) immediately. It is not just camp fires that can cause a forest or brush fire. Sparks from motorcycle, ATV or RV tail pipes can also cause a spontaneous fire. If you are bringing any of these “toys” along take to your insurance agent about a personal umbrella insurance policy, which could help mitigate damage and restitution costs if you were found liable or negligent for a brush or forest fire.
  • Cleanliness: Not just personal hygiene, but keeping your campsite clear of trip hazards, such as unused toys, firewood, ropes or other items that could cause a trip. Remember that you’re usually leasing a space of land to camp on, but this won’t stop others from walking through your site. Be sure they have a safe place to travel through and that you can’t be found liable for someone injuring themselves while being in or around your RV (should you be using an RV). You can protect yourself with vacation liability insurance coverage that is available with specialized RV policies such as those offered by Progressive Insurance.

At The Riccard Group we want you to enjoy your summer camping trips. While we can assist you with building fires and setting up a campsite, we can help ensure that all your RVs, ATVs and motorcycles are insured with the right policy to fit your needs and budget. Give your Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa, FL  agent a call and see the difference of working with an independent agent. You can also visit our insurance website 24/7 for more information about the other insurance products we sell, like home insurance or auto insurance.