Penn. Officials Say Summer Activities Bring Special Insurance Concerns

June 4, 2012

Pennsylvania insurance regulators are reminding consumers to keep insurance needs in mind when vacationing, entertaining or enjoying other warm-weather activities. Regulators are advising consumers to check for the following items.

Pools increase liability risk, so the homeowners will need to bring the homeowners policy up-to-date
• Installing a pool, or already have one? Pools increase liability risk, so the homeowner will need to bring the homeowners policy up-to-date. Most policies include a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability protection, but pool owners may want to consider increasing the coverage amount to at least $300,000 to $500,000.

• Having a yard sale? The homeowners and renter’s insurance policies may provide liability protection against lawsuits if someone is injured or items are damaged on the homeowners’ property, but read the policy to be sure.

• Taking an extended vacation? Insurance companies may consider unoccupied homes as high risk because they are at increased risk of theft, vandalism, fire, and water damage. Check with the insurance company before leaving for a long trip.

• Hosting a party? Consumers should look into a social host liability policy, which covers claims arising from injuries that may occur in the home. Policies can be purchased for limits ranging from $50,000 to $2 million.

For means of travel:

• Renting a car? The declarations page should state whether the coverage and deductibles one has on his/her own car applies to a rental vehicle. If it does not, consider buying the rental car insurance coverage offered by the agency.

• Own a boat or a jet ski? For a personal watercraft, it is wise to purchase insurance coverage that includes bodily injury, property damage, liability and theft. If renting any type of watercraft, be sure to ask what type of insurance coverage the owner or operator has

For health and belongings:

Some insurance coverage does travel.

• Traveling away from home? Depending on the location and medical condition, check with the health insurance company to find out what type of coverage there is while traveling. Be sure to carry the insurance card while traveling.

• Items stolen while on vacation? In most cases, the homeowners policy will cover the personal property anywhere in the world, less your deductible. Be sure to read the policy for dollar limits on items such as jewelry, firearms and silverware.

• Need to insure a trip? Some insurance companies offer bundled packages of travel insurance that cover problems like identity theft, delayed or lost baggage, cancellation or medical issues. But just like any other type of policy, be sure to review it thoroughly because not all policies are the same.

• If insuring a trip, be sure to purchase travel insurance and not cancellation waivers. Waivers are not insurance and are not regulated by the insurance department.

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