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6 Questions to Ask Clients About Their Recreational Vehicles

Social distancing is leading to a boost in off-road vehicle sales. Here are six tips to help you make sure your clients are covered. 
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7 questions to ask clients about their recreational vehicles

Over the summer, RV and watercraft sales surged as a result of summer vacation plans falling by the wayside due to COVID-19. Looking ahead into fall and winter, off-road vehicle sales are up significantly, too.

With fall and winter break vacation plans on the horizon, many Americans will be looking for ways to get out of the house while maintaining social distancing. Off-road vehicles provide an ideal escape.

Many consumers mistakenly think their ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles are covered by their homeowners insurance. And because many states do not require insurance for vehicles used off roads, a substantial number of these vehicles are uninsured.

Here are six questions to ask your customers to help you insure more off-road vehicles:

1) Do you own any other motorized vehicles? This is a critical question to ask when putting together an insurance proposal, but especially if you're quoting their homeowners policy or home and auto package. Your customer may tell you about their kid's Barbie Jeep, but you're much more likely to need to learn of their ATV, golf cart or personal transporter.

2) Have you customized your vehicle? Many off-road vehicles are customized, whether it be a lightbar on a UTV or hand-warmers on a snowmobile. Make sure your customer's after-market equipment is covered, preferably with replacement cost coverage.

3) Do you ever allow anyone else to operate your vehicle? Negligent entrustment is a serious matter. If your client or their kids allow someone other than themselves to operate the vehicle, they could be on the hook for any resulting injuries. Recommend high limits of liability and a personal umbrella policy to protect your customers.

4) Where do you ride? Some people never leave their property, but many ride or trailer their vehicles to privately owned, state, or federal land. There are tens of thousands of miles of designated ATV and snowmobile trails in the U.S. Make sure your customers are fully protected no matter where they ride. 

5) What happens if someone without insurance hits you? As mentioned, many people do not insure their off-road vehicles. Colliding with an uninsured operator could have catastrophic implications. Uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists coverage is critical if your customers ride anywhere other than their own property. Plus, first-party medical coverage is a huge benefit whether it be for a minor injury or for bridging the gap in a health insurance deductible. It's also worth mentioning that you recommend they always wear a helmet and safety gear when riding. 

6) Bonus question: Does your truck or SUV have a trailer hitch? Get in the habit of asking this question every time you quote. If they have a hitch, they probably use it to tow something, and that something needs to be insured.

Despite the economic downturn in response to COVID, powersports sales are surging. By asking these seven questions while quoting, you increase your chances of uncovering these vehicles and ensuring your customers are protected. 

Brook McGuire is strategy lead, Safeco specialty products.

Monday, October 5, 2020
Personal Lines