Your Engines and Your Insurance!

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409 Mills Lane New Albany, Indiana 47150

I guess it's my birthright to be very inquisitive and thorough. When I get hold of an issue, I ask specific questions and like to get detailed answers. I was recently speaking with my insurance agent regarding my auto policies, and mentioned that I was curious about the valuation of my engines. Boy, I really got into a can of worms! I'm glad it happened because I had made an assumption which could have been catastrophic! I arranged for an interview with the agent, and want to share with you the results of my 'what if session.

I've tried to use a logical sequence, but this will still skip around some. QUALIFIER: My insurance is with one of the larger, nationwide companies. I've used the same agent for eighteen years and am completely satisfied with all my dealings. My comments pertain to what is generally accepted industry practice among insurance companies. There are surely exceptions to some of these issues!

Homeowners Policy: How would my engines be valued if they were damaged by a fire or stolen from my garage? 'The engine would be covered under your auto insurance for that vehicle.' This was the first stumbling block; it took some explaining to get on common ground about exactly what these engines are! The result: They're not covered on the homeowners policy. 'Well, how do I get them insured?' My agent is still researching this.

Trailers: Some trailers (depending upon size, use, gross weight and state laws) are covered for liability automatically on the pulling vehicle's policy. However, the value of the trailer and its contents are not covered! This type of coverage will only protect against damage done by or caused by your trailer or its contents.

To insure the value of the trailer, not the contents, you can take out a commercial policy; to get this type of policy you must also have commercial use coverage on the pulling vehicle. Of course commercial rates are substantially higher than for personal use!

'Is there any case where I could recoup the value of my engines if there were an accident? Answer: 'Yes, if a motorist, who was insured, drove through your garage or ran over your trailer, and he was found to be at fault, you could file a claim against his collision liability. The burden of proof of value still would be yours!' The recommendation here was to have good pictures and records of all your engines and related equipment. (You've heard this before.)

My agent was quick to tell me that, even though insurance is required by state law, about 30% of the claims he processes are against persons with no insurance. In this case, recourse is with the legal system, at your expense!

I have learned that you can insure your engines as personal property. The cost of this insurance is not unreasonable, but there are some considerations. You must register each engine which you have and value each individually. Anytime you add or trade engines you must register these changes with your insurance company.

Antique tractors can be insured in the same manner that an antique automobile is insured. It requires a separate policy, and generally has restrictions on use. Those persons actively engaged in farming may have some coverage not identified here.

The insurance industry is controlled by individual state regulating bodies, so there are bound to be some differences. Please, don't make the assumption that I did. Make up a list of questions, take a few pictures of your engines and visit your insurance agent to get the answers.

I'd much rather write something uplifting and maybe a little humorous, but by playing 'the devil's advocate,' I found out just where I stand. Thanks for reading this, I hope it helps.