Your Engines and Your Insurance!

By Staff

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

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

‘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

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