For homeowners with space for a big yard, keeping it perfectly manicured can be a source of pride. And if you have a yard that’s a half-acre or more, it’s likely you’ve chosen a riding lawnmower as your implement to keep it coifed. But what do you do if something happens to your mower?
Does your homeowners insurance policy cover repairs? What types of coverage are included, and what can you do for added insurance? Here’s what you should know.
Benefits of a riding lawnmower
Mowing an average backyard in the suburbs can take a half hour or longer, but if your average speed is three miles per hour, a push mower will take roughly an hour for a .5-acre lawn. With a riding mower, you’ll easily double that speed and cut your time in half, or even less.
With heavier-duty blades and engine horsepower ratings up to 26hp, a riding mower can slice through thick, tall grass without an issue, unlike the clogs you’ll experience with a push mower. And in the meantime, you can sip on a cool beverage without breaking a sweat.
But there is certainly more maintenance required for a riding lawnmower, and prying eyes might be watching where you park your machine at the end of the day. What happens if your riding mower has a catastrophic problem or a greedy thief decides they deserve your mower more?
Accidental losses are covered
Your homeowners insurance covers your riding lawnmower if something should suddenly befall it. Under your policy’s other structures coverage, you’d be eligible for a claim if you store your mower in a shed or garage.
Like all claims, it must be a sudden and accidental loss that you experience. If someone were to break into your garage and steal your riding lawnmower, you could make a claim against your policy. Or, if an accidental electrical short lit your mower up like a bonfire, you could claim for damages related to the loss.
Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for the deductible. You’d only be entitled to any reimbursement or replacement for damages that exceed your deductible up to your coverage limits for outbuildings, typically 10% of your home’s value. That encompasses the whole claim, not just your mower.
Additional coverage may be a good idea
If your riding lawnmower will increase your outbuilding’s value along with contents beyond your policy limitations, you should consider purchasing extra coverage.
What does that look like? You’d purchase a rider or insurance endorsement for your homeowners insurance that increases the limits on your building and its contents. Or, you can increase the coverage on a specific item like your mower.
Ways to prevent a loss
To avoid a frustrating and expensive insurance claim, it’s probably better to make prevention the preferred policy. Here are a few ideas.
Don’t leave your riding lawnmower unattended
Whether you’re just running to the fuel station to refill the tank or you need to use the bathroom quickly, don’t leave your mower out in the open unattended. Riding mowers often have transmission disconnects that allow them to be easily pushed. In just seconds, a thief can make away with your mower.
Store your riding lawnmower securely
When you’re parking your lawnmower, do so in an area that’s locked and out of sight. A locked garage or shed is acceptable, but make sure that any locks and doors can’t be easily broken. A simple padlock isn’t enough. Whenever possible, block the path out of its storage area to make it harder to steal.
Maintain your mower
Losses due to lack of maintenance aren’t going to be covered. Prevent costly issues by keeping your mower regularly serviced. Otherwise, consider home equipment breakdown coverage on your policy to cover these kinds of risks.