How much trouble can you get into with a vehicle that rarely goes faster than 15 miles an hour? A lot, it would seem.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that nearly 150,000 golf cart-related injuries were reported between 1990 and 2006, and the injury rate more than doubled over that same period.
That’s one reason some insurers now sell golf-cart insurance—and why some states require cart owners to buy it. In Arizona, for example, cart owners must have liability coverage to legally drive on roads.
If you drive a golf cart only around the links, you probably don’t need additional insurance. But if you own a cart and use it anywhere else, you might. That’s true even if you drive exclusively on your own property or around your residential neighborhood.
Unfortunately, even the most comprehensive auto insurance policies generally won’t cover a golf cart accident or anyone injured in one. Homeowners insurance is also unlikely to cover to cover a golf cart or any damage associated with it while it’s in use.
What It Covers
Golf cart insurance is similar to auto or motorcycle insurance. In fact, almost all insurance companies cover golf carts under their motorcycle insurance policies, along with scooters, mopeds, ATVs, and other vehicles. The coverage might include:
Bodily injury and property damage liability. In states that require golf carts to be insured, this is the coverage that is mandated. Bodily injury and property damage liabilitycover harm to others or their property that a driver causes while operating the golf cart. The claim limits on the policy work like auto or motorcycle insurance and are frequently expressed like this: $25,000/$50,000/$10,000. The first number is the claim limit per injured person, the second is per accident, and the third is for property damaged in a crash.
Guest passenger liability. This provision, which is unique to golf carts, motorcycles, and other vehicles covered under motorcycle insurance policies, covers passengers injured in an accident.
Medical payments coverage. This coverage is optional and pays toward the medical bills of a golf cart driver or passengers injured in an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorists. Also optional, it covers damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Collision and comprehensive. Similar to automobile policies, collision covers damage to the cart resulting from an accident involving another vehicle. Comprehensive pays to repair or replace a cart damaged by something other than a collision. For example, if a golf cart is destroyed in a fire, vandalized, stolen, or banged up in a storm.
What It Costs
For a golf cart that you drive off-road, such as in a private community, but not on public roadways, you might pay as little as $75 a year for basic coverage. But the price can go considerably higher, depending on your cart and where you live. For example, in some Florida retirement communities, where many residents drive on public roads with souped-up golf carts that can reach 25 miles an hour, premiums can run $600 to $1,000 a year, according to a CNBC report.
If you’re considering golf cart insurance, you should shop it as you would any other policy. Start by comparing the coverage that several different insurers offer and gather price quotes online.
Note that if you plan to drive your cart on public roadways, you may need to seek out a specialty carrier that sells that kind of coverage.