Golf Cart Insurance Basics

Golf Cart Insurance Basics

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Many people use golf carts for more than traversing the golf course. They purchase them to get around their own property, neighborhoods or cities and with those uses, come additional risks and a need to insure them. Depending on how someone uses a golf car, where they live and the cart itself, they might need to purchase golf cart insurance.

Who Needs Golf Cart Insurance?

Most people who own a golf cart should consider purchasing golf cart insurance, especially depending on where they drive it. Someone who only drives golf carts while playing at a course does not need insurance. Uses beyond that probably warrant the purchase of an independent policy. The number of golf cart injuries more than doubled from 1990 to 2006, according to a 2007 medical report, and it was a direct result of expanded use beyond golf courses.

Even the most comprehensive auto insurance policies will not cover a golf cart or anyone injured while it is operated. Homeowners insurance is also unlikely to cover to cover a golf cart or any injuries associated with it, especially while it is operated. For that reason, no matter what kind of golf cart someone owns, or where they drive it, they need to consider getting an insurance policy for it. That includes owners who drive their golf cart exclusively on their own property and around their residential neighborhood.

Golf cart owners who drive the vehicle on roads and use it as a frequent method of transportation should probably purchase an insurance policy for it. A homeowners insurance policy is even less likely to cover any damages caused during operation on roadways. Owners who drive their golf cart on public roadways are especially at risk of getting into an accident and injuring someone else, a passenger, or damaging the cart.

Some states even require golf cart owners by law to purchase an insurance policy for them. In Arizona, for example, owners must have liability insurance for their golf cart to legally drive them on roads.

What Does Golf Cart Insurance Cover?

Golf cart insurance is not unlike auto or motorcycle insurance. In fact, almost all insurance companies cover golf carts under their motorcycle insurance policy along with scooters, mopeds, ATVs and other vehicles. Like motorcycles, a variety of different coverages are available for golf carts.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: In states that require golf carts to have insurance, this is the coverage that is mandated. Bodily injury and property damage liability cover damages to others or their property that a driver causes while operating the golf cart. The claim limits of the policy are like auto or motorcycle insurance and are frequently demarcated with slashes ($25,000/$50,000/$10,000). The first number is the claim limit for per injured person, the second is per accident, and the third is for property damaged in a crash.

Guest Passenger Liability: This coverage provides a claim limit specifically for passengers injured in an accident. It is a coverage unique to golf carts, motorcycles and other vehicles covered under motorcycle insurance policies.

Medical Payments Coverage (Optional): This coverage is optional and pays for any medical bills of a golf cart driver or passengers in the event they are injured in an accident. No matter the nature of an accident or the number of vehicles involved, this coverage applies.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (Optional): Another optional coverage and one that is commonly shortened and referred to as UM/UIM. It covers damages to the driver, passengers and the golf cart in the event the individual who causes the damage is under or uninsured entirely. The coverage applies to medical treatments, lost wages and other damages a policyholder might be subject to as a result of other party’s lack of adequate insurance.

Collision and Comprehensive (Optional): If a golf cart is involved in an accident (with another vehicle or object), collision coverage pays for the cost to repair or replace it, minus the policyholder’s deductible. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace a golf cart in the event almost anything else happens to it other than a collision. For example, if a golf cart is destroyed in a fire, vandalized, stolen or damaged in a storm, comprehensive coverage would cover those perils.

Golf Cart Insurance Cost

Even though golf carts are typically covered under motorcycle insurance policies, they are generally less expensive to insure. Progressive Insurance offered insurance quotes for a golf cart used exclusively off-road for as low as $75 per year. The insurer also quoted the sample Club Car cart for a more comprehensive policy at $405 per year. The company does not offer policies for golf carts driven on public roadways.

For comparison, the average cost of motorcycle insurance in the U.S. is $519.

The cost to insure golf carts and other similar vehicles can reportedly be as much as $600 to $1,000 per year in some areas. In some Florida retirement communities, where many residents take golf carts on public roads that can reach 25 mph, the cost of premiums is significantly higher, according to CNBC.

Like insurance for all other vehicles, the cost of golf cart insurance is dependent on a long list of factors. Fortunately for golf cart owners, the vehicles are not typically driven on the road and have speed inhibitors – both of which reduce their risk and, consequently, their cost.

Shopping For Golf Cart Insurance

Golf cart owners who are required by law to insure their vehicles, or choose to do so on their own, should shop for coverage the same way they would any other insurance policy. Begin by gathering and comparing quotes and coverages online.

For owners who drive their golf cart on public roadways, shopping for insurance might not be as easy as submitting basic information online. Some carriers might require an owner to call and speak to an agent about their golf cart. Others, like Progressive, might not insure golf carts driven on public roadways at all. In this case, there are a number of specialty insurance companies that can serve their needs.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

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