Sometime when you’re “getting around” you’re also getting in other people’s way!  Let’s look at how the 1991 HO3 protects Insureds who injure someone or damage property while getting around. 

Insureds

First, who gets this coverage?  With respect to vehicles covered under the HO3, who is an Insured is expanded to include:

  • Persons engaged in your employ (meaning they’re doing work for you at the moment), resident relatives, and persons under 21 in your care using a covered vehicle anywhere; and
  • Others using a covered vehicle on an “insured location” with your consent.

The 4.a-h definitions of Insured Location are all about Liability Coverage.  They have nothing to do with contents coverage, which is worldwide.  The list is extensive, will cover most situations, and even includes family cemetery plots! The most likely location without liability coverage is an owned piece of land separate from the home. This location has automatic liability coverage from the HO3 only if it’s vacant (nothing man-made on it) or is having a new residence for the Insured being built on it.

Covered Vehicles

If you remember, we get property coverage on the HO3 for the following vehicles:

  • Used to service an Insured’s residence
  • Designed for assisting the handicapped
  • Parked trailers

We also get liability coverage for these vehicles, plus golf carts and off-road recreational vehicles in certain situations.   Liability coverage is actually broader than the property coverage for golf carts and off-road vehicles, but restricted for handicapped assistance.  For liability we get:

(1) Parked trailers

(2) Motorized land conveyance, designed for recreational use off public roads, that is:

  • Not owned by an Insured (used anywhere); or
  • Owned by an Insured, but only if on:
    • The residence premises
    • Another residence listed on the Dec or acquired by a Named Insured during the policy period
    • A non-owned premises where an Insured is temporarily residing
    • Owned vacant land (nothing man-made on it)
    • A premises occasionally rented to an Insured for personal use

(3) A golf cart designed to carry up to 4 people, not built or modified to exceed 25 mph on level ground, that is:

  • Parked or stored, or used to travel to or from areas where it is parked or stored, at a golf course.
  • Used for a permitted recreational activity at a golf course.
  • Crossing public roads at designated points to access other parts of a golf course.
  • In the private residential community subject to a property owners association, that contains an Insured’s residence, including public roads where a golf cart may legally travel.

(4) Vehicle or conveyance not subject to motor vehicle registration that is:

  • Used to service an Insured’s residence
  • Designed for assisting the handicapped and:
    • Is being used to assist a handicapped person; or
    • Is parked on an Insured Location
  • In dead storage

Notice that the HO3 provides property coverage for the motorized wheelchair anywhere and no matter how it is being used.  However, if you put Grandpop on the porch and let the kids play with the motorized wheelchair, then we’re not keen on providing liability coverage for this situation.

Summary

Besides all these what-it-is, who-owns-it, where-it’s-located, and how-it’s-used restrictions, might the HO3 also have a liability sub-limit?  Quite possible!  Look for Recreational Vehicle or Golf Cart sub-limits.  Even without that, coverage is restricted to very specific locations and circumstances.  The odds of an Insured staying within the permitted parameters are slim, so a separate Recreational Vehicle Policy providing broad property and liability coverage is typically the better choice.

Kathleen Davis, CPCU, CIC, ARM, API

About Kathleen Davis, CPCU, CIC, ARM, API

VP, Customer Relations
Tower Hill Insurance Group

Kat is a 1st Degree Insurance Nerd who started her career at Rollins Burdick Hunter (now AON) in Chicago, 1980. Kat spent 19 years in the brokerage/agency business in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Ft. Myers, FL. She was an Account Manager for most of this time handling retail and service businesses, and specializing in construction sub-contractors. Along the way she picked up her ARM, CPCU, API, and CIC designations (they were just lying around). Kat was hired by Tower Hill Insurance Group in 1999 to start their Training Department where she wrote and presented employee training and agency CE classes. In 2006 Kat moved to Underwriting to finally use her CPCU and picked up all kinds of great stories. She says: “Insurance is a laugh a minute, and I can’t understand why some people don’t see it.” In 2013, Kat was reassigned to Administration to assist Tower Hill’s Customer Service Department.