Generally, home insurance policies provide limited property and liability coverage for riding mowers and lawn tractors that homeowners use to maintain their properties, providing an incident takes place on the insured's property. But you have to let your insurance company know that you own lawn equipment if you want it to be covered under your policy.

Importance of Policy Wording

The coverage you receive depends on the wording of the policy. For example, if the policy fails to state that coverage applies only when the riding mower is used to service the insured's residence, a claim may be covered if an incident occurs off the premises. When it comes to the loss of personal property, including lawn equipment, you should have some coverage as long as the damage or loss is due to a peril covered under the policy.

However, if your policy states that a riding mower is only covered if it is being used to service your property, you won't be covered if you run your mower into a parked car while driving it down the street to mow a friend's lawn. Many home insurance policies specifically state that they do not cover vehicles that you don't have to register for use on a public road.

Consequently, if you have lawn maintenance equipment that you want insured, you need to pay attention to the policy language. The way a policy is worded can make a huge difference in the types of losses covered under the policy.

Filing a Claim

While your home insurance policy may pay a claim—subject to the deductible—for a damaged or stolen riding mower, it may not be worth filing a claim. Filing an insurance claim, even a small one, could lead to higher insurance premiums.

Since insurance companies typically pay actual cash value for lawn maintenance equipment, which is usually less than the replacement cost due to depreciation, it may not be in your interest to file a claim for damage to, or loss of, personal property such as a riding mower. The good news is that there are options for purchasing more coverage so that you have to pay less out of your own pocket.

Depending on what your insurance company offers, you may be able to buy replacement value coverage so that you can recover more than the mower's fair market value in the event of a loss. For an extra premium, you also may be able to increase the limits on your liability coverage.

Buying Umbrella Insurance

Another option for purchasing more coverage—particularly liability coverage—is umbrella insurance. An umbrella insurance policy provides additional liability coverage that helps protect you by picking up coverage where your liability coverage under your standard home insurance policy ends. This is especially important if you sometimes use your mower off premises. A personal umbrella policy gives you broader coverage by supplementing your home insurance policy. For more information on what coverage is available for your riding mower and other lawn equipment, contact a company like Caiger-Watson Insurance Brokers Home Insurance.  

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