Uncommon Insurance Products for Uncommon Needs
Insurance can be a tough topic to navigate in the best of times. Understanding what policies cover what damages can be a lot to sort through without expert help. Thankfully, brokers create home and auto insurance plans that often simplify things for customers. But what about specialty insurance brokers? What coverages do they provide, and what do they do?
To put it simply, specialty insurance policies cover all items that not covered under other insurance policies. This can include flood coverage for both homes and automobiles, motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, pet insurance, private mortgage insurance, travel insurance, title insurance, and identity theft insurance. It’s quite a list!
Specialty insurance is often overlooked by many, but in a worst-case scenario, it’s the difference between stability and consequence. Specialty insurance brokers will not only be able to help you in providing coverage for your case, but they can also explain to you in greater detail the basics of specialty insurance.
What Is Specialty Insurance?
You may have heard the term before, but what exactly is specialty insurance? How does it work, what does it do, and why do you need it?
Specialty insurance protects unique items and protects against special situations. This covers many things, and many specialty insurance brokers simply offer them as unique packages. You might be familiar with watercraft or boating insurance, but coverage for a pet or against specific natural disasters are also specialty coverages.
The concept is simple, but the range of items that fall under the term “specialty insurance” can be broad and at times difficult to keep up with.
No One-Size-Fits-All Definition
Brokers may specify in a certain branch or variety of specialty policies. These policies can be as specific as waterbed insurance to something as broad as a custom policy for your small business.
When searching for a specialty insurance broker, be sure to do your homework and ask questions. It’s important that they’re able to provide the coverage you need, after all. To break it down simply:
- Take the time to research and understand the distinct types of specialty insurance;
- Check out various specialty insurance companies;
- Meet with specialty insurance brokers; and
- Compare rates between insurance companies.
ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) Insurance
Whether for work or play, ensure your ATV gets proper insurance coverage. ATV insurance policies bring a sense of security to a hobby and lifestyle enjoyed by many and can ensure peace of mind in a worst-case scenario. ATV insurance generally includes liability coverage, property damage, and accident benefits coverage, though it’s best to consult with a specialty insurance broker for more information.
Classic/Collector Car Insurance
Whether it’s a classic car, a collector car, or an antique car, specialty insurance for your pride and joy is something that no gearhead should go without. While not applicable to every insurance plan, generally speaking, classic car insurance applies to vehicles at least 15 to 25 years old. Requirements for classic car insurance include:
- Limited usage – The vehicle cannot be used as a primary vehicle. The vehicle may see use in shows, exhibitions, and occasional driving. These stipulations range between insurance providers so consulting a specialty insurance broker is best.
- Good driving record – This may differ depending on insurance provider, but typically you must have 10 years of safe driving experience.
- Safe Storage – Most insurers insist that the vehicle is secured under lock and key in a covered garage.
- Original – The insurer may require that a certain percentage of the vehicle’s parts be original, not aftermarket modifications or reproductions.
Many Canadians are unaware that their homeowners’ insurance does not cover all damages from flooding. This realization often comes far too late, resulting in costly repairs for something easily avoided. Flood damage generally occurs in instances of:
- Natural dam failure;
- Spring snow-melt runoff;
- Storm rainfall;
- Structural failure; or
- Tidal flooding.
When considering flood insurance, be sure to inform your specialty insurance broker of likely flood occurrences in your area.
Motorcycles are the epitome of freedom, with nothing keeping you from feeling the wind on your face. Though many brokers offer motorcycle insurance packages, it’s still something of a specialty product. These insurance products can range in the extent of their coverage, but common basics include:
- Bodily Injury / Property Damage Liability Coverage: This coverage applies if you are considered at-fault in causing damage or injury to a third party.
- Comprehensive / Collision Coverage: This coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, if it is stolen, or if it is damaged in a non-driving incident.
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM): If you are involved in an accident and the other party is at fault, this coverage will protect you if they do not have any sort of motorcycle insurance or any resources to pay for your damages and/or injuries that they are legally liable for.
- Custom Parts and Equipment: This coverage provides protection for accessories and equipment added to your vehicle that exceed $1,000 in value. This coverage may also protect sidecars, trailers, custom paint jobs, safety riding gear, helmets, and trike conversion kits.
Finding the right policy for your unique situation doesn’t have to be difficult. Consulting with a specialty insurance broker will ensure that you have the best policy for your item regardless of your budget. Specialized brokers ensure protection for the special things in life when worse comes to worst, offering you peace of mind.