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Insurance on Engines and Tractors

What do you guys/ladies do for insurance on your engines and tractors?
I was talking to my insurance agent today concerning insurance on my engines and tractors. And as I understand it, If you think your homeowners insurance will cover them, you are probably wrong. She said that since they are antiques and cannot be easily replaced, they are not insured under my home owner’s policy. Surprise! She said that she must secure a policy with an underwriter that specializes in heirlooms, wine collections and other irreplaceable things. The reason I got to thinking about this is not so much from fire or theft, but what happens if I get in a traffic accident and lose or severely damage an engine or tractor.
A few years ago, a guy lost his beautiful Rumely 30-60E Heavyweight when the tractor slid off the hauler’s trailer. Almost every casting on the tractor was broken or cracked and insurance did not cover a thing. A hired hauler must have special insurance added to their policy, as normal cargo insurance will not cover antique equipment - period. It would be a good idea to check your club’s haulers’ insurance as most all policies state that antique equipment will not be covered.
What have you done to insure against the worst scenario or do you not worry about it? --Mark

I've asked my homeowners’ insurance agency about it and they always say they are going to look into and get back with me with what kind of policy I need, but I have yet to ever hear anything back from them. I guess it's time to follow up with them again. – Tom

That type of coverage is called "inland marine" and it costs a fortune! Half the insured value of your homeowners' policy will cover contents. Jack up the insurance on your house and/or out buildings as high as your agent will allow and TAKE PICTURES so you have proof. – Craig

What is an antique? Anything that is 100 years old, or older. So keep the word antique out of the policy. -- Roger

The definition of antique varies depending on what you are talking about. I have always taken the definition of motorized antiques to be 25 years old. In Connecticut when your vehicle turns 25 years old you are eligible for "Antique Plates", but in reality there is no set mark as to what an antique is or isn't. – C.J.

Well as far as my steam engines and tractors go, I have the high value ones listed on my farm policy at only partial value. Anything of much value has to be listed on the policy. As far as gas engines go, I don't have much on them. After all, if you insure all this stuff at full value it will cost you a small fortune. I believe all insurance companies are in business to make money and that they will. It is just a matter of risk and how much of it are you willing to take. We have probably stumbled onto the reason many nice items aren't seen at shows any more. And yes, I have placed some of my property on poorly equipped trailers with questionable drivers, but this doesn't happen as much as it used to. Some of these guys figure they are like a D-7 Cat and if it falls off the trailer you just drive it back on and go. Seems some of the shows may shop around for cheap truckers. – Ken

I have an extra on my homeowners’ insurance for the engine shed for theft and fire ( the fire has to come from the outside ) and they don't pay me more than $20.000 max. It's the same for the antiques and ancient art objects in the house, you have to pay extra for it and they want pictures and specifications. At shows I have insurance for $2.500.000.00 when something happens because of my engines ( for example a flywheel flies into the crowd ) but when someone tries to stop a flywheel by hand on a running engine it's his own responsibility. On the road, I have nothing for my engines and trailer if I lose them. It would cost you a fortune and you have to fill out a form for every single trip. – John

My local insurance agent insures my tractor and engines at whatever dollar price I set. I insure them for whatever their going value is and right now I am carrying over $20,000 insurance on my toys. That way if something catastrophic happens with traffic or fire or storm, since I live in a tornado alley, I will at least have some money to buy something to replace them. -- Rodney

Well Rodney that’s all fine, but the last Rumely F I saw sell went for over $30,000 and it didn't even run, Add a couple more Rumely's at $12,000 to $14,000 and a couple of steam engines at $12,000 to $14,000 and a few gas engines at $500 to $7,000 and you soon can't afford it! Barring falling off the trailer on the freeway, there isn't much that can happen to them that will completely destroy them, so I have elected to take some risk. It isn't like they’re a matter of life or death. It’s just a hobby and all hobbies have their risks. Look what happened to the Stock Market – Ken

I would be interested and I'm sure many others would be also, in knowing what this $20,000 of ADDITIONAL coverage is costing. I've priced Inland Marine, I'll take my chances. – Craig

Ok guys- I'm going to write a small book here. Insurance is a lot like cell phone packages. One company offers lower rates, but when you read all that small print, paying their so-called lower rates will most likely cost you more in the long run. My wife is an underwriter for a very well known insurance company. We (of course) have our personal insurance through that company. I have not purchased any "special" policy to cover my engine collection, because my engines ARE covered through my homeowner policy. Even though I rent storage for them away from my home, they are still covered as "personal belongings" under my policy. It doesn't matter that they are antiques or hard to replace. You can, in most cases, set an amount of coverage for your personal belongings. I believe it is referred to as "Stated Amount". Sure, it will cost you a little bit extra, but it really isn't that bad. Your best bet is to try and contact your insurance COMPANY (not your agent) to find out what they will and will not cover. Of course, take a look at your policy first to see if you can decipher it for yourself. In most cases, insurance agents don't really know as much as you think they do. AND, if they can con you into buying extra insurance that you don't really need, it's more money in their pocket. Every company has different "rules" on their policies, so take a good look at the policy you have. You might be in for a big shock as to what you ARE and what you are NOT covered for. – Ironman

I had this conversation with my S.F. Insurance man about 2 years ago and he said that all my toys are covered under the Homeowners’ buildings & structures & contents section. I have a stated amount for this on my policy and it is more than enough to cover my small collection including the buildings. Theft is also covered on anything outside on my property locked up or not. His quote was, "Locks are for doors, not for tractors". I do keep my engines, lawn mowers and 4 wheelers locked up to prevent any wanna-be thief from being tempted. I would be quite upset if I ever need to use my insurance and I was mislead by my insurance man. Thanks for starting this thread Mark, it is a good idea for every collector to know their insurance coverage. -- Tony

Ironman, that's interesting to know! I have asked my insurance man in the past about the homeowners’ policy covering my engines and I was told that I had to buy another policy. If I wanted coverage on the road, I needed to buy trip insurance. The quote that I got was approximately 10% of the value of the engine. That was for 1,000 miles and if the trip was farther it would be more yet! I told him that I apologize if I look stupid! I figured I'd take my chances on my own, as the trailer insurance took care of the liability. I'll do a little checking with the company. If it turns out that there may be another way, I may ether get another agent or wring this ones neck! Thanks for the insight, -- Charlie

Ironman is 100% on the money in everything he has said. Most insurance agents knowledge of insurance ends with the percentage of premium that their commission is. And since they have to justify their agent loss ratio, agents LOVE selling Inland Marine coverage. READ your homeowners policy! Most states now require plain language, so policies are a lot more readable than they ever were. NEVER accept the first answer from a carrier, unless you are completely satisfied with that answer. Your agent doesn't work for you, and he will sacrifice you in a heartbeat to protect his relationship with a carrier, that's where his income comes from. Any agent who tells you the only way he can cover you is with Inland Marine has just told you that you NEED a new agent. A quick test to determine how good an Agent is; Ask who reinsures the policy that you are about to buy. A competent agent can answer the question, and the correct answer will be another insurance company. Any agent who cannot answer that question is wasting your time, and probably NOT selling you the correct product. Disclaimer: I have bought insurance, worked for Insurance carriers, and investigative agencies that de-license insurance agents, as well as investigate insurance fraud. I am probably a lot more conversant with insurance than the average person, and well aware that under NY State Law, an individual can defraud a carrier, but a carrier cannot defraud an individual. – Franz

My local insurance agent tells me that at home, my homeowners insurance covers me. When I'm at a show, my homeowners insurance covers me. The only time that I am not covered is while I am in transit and then, my auto insurance will cover the trailer, but not what I'm hauling. – Kevin

Let's say you have a $100,000 homeowners’ policy. The policy will automatically cover "contents" for half the face value of the policy unless you have very expensive "replacement value" coverage. In the event of a TOTAL loss you will get $50,000 to either refurnish your house or your shed. The insurer won't care if you buy plasma TV's or engines. To them, contents is contents, which is why I said earlier, jack up the insurance on your house as high as your agent will allow. In the long run it's still the cheapest way to protect yourself. And, don't underestimate what your auto policy will cover either. Auto policies cover many things you wouldn't even think of! – Craig

A few years back I was involved in a crash while pulling my trailer, I also was under the impression that the trailer was covered while being pulled by my insured vehicle. I WAS WRONG. But the contents were covered by my homeowners’ insurance for up to 10% of the value of my policy. I now have a new trailer and a separate policy on it. Each insurance company may be different. --- Allen

I go for the company who insures the whole ball game. Home owners, auto, property liability, everything. I also do the same for the business. If my car gets into trouble on my property, who pays? Let the insurance company decide. If an employee gets hurt driving my truck, who pays? Workman comp or auto insurance, let them decide. I do not like finger pointing about who may be responsible. If you ever have problems from an insurance company it will probably be from finger pointing. – Al

Insurance is always a HOT topic when it comes up on the SmokStak. Evaluate your own cautions, cares and concerns and see your agent if something doesn’t add up. -- Harry


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