By Amy Haldorson
Does your child have a Barbie jeep or an electric bike? If you come to my house, you’ll more than likely see a couple of kids zooming around on them all over our yard. Sometimes even running over pets or their siblings. There has also been an occasional 3am Barbie car race between adults. Shhh don’t tell my kids. One particular beautiful starry night my friend and I were bored. Because, why sleep at 3am when you can drive Barbie cars around. She hopped on and the next thing you know she's zooming towards my garage door. You know how this turns out….I blamed it on the kids of course. When I asked Chad how to go about turning in the claim, he had more questions than usual…but my first thought was, am I liable for this damage? Most homeowners insurance policies now extend coverage for motorized vehicles, including Barbie Jeeps. But, there are some exceptions to this rule, so you may want to check with your insurance agent. Now, if the Barbie car had an accident off our property and hit someone else or someone's else's property, I may have been liable. Homeowner’s policies may or may not provide coverage while on the insured premises, and it less likely that polices extend coverage for these motorized vehicles beyond the property. This could leave your clients (and possibly YOU) open to a liability exposure if there were to be an accident, injury or property damaged caused by the motorized vehicle….and yes, Barbie Jeeps and electric bicycles are considered motorized vehicles. As the weather warms and those warm weather toys come out of the garage and on to the driveways….and sidewalks and streets, it is a great time to ask your talk to your insurance agent about any toys that you may have on your property.
Safety Tips for Electric Cars for Kids:
1. Inspect the car. Do a once over and make sure there are no broken or missing parts. Additionally, you should get familiar with how the toy works. Make sure there are no exposed electrical components or sharp edges.
2. Create a safe riding environment. Think about helmets and seatbelts, riding surfaces, and fences.
3. Properly maintaining the vehicles are important. The main components to keep an eye on for an electric toy car are; wheels, body and battery.
4. Cleaning and proper storage. If you want the toy to last a long time, do not keep it outside. Rain, snow, moisture and curious critters are all threats and will easily dam-age, as well as damage the battery.
5. Age and weight limits. Be sure to check out all the features and limitations of a car before buying it to ensure its age and weight are appropriate for you child.