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If you're buying a new watercraft or other toy, or are renting cars and homes, you should consider your summer insurance needs before setting off on vacation.

"I don't think the vast majority gives it a thought," says Bill Wilson, associate vice president for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America in Alexandria, Va.

"Safety does not take a summertime break," adds Lynne McChristian, Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute, or III. "That includes knowing your risks and considering your insurance coverage and liability."

Pool Insurance to Keep You Afloat
That sparkling backyard pool helps create an at-home summer resort. But you could find yourself in the financial deep end without the right insurance coverage.

Regular homeowners insurance may not provide enough coverage if you have a pool, and some policies may even exclude pools, says Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Allstate.

Pools can be dangerous, so they increase your liability risk because you stand a greater chance of being sued or having to pay someone's medical expenses. When you get a pool, Smith suggests boosting your liability coverage. Consider an umbrella policy if it's available in your state. That increases your coverage beyond what you have on other policies.

"For instance, a few hundred dollars a year may allow you to get up to $1 million in additional liability protection beyond your existing auto and/or property insurance coverages," Smith says.

Before installing a pool, check with local government because you'll need to meet local standards and codes. Those could include requirements for safety equipment, such as fences and locks, according to the III.

It's Not Just any Ol' Car
Summer is the season for taking antique and classic cars out of the garage and showing them off in club events and parades.

Those vehicles can demand separate insurance from your regular car because of their more limited use and their value. Collector cars can become much more valuable as they age.

Insurers offer agreed-value or stated-value policies. You'll likely want agreed-value, which means you and your insurer agree on the car's value. In case of loss, the company will pay you the full amount on the policy, less your deductible. Stated-value policies leave the value of your old classic open to interpretation by the insurer, according to the III.

See if your insurer has the resources to help find rare parts and mechanics with the know-how to handle any damage to your baby. Ask if you'd be able to send the car across state lines to a mechanic of your choice.

Liability coverage is especially important with collector cars that can be difficult to drive if they have small windows or lack mirrors, says Jay Quail, executive director of the Classic Car Club of America. The club requires event participants to have proof of liability coverage.

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Posted 11:13 AM

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