our tractor and the homeowners policy - Are you covered?Your tractor and the homeowners policy – Are you covered?

One of my clients has a 2013 John Deere 4120 that he uses to maintain the insured premises.
He does not own a farm/farmer. He also, on occasion, will use it to help out a neighbor. It is sometimes operated both off-premises and on public roads. It is operated off the insured premises 6-8 times per year.
Is there coverage under the homeowners policy?
If not, can coverage be aquired/added to the homeowners policy by endorsement?
More than any other Insurance Services Office Inc. filing that I can remember, the 2010 Homeowners filing of 2011 edition forms has resolved the largest number of unworkable policy provisions lingering in a specific line of insurance.

The 2000 HO edition modified the service vehicle exception to the motor vehicle liability exclusion by qualifying such vehicle based on its use solely to service an insured’s residence. While not likely intended, this change threatened to discourage a homeowner from gratuitously mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn, for example. It also brought into question coverage for the use of a rented or borrowed riding lawnmower in cutting the insured’s own grass.

To remedy this regrettable consequence, the liability exception now applies to a vehicle used solely to service any residence, not just the insured’s residence.

The tractor IS covered. It is a motor vehicle(under the definition  – a self-propelled vehicle) however, it is not subject to registration.

You are covered for service on the insureds property and the neighbors property.

The homeowners policy does not state a limitation on the size or type  of vehicle

SECTION II – EXCLUSIONS A. “Motor Vehicle Liability” 1. Coverages E and F do not apply to any “motor vehicle liability” if, at the time and place of an “occurrence”, the involved “motor vehicle”:

  1. Is registered for use on public roads or property;
  2. Is not registered for use on public roads or property, but such registration is required by a law, or regulation issued by a government agency, for it to be used at the place of the “occurrence”; or
  3. Is being:

(1) Operated in, or practicing for, any prearranged or organized race, speed contest or other competition;

(2) Rented to others;

(3) Used to carry persons or cargo for a charge; or

(4) Used for any “business” purpose except for a motorized golf cart while on a golfing facility.

  1. If Exclusion A.1. does not apply, there is still no coverage for “motor vehicle liability”, unless the “motor vehicle” is:
  2. In dead storage on an “insured location”;
  3. Used solely to service a residence;7. “Motor vehicle” means: a.

A self-propelled land or amphibious vehicle; or

  1. Any trailer or semitrailer which is being carried on, towed by or hitched for towing by a vehicle described in a. above.

As you can see, the policy does not limit the size of the motor vehicle.

As far as driving the tractor in a public/community event, here’s the answer from our expert:

Now we are getting onto a slippery slope. It the insured were asked to show proof of liability insurance for the parade, he would be unable to .  By operating in a parade, it would NOT be servicing a residence. For this, you would need to find event insurance to cover it for the parade.