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Golf Cart Accidents Are No Joke

June 23, 2020

4 min read

Protect your golf cart on the road and on the course.

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Take a quick trip over to YouTube. Search for golf cart fails. You’ll see a lot of flipping, skidding, crashing, and flying.

Sadly, it’s people who do the flying. Golf carts shouldn’t take on the damage you see, and neither should the drivers and passengers.

Golf carts aren’t toys, and golf cart accidents are no joke. Stay with us, and learn how to cover your golf cart on the road and on the course.

Know Golf Cart Laws and Regulations

A golf cart is a golf cart, right? There surely aren’t laws … wait, there are state and local laws governing how you use these vehicles!

Our friends at Golf Cart Resource created an in-depth guide to golf cart state laws and regulations. When you get to the site, click on your state for a full list of rules and regulations.

Laws vary from one state to the next, but we’ll use Illinois as an example.

Though they let local governments handle most golf cart regulations, the state of Illinois dictates these rules for driving golf carts on roads:

  • A driver’s license is required to operate a golf cart on public roads. Translation: don’t let kids take the golf cart out for a spin around the neighborhood.
  • State minimum liability insurance is required.
  • You can’t drive golf carts on state or federal highways, and they can only be driven on roads where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less.
  • There’s a LONG list of equipment requirements, so we won’t post all of it here.

This is only a quick summary. Are you surprised to see so many rules?

Hopefully, this convinces you to check your local laws before you run out and buy a golf cart as a commuter car.


On the Road: A Golf Cart Accident Scenario

Let’s say your town allows golf carts on roads.

Great! You buy a golf cart and use it for in-town trips.

You couldn’t ask for better weather on this sunny summer day. You start your golf cart and head out.

You feel an infectious energy in the air as you reach the square. The annual festival starts tomorrow, and you can’t go five feet without seeing someone you know.

You smile, wave, and get caught up in the moment. You don’t see the little red car with its caution lights flashing.

Crash! You rear-end the little red car.

Who pays for the damages?

There are two possible answers:

  1. If you have recreational vehicle (RV) coverage from Pekin Insurance, your insurance policy and your deductible could help cover damages, injuries, and medical payments.

  2. If you have no coverage for your golf cart, you could pay for all damages, injuries, and medical payments out of pocket.

There’s a common misconception that your homeowners policy will cover crashes like this. However, most homeowners policies won't cover golf cart accidents unless they happen on your property, on a golf course, or in certain private residential communities.

That’s why it makes sense to have a standalone RV policy for your golf cart.


At the Course: A Golf Cart Accident Scenario

You wake up to a day that’s perfect for golfing:

  • It’s not too hot or too cold.
  • It’s slightly windy.
  • There’s almost zero humidity.

You grab your golf bag and head out. You meet a few friends at the course, get your cart lined up, and start the game.

You’re playing lights-out. The drives stay on-course. The putts curve when they need to curve.

You can barely believe it. If you keep this up, you could go pro and hold the Masters Cup over your head someday!

You hop on your golf cart and drive toward the next hole. You think about the next shot and don’t see the turn ahead. You run the golf cart into a tree and hear a cracking sound.

Who pays for the damages?

Once again, there are multiple answers:

  1. If the club owners know you well, they could cover the costs with business insurance or their own funds.

  2. As we mentioned above, your homeowners policy might extend liability coverage for the tree you hit or other property damage. However, physical damage to the golf cart wouldn't be covered by most homeowners policies, which is a huge advantage of having RV coverage in this scenario.

  3. If you’re at a course that allows golfers to bring their own carts and you own your cart, this is where the RV insurance would come in handy.


Yes, You Can Get a DUI on a Golf Cart

Maybe you don’t need us to tell you this, but:
Motor vehicles and alcohol don't mix.

Here are the places where drinking and driving is acceptable:

DUIs are embarrassing. A DUI on a golf cart? That’s a new level of embarrassing.

In most cases, you can get arrested on private property for drinking and driving, even if you avoid hurting people and damaging property.

Let someone else drive the golf cart if you’ve had a few too many on the course. Don’t drive the golf cart at all if you’ve had a few too many at home.

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RV coverage for your golf cart is such a no-brainer. You might say it’s a hole in one!

Pardon our cheesy golf puns, and contact A1 Insurance and Financial Services LLC for everything you need to know about RV coverage.


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This post is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not guarantee coverage or non-coverage of any risk or event and is not intended as legal advice. Insurance coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of the policy at issue. Consult your independent agent for details.

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