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How to Buy a Recreational Toy

You work hard all year long for those precious days in the sun, when you can get outside and enjoy the weather. Maybe you’ve been dreaming about finally buying a recreational toy of your own. If you have, you know you’ve got a lot of choices, from campers, travel trailers and ATVs to fishing boats and wave runners.

Whatever you choose, purchasing a recreational toy can be a big investment — and it’s one you should take seriously. One of the best ways to buy is to do your homework first and then narrow down your choices to those that retain their value best.

How to Decide on the Right Recreational Toy

If you’ve been out on the lake, sailing in a friend’s boat and caught yourself daydreaming about how great it would feel to have your own, you’re not alone. It’s an exciting idea. And it’s all about figuring out what you love to do most. Then you’ll need to reduce your options to those toys that fit your budget.

Whether you’re into sunset cruising the shoreline on your pontoon boat or hitting the road with your travel trailer camper or motor home, odds are you know what feels right. But when you're buying for the first time, you may find that deciding between all the options and amenities out there can be a lot to process. How do you know that you're making the right move? That’s where we come in!

Here are some key points to think about when shopping around for your next recreational toy:

Weigh out your wants vs. needs

Put together a wish list of all the features you’re looking for. If you’re shopping for a motorcycle, consider safety amenities like antilock brakes and blind spot warning systems. Prioritize the things that can help protect you, no matter what you’re shopping for. And by taking safety courses, you may be able to leverage a discount on your insurance. Riding smart really can pay off for experienced riders and novices alike.

Shop for new and used

Much like driving a new car off the dealership lot can leave you underwater on a loan, buying new recreational toys can depreciate after you take ownership. You may be able to save by purchasing last year’s model from a private seller or by finding a used model that checks all your boxes. Even if you do buy from a boat dealer off the showroom floor, you can always pick up a used trolling motor or other items to save a little cash.

Have a plan for storing your toy safely

Do your homework now and seek out a place to overwinter your recreational toy. It may be that you’ve got a free garage space or another storage location that can act as a safe place to hibernate. Either way, now’s a great time to get familiar with ways to winterize, before the cold weather hits.

Most engines — from recreational vehicles to personal watercraft and the outboard motor on your bass boat — will all require a little maintenance and attention at the end of the season. You’ll benefit from having a plan now because you can budget for the money you’ll need to keep your investment safe during the winter break.

Think about your transport needs

Some recreational toys will require a trailer to transport it between locations. Be sure your car or truck is outfitted with the right towing harness and is rated for the weight you’ll be pulling. It can be smart to shop for both the toys and the toy haulers at the same time, so you know you’ve got the right rig.

How to Insure Your Hobby Toys

The reality is that accidents happen, and sometimes they can be costly. Getting the right types of insurance is all part of being a responsible owner, whether you’re splashing around on a wave runner or kicking up dirt on an ATV. And there’s real peace of mind in knowing that your investments and your savings are well-protected with the right hobby vehicle insurance.

Understand the range of your coverage

Insurance for powersports doesn’t have to be complicated — but it should protect you well. That’s why we recommend you reach out to your American Family Insurance agent to be sure you get the right coverage. Here are a few coverage considerations to review:

Collision coverage

You’ll need it to protect against losses to your recreational toy if it’s damaged from a collision due to a covered loss.

General liability insurance

This is important coverage that can help protect your savings if a covered loss results in injuries and property damage to others. And this coverage extends to help pay for expenses for defense costs if liability claims are made against you. This coverage is not available for campers and personal trailers, however.

Personal effects coverage

You’ll have protection against items that are lost, stolen or destroyed under a covered loss while you’re using your personal watercraft.

Emergency waterside service and emergency roadside assistance

This is key protection that can pay off when your boat needs it most. It provides service for your personal watercraft in situations like a breakdown out on the water or a flat tire on your trailer when you’re on the road. Emergency roadside assistance is available for motorcycles and recreational vehicles, though certain conditions apply.

Medical expense coverage

This coverage can play a key role in the payment of reasonable medical expenses that you or others on your boat incur in the event of a covered, accidental injury. Note that this coverage is available on all specialty vehicles, but not available for campers and personal trailers.

Get the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Recreational Toy

Finding the right protection now is as important as making the right decision on the make and model of your recreational toy. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent today and request a quote for a suite of coverages that protects you best. You'll have a chance to explore additional coverage options with your agent, and in the end, you’ll be ready for a summer full of fun.

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Related Topics: At Home , Boat , RV , ATV , Snowmobile