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High Insurance Costs for ‘Glorified’ Golf Carts Causes a Fuss in Florida

| News, On the Street | February 8, 2013

EZGO Street Legal Cart

High NEV insurance costs is being addressed in Florida

Florida LSV (Low Speed Vehicles) owners are up in arms due to high insurance costs to drive their vehicles on the roads. It’s so much of an issue that state lawmakers are going to take action to help reduce insurance costs for seniors in retirement communities.

Many people in retirement communities own LSVs or street legal golf carts so that they can get around the local area using the public roads. However, LSVs owners are being hit with large insurance bills that can range from $600 to over $1000.

LSVs tend to have a top speed that is faster than that allowed for street legal golf carts, around 25-30MPH, and are permitted to be driven on roads with a posted speed limit that is less than 35MPH.

Compared to street legal carts, LSVs tend to have a more “advanced” design and features that are more commonly found on regular road cars. Like road vehicles they are also given a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) by the manufacturer rather than a serial number, as is commonly assigned to golf carts. From an insurance standpoint this is where the distinction lies.

Most owners think that their home insurance will cover their LSV, like it can with a golf cart, but as it has a VIN it’s not covered due to it being classed as a “vehicle”. This leads owners to purchase separate cover for their LSV, which can be expensive.

Noting LSV owners’ concern lawmakers in Florida’s House of Representatives and Senate have devised a way to avoid these expensive premiums. Their proposal would allow LSV owners to convert their vehicles to “regular” golf carts by installing “governors”, a device to limit its top speed to the 20MPH approved for golf carts. After making this, and other, modification the owner will provide proof of the changes and their LSV will be considered a regular golf cart.

Although this workaround may reduce insurance costs for LSV owners many might not want to cripple its top speed to that of a golf cart after shelling out a premium to get an LSV in the first place. Combined with the estimated $1000 cost of the conversion process, a large number of owners may just decide to stomach the high insurance costs.


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