The Villages Voice - July 2013

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Golf Carts - Standard vs Low Speed Vehicle

by Villages Insurance - Sumter Marion Insurance

Golf Carts – Standard vs. Low Speed Vehicle
On July 1st a new law passed allowing people who own low speed vehicles, a vehicle titled or branded and registered as a low speed vehicle, to be converted to a standard golf cart. What exactly does this mean and how does this affect my insurance? In order to explain the new law we must first understand the difference between a standard golf cart and a low speed vehicle (LSV). 
First let’s take a look at the standard golf cart, you cannot drive anywhere around The Villages without seeing one. They come in every shape and color. Airplanes, antique cars, hot rods and carts to support every alma mater out there! No matter the design of the cart there are some rules it must follow in order to be classified and insured as a golf cart; two of those rules are as follows: 1) It is not capable of exceeding speeds greater than 20mph 2) The cart can only be driven on roadways designated for golf cart use with posted speeds of 30mph or less. You are not required to have a driver’s license to operate a golf cart but must be at least 14 years of age; some insurance carriers do require a valid license, check with your agent. The insurance on a standard golf cart typically runs less than $100 per year; the value of the golf cart is a significant factor in determining that cost. Although insurance is not required on this type of vehicle it is highly recommended as it offers liability coverage in addition to collision and comprehensive coverage.
What about those people that want to take a different road and go a little faster? They purchase an LSV of course! LSV’s (low speed vehicles) can exceed speeds of 20mph but no greater than 25mph. They are not restricted to golf cart paths and can be driven on streets with posted speeds of 35mph or less. In order to operate an LSV you must have a valid driver’s license and since it is considered a motor vehicle it must be tagged and registered with the state.  Since it is a registered vehicle you are required to insure it. Look at what you are paying on insurance for your automobile; LSV insurance is about the same cost along with the same coverage.
Back to the main point, the new law and the reason it exists. There are LSV owners that prefer to drive their vehicles on golf cart designated paths and do not want to exceed 20mph. LSV owners that want to convert their vehicles so they are no longer able to exceed 20mph and adhere to golf cart rules can now do so and surrender their tags to the state.  I’m sure the appeal of not paying annual registration fees and lower insurance costs may have some influence on their choice. For more information on this new law go to myflorida.com and search CS/CS/SB 62 (the bill number).  If you have any insurance related questions regarding this issue contact your local insurance agent.
This information is provided courtesy of The Villages Insurance / Sumter-Marion Insurance.