Buying a robotic lawnmower does not only mean that you should know about its functions and whether it suits your needs and your garden. What you should also know about is if and how you can insure it, so that you don't get the shock of possible damages. Robotic mowers can be included in the sum insured of homeowner's and personal liability insurance policies. Various insurance companies also offer supplementary insurance that specifically applies to robotic mowers. For Husqvarna models, there is the Automower Protect insurance offered by the manufacturer. In this article I explain how you can insure your robotic lawnmower and what you should look out for in insurance. After that you know!
Do you even need to insure your robotic lawnmower??
It is not a legal obligation to include your household appliances in the insurance policy. Since you have spent a lot of money on your automated garden helper and it is doing its rounds in your garden (and hopefully only in your garden) without your intervention, I recommend you to look into its insurance.
Why insurance is not compulsory, but highly recommended.
Dealing with insurance companies is rarely a pleasure, but it pays off in the event of a claim, and it's not as much trouble as we think it is.
At what time you should take care of the insurance?
As soon as you have a robotic lawnmower, there is a risk of damage. Therefore, as is so often the case with insurance, you better deal with the insurance of your new device early on. It is best to take care of the insurance shortly before you purchase your robotic lawnmower, so that you have already taken care of it and the insurance is valid from the moment it starts making its rounds in your garden. You should already know which device you are buying, so that you can clearly indicate the value and model of the robotic lawnmower to the insurance company.
Is every robotic lawnmower accepted by insurance companies??
In the case of household insurance, any robotic lawnmower is usually accepted, since it is insured on the basis of its value, and then the insurance company will only pay as much as it cost. However, depending on the insurance company, there may be requirements as to which safety standards a robotic lawnmower must meet in order to be insured, especially in the case of personal liability. This includes, for example, basic anti-theft features or safety features such as lift sensors or the like. But these are basic functions that should have every device today. To ensure that your insurance company has nothing to complain about with your robotic lawnmower, it is better to clarify at an early stage whether there are any specifications that your device must comply with.
What insurance options do you have?
To make sure you don't waste too much time researching insurance, I've listed all the ways you can insure your robot right here:
You can include the robotic lawnmower in your household insurance
- Fire damage
- Elementary damage
- Theft damage
- Water damage
But in the course of time, new technologies and new equipment are developed, the costs of which were not included in older insurance contracts (because they did not exist at that time).
The insurance company may then be reluctant to cover damage to such equipment if this has not been specifically clarified beforehand.
Therefore I recommend you to read your insurance policy carefully to see if robotic lawnmowers are specifically mentioned. If not, call your insurance company to see if the robotic mower is covered under your homeowner's policy.
The important and expensive items of the household must be listed in most cases, so that the insurance company has an assurance that the insured sum corresponds to the value of your household and you are not underinsured.
Tips for the clarification of the household insurance – What you must pay attention to?
Insurances also try to overinsure their customers from time to time, as this results in more paid premiums for them. So here are two more tips to have your back when dealing with your insurance company:
- Pay attention to the amount of the insured sum of your household goods: Household insurance policies are usually already set high in their minimum, because especially natural hazards are unpredictable and are therefore estimated high from the outset. Don't be persuaded to pay an inflated sum just because you add a robotic lawnmower worth around 2000 euros.
- Make sure you get a written confirmation that your robotic lawnmower is covered by your homeowner's insurance: it's always good to have written proof that you have your robot insured, just in case.
Tip: there are insurances that offer a hull supplement, on the household contents. This covers, according to a defined lump sum, any accidental damage you cause to equipment. If you consider yourself a scatterbrain and accidentally destroy things every now and then, such a (not quite cheap) add-on might be worth it.
You can include the robotic lawnmower in your personal liability insurance
Personal liability insurance covers damage that you or your equipment cause to third parties. You are covered up to a certain amount, which is usually already quite high.
Robotic mowers are generally quite safe on the road and equipped with their lifting sensors and obstacle detectors to stop their work in case of doubt, so that they only cut the grass and not also the rolled away expensive toy of the neighbor's child, which is now lying on your lawn or even the escaped neighbor's rabbit overlooked.
Still, it's worth making sure your robotic lawnmower is covered under your personal liability, as you never know what might happen. The robotic lawnmower is, after all, an unattended device with sharp blades that makes its rounds outside.
With personal liability, it is also important to check how old your policy is and whether you need to renew or extend your policy to include the robotic lawnmower.
One more note: If you do encounter injured animals on your lawn, it is your responsibility to take care of them since it happened on your property. If it's a pet, report it to the owner immediately, and if it's a wild animal, like a hedgehog, report the emergency directly to a veterinarian.
Tips for clarifying personal liability insurance – What you need to look out for?
Similar to the household insurance, it is important to pay attention to the following when clarifying with your insurance company:
- Pay attention to the amount of insurance coverage: The sum insured of the private liability is usually already set quite high. Do not be persuaded to an overestimated sum, just because you add a mowing robot of about 2000 euros value.
- Make sure you get written confirmation that your robotic lawnmower is covered by your personal liability insurance: it's always good to have written proof that you have your robot insured, just in case.
You can take out additional insurance specifically for your robotic lawnmower
Are you more comfortable if your robotic lawnmower simply gets its own insurance, so that certainly any damage to and from your device is covered without argument?
Then you also have the option of taking out a special robotic mower insurance policy. There are many insurance companies that offer additional insurance for robotic mowers nowadays. These cost extra (depending on the insurance around 20 – 60 euros), but you can be sure that your device is fully insured.
Insurances that officially list robotic lawnmowers in the home contents or offer additional insurance are currently the following:
- VHV Insurances
- HUK-Coburg Classic household insurance
- LVM Versicherungen Hausrat
- Allianz household insurance supplementary tariff "Comfort
- Cosmosdirekt garden insurance
- Ammerlander Insurance Home contents
Tips for adding insurance to your robotic lawnmower – what to look for?
If you take out additional insurance for your robotic mower, make sure you know what the conditions are for it. How do the insurance values change with the age of your device?? If you change to another model, you must report this to the insurance company in each case?
Always check first whether the insurance with which you are already insured with your household contents or private liability, offers an additional insurance. For customer loyalty sometimes also a good offer jumps off and besides you must communicate then furthermore only with an insurance, that simplifies the bureaucracy.
Husqvarna tip: listen up if you own a Husqvarna robotic mower: the manufacturer has developed a specific insurance policy for their devices. If this interests you, check out their site: Husqvarna "Automower Protect" Insurance
As a short and sweet overview for clarifying your robotic lawnmower's insurance, I recommend the following order:
- Household insurance: Check if your robotic lawnmower is not already covered by the household insurance you already have
- Personal liability insurance: Again, check whether damage caused by your robo to third parties is already covered by your existing insurance
- Additional insurance: If your robotic lawnmower is not yet included in your insurance, then include it with an additional insurance
- Accident insurance: are you covered for accidents on your robotic mower? If you don't have accident insurance, it's high time to get it anyway!
Make sure that the insurance value is only adjusted as far as necessary and do not be persuaded to an exaggerated insurance sum. Most of the time, the insured amount is already sufficient in the homeowner's as well as personal liability insurance and the main issue is to have specifically mentioned the robotic mower.
What do you do if you have a claim?
The most important two steps are as follows:
- In case of theft: Report the loss immediately to the police and file a report there
- In all cases of damage: Report the claim to the insurance company as soon as possible
In the event of theft, the first thing to do is report it to the police. On the one hand, you have a better chance that the police will catch the thief (depending on the theft protection you have activated on your device).
On the other hand, you'll usually need the police report then anyway to claim the loss with your insurance company. The sooner you do this, the better.
In case of other damage, for example caused by hail or thunderstorms, you should immediately file the claim with the insurance company. These days, most insurance companies have an online portal where you can enter a claim right away or download the form, fill it out and mail it in.
It doesn't go over well with an insurance company if you don't call in regarding hail damage until two months later. In addition, the processing at the insurance company can take its time, so it is also advantageous for you to start the claim as soon as possible, so you know how to proceed.
Note: The insurance company will probably ask for a professional appraisal of your machine to calculate the amount of the damage. For this you will either have to put it in repair or have a professional come and look at the damage.
What insurance covers you if you injure yourself on your robotic lawnmower??
If you injure yourself on your robotic mower, so badly that you have to go to the doctor, for example, and it incurs costs, then that would go through accident insurance.
With most employers, if you work more than 8h / week, you are included in both occupational and non-occupational accident insurance. This means that you are insured through your employer in case of accidents at work, but also at home.
If you don't have an accident insurance through your employer, I strongly recommend you to get one. You never know what will happen and accidents can quickly lead to high costs.
Can the robotic mower run at night and on Sundays with insurance??
Whether or not a robotic mower falls underneath normal pollution laws is a gray area at the moment.
From the wording of the law, only "hand-held" devices fall under the noise and quiet time ordinance. The law is still lagging behind the fact that automated robots are now at work in our gardens.
What is clear, however, is that a noise complaint and the associated fine are never covered by your insurance.
Therefore, I advise you not to let your robotic mower run at night or during applicable quiet hours to save you trouble with your neighbors. If sued in court, chances are your neighbors will be proven right and you'll have to pay a fine. This may well cost you several thousand euros.
Tip: You should not run the robot at night anyway, so as not to disturb nocturnal animals such as hedgehogs.
How long is the warranty on your robotic lawnmower??
The warranty on robotic mowers, as with other equipment, is usually set at 24 months from the date of purchase. Keep the receipt and the enclosed warranty card in a safe place.
Attention: rechargeable batteries are excluded from the normal warranty period for many devices and lose their warranty already after 12 months. Therefore, within the first year, pay attention to whether the battery is defective, so that you can still replace it during the warranty period.
Which claims are covered by the warranty of the robotic lawnmower?
Regarding the warranty, the same applies to robotic mowers as to other equipment: damage caused by improper use is not covered.
Other damages, such as defects or faults on the device that occur in the first few months are usually covered by the warranty.
Tip: Especially during the first 6 months it is important to make sure that everything on your device is working properly or if you should report a defect.
Besides insurance, what other means are there to protect your robotic lawnmower from theft or storm damage??
There are a few other ways to protect your robotic lawnmower from theft or other damage besides insurance.
Here's what you can do about theft:
- Enable PIN code entry on your device (nowadays every device has a PIN option)
- Set up a lockout function (when the device is lifted, it locks automatically and can only be unlocked using a PIN code)
- Set up an alarm function
- Activate the GPS tracking (you can also upgrade the GPS module if your device does not have one integrated)
- Enable GeoFencing
- Install surveillance cameras around your house (to deter potential thieves, but also to have evidence in case of theft)
- Register your device online with the manufacturer (this way you are registered as the owner and a second registration is not possible, i.e. the device becomes unusable for thieves)
Tip: Do you have a dog? Dogs are probably one of the most efficient means of deterrence against thieves, which no one can get around unmolested.
To avoid storm damage you can do the following above all:
- Always winter the robotic lawnmower including charging station indoors in a dry place to avoid frost and moisture damage
- Get a robotic lawnmower garage (this protects the charging station and also your robotic lawnmower when it gets critical for your garden helper with hail and storms)
- Never let the robot drive when storms or hail are announced
What else can you do to give your robotic lawnmower a long and trouble-free life??
To keep your machine running smoothly and maintain the smoothest relationship possible, regular care and maintenance of your robotic mower is the name of the game.
You may think that this is extra work that you exactly wanted to save yourself with a robotic mower, but I can assure you: The more regularly you clean and maintain your garden helper, the less effort it is and the better the result of its work turns out to be.
The most important points for care and maintenance are as follows:
- Clean the wheels every 1-2 weeks (or more often in wet weather)
- clean the housing every 1-2 weeks (or more often in bad weather)
- Clean the blades every 1-2 weeks
- Change the blades every 3-4 weeks (dull blades damage the blades of grass)
- Clean the charging station every 1-2 weeks
- Check the contact points of the boundary and guide wires regularly