Bill proposes to offset high golf cart insurance rates

The Villages Rep. sponsoring bill to reduce golf cart speeds

THE VILLAGES, Fla. - Some golf cart drivers say insurance is getting too expensive, and they're looking to Tallahassee for relief.

Rep. Marlene O'Toole, is co-sponsoring a bill that would help some drivers get around the high insurance costs.

The bill proposes that faster golf carts be altered to cap their speed at 20mph.

Owners would also have to pay for an inspection from the State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and obtain a decal confirming their cart was converted.

"There's no excuse to be charging the same amount for insurance as you pay for an automobile," said Fred Merrow, a retiree who lives in The Villages.

Merrow paid $22,000 for his "street-rod" golf cart, but said he had no idea that insuring it for one year would cost him $800.

Tony Colangelo, owner of The Villages Golf Cart Man store, said he agrees rates are high, but thinks all golf-cart drivers should be required to have insurance, even those driving slower ones.

"They really need to look hard at how many accidents there are with golf carts, which I think is not being looked at," he said.

Jim Plotzke drives a traditional cart- it doesn't go faster than 19 mph, and he said the people who buy the faster carts should anticipate the high insurance costs.

"They go fast, but I mean, who's in a hurry, we're retired," he said.

If O'Toole's bill passes, it would take effect on July 1.

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