Keep your eyes open! Robot lawn mowers may end up in very strange situations[Dagmar Gilden | 20.06.2022 :]
The popularity of robot lawn mowers toiling away in the garden by themselves has increased rapidly, as has the number of accidents involving them. Owners are not yet aware of all the situations that may endanger their robot mower, which may lead to damages totalling thousands of euros, says Dagmar Gilden, Asset Insurance Product Manager at Seesam.
“The most common accident is one that involves cars – a mower plugging away in the garden is just too small to notice and guests as well as family members drive over them. For example, one policyholder hit their mower when reversing and the repair costs amounted to 2700 euros. To avoid situations like that, it is best to mention to your guests that your robot mower may be out and about in the garden or simply restrict the robot’s area of movement to prevent it from ending up on the driveway,” says Gilden. Family members should also ensure before starting the car that the mower has not wound up beneath the car.
People also tend to forget that their mower does not like moisture. When it’s raining, bring your little helper inside, and when it has stopped raining, make sure that the mower’s area has no large puddles where it can get stuck. “You should definitely limit the mower’s movement near larger bodies of water (like pools and ponds) to minimise the risk of the mower ending up in the water and drowning,” says the insurance provider.
Lightning does much harm to robot mowers as well. There have been cases where the power fluctuations during a thunder storm have put a mower out of action. To avoid damage, you should always unplug the mower and the loading dock if there is a thunder storm coming.
Although robot mowers have only recently been let out to do their job, there has been an increased number of thefts, according to the insurer. These industrious helpers have been swiped from terraces as well as from gardens in the middle of mowing. In order to avoid thefts, the insurer recommends using your mower when somebody is at home and bringing it into a garage or shed at night to hide it from prying eyes.
In terms of insurance, smart domestic aids are considered home assets. “Depending on the home insurance provider and insurance coverage, specific terms and conditions may differ and it is always best to make sure your smart little helpers are also insured,” Gilden says, and reminds us how to extend the lifecycle of robot lawn mowers.
Keep it clean, but not with a pressure washer
It is a good idea to clean the mower from time to time, while a thorough cleaning should be done just before you put it away for the winter. However, do not clean your mower with a pressure washer! Pressurised water can break through the seal or damage some of the more fragile components of the mower. “Representatives of manufacturers say soft brushes, pressurised air or just a simple damp cloth are all suitable for going over the bottom and casing of the robot. In addition, it is also a good idea to clean the loading dock,” says Gilden.
Make sure the battery is full
Manufacturers recommend fully recharging the mower before putting it away for the winter. Charging the battery is also the first thing you should do in summer to awaken your lawn mower from hibernation.
Robot lawn mowers should be taken for maintenance once a year to inspect the machine, update its software and make sure it is ready to serve you for a long time to come. According to Gilden, maintenance should be scheduled for autumn or winter, but it can also be done at the start of spring.
Robots are not fans of the cold
Remember that robot lawn mowers should be stored in areas that do not get too cold. They do not do well in frost and sub-zero temperatures.