Published: June 2014
Whatever off-road vehicle you operate, it can be a source of endless enjoyment so long as you and your equipment are properly protected. And just like snowmobile riders are recommended to wear helmets, it's essential to have an insurance policy covering you and your off-road vehicle in place before you go hitting any trails.
Your homeowners policy likely does not cover your ATV, golf cart, dune buggy, dirt bike or snowmobile. Check your policy to make sure, but in most cases ATVs and similar vehicles aren't covered under a standard homeowners policy. Most of these insurance policies give you little to no protection for your off-road vehicle, especially once you leave your property.
But that doesn't mean your ATV has to go unprotected. ATV insurance policies can help safeguard your machine.
Although some states don't legally require off-road enthusiasts to insure their vehicles, many owners choose to do so anyway. An ATV policy can protect your vehicle as well as you against liability when operating a fast and responsive off-road vehicle.
So when you're in the market for off-road insurance, check that your carrier offers the following forms of protection:
- Collision Coverage. You wind up hitting someone's fence, a fallen tree or possibly another off-road vehicle. The costs of repairing damages to your off-road vehicle can run into thousands of dollars. Collision coverage helps cover the repairs to your vehicle. It gets your dirt bike back on the trail!
- Bodily Injury Liability. If you have an accident and someone else is hurt, you could be liable for that person's medical expenses which could include doctor, hospital and dentist bills. Bodily injury coverage provides coverage for that person's medical expenses. You wouldn't drive a car without this coverage, so why would you drive a golf cart without it?
- Property Damage Liability. In the event you cause damage to someone else's property, such as a home, cabin or vehicle, this insurance will cover the costs of repairs to the structure. Don't get stuck paying potentially expensive property damage for which you're liable. Property damage liability coverage can help protect you financially from these costly accidents.
- Comprehensive Coverage. What happens if a tree limb falls on your ATV while you're camping? And what if it's stolen? Or if it's damaged in a severe wind storm? With comprehensive coverage, your off-road vehicle is protected in events ranging from natural disasters to theft.
For added protection and savings, take a safety course like the one offered by the ATV Safety Institute. You can gain great insights into responsible off-road operation, and possibly see your insurance premiums shrink. Check with your specific carrier first to be sure any course you're considering qualifies for discount.
Enjoy your time off-road, and get home safely!