Updated: August 2016
If you're one of the 1.2 million registered snowmobile users across the United States, one of the great joys of winter is looking out the window and seeing a blanket of fresh snow.
Your outdoor adventures may also come with some risk. And because snowmobiles typically aren't covered under a homeowners or auto insurance policy, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), you'll likely need a separate snowmobile policy to help protect you and your sled.
When you look into snowmobile insurance, you'll usually find that comprehensive or collision coverage may help pay to repair or replace your damaged sled. But what if you're found legally responsible for someone else's injuries or damage to their property after an accident? That's where snowmobile liability coverage may help.
Liability coverage usually includes two types of protection that may help prevent you from paying out of pocket if you are found legally responsible for someone else's injuries or damage to their property resulting from a mishap on your snowmobile:
- Property damage liability coverage may help cover the cost of repairing someone else's property, such as a broken fence or a damaged sled, if you cause an accident.
- Bodily injury liability coverage may help pay for someone else's medical bills resulting from an accident you cause.
You may be legally required to purchase snowmobile liability coverage, depending on where you live and ride your snowmobile. In New York, for instance, you're required to have it if you'll be riding your snowmobile on any part of a roadway or a shoulder of a highway. New York state parks also require snowmobile liability coverage and set requirements on the minimum amount you need.
Your agent can help you determine what the law requires in your state and any additional states you'll be riding in.
The NAIC suggests carrying proof of insurance if you plan to take your snowmobile off your private property. That means you'll need to be strategic about where you keep your insurance card so that it stays accessible and dry.
Snowmobiles are powerful, high-speed vehicles. Having liability coverage — regardless of whether it's required in your state — can help you enjoy your off-road journeys with the knowledge that you have protection in place when you're out on your sled.