What to Consider When Purchasing ATV Insurance
April 16, 2018
As the seasons shift and you’re preparing your off-road vehicles to perform their best, there’s an important thing to remember: insurance!
If you’re new to the world of ATV insurance, we’ve got a brief rundown on what you should consider. If this is old hat, skim through to make sure everything is current and updated.
Why Do You Need ATV Insurance?
Some states require it. If you currently have other insurance policies, they will likely tell you that the theft rate on ATVs is higher than other vehicles. They’re easier to steal and transport, so insurance is a wise investment should yours go missing.
How Expensive is ATV Insurance?
That depends on:
- Vehicle type
- Driving record
Typically, a vehicle used strictly for work (utility ATV) is going to cost less to cover. The more hardcore riding you plan to do (off-road, off-trail), the greater the likelihood that your insurance costs will increase.
Y/M/M/S, Age, History
Much like auto insurance, these factors change how much you pay. A newer, larger vehicle costs more to insure. Size definitely raises the cost. Older age and a clean driving history will get you a lower rate. If you’re planning on insuring teenagers, expect to pay more. If your vehicle comes with security features, it can reduce the costs of insurance, and some policies will offer a discount for safety certifications.
Most importantly, the type of coverage you choose is the largest determinant of how much you pay.
Individual needs vary by application, frequency, and riding style.
If you’re the type who likes to take your tires everywhere imaginable, you’ll likely want more coverage. Many insurance companies have policies under their motorcycle division or their off-road sector. It is possible, in some instances, to get discounts due to multiple coverage policies (also known as bundling), so if you currently have one of either category, ask first about reduced rates before looking through other companies.
At the very least, if insurance is required in your area, you’re going to need general liability coverage.
Other coverage options:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Uninsured motorist
- Medical payments (can help with health insurance, where that won’t cover, etc)
- Comprehensive - damages not caused by a collision (theft, flood, vandal, natural disaster)
Note: If you’re going to be racing, that will require specialty coverage, likely through a specialized company. Many plans you can get from the major insurance suppliers are for recreational, work, or commuting use.
Bodily injury insures you if someone gets hurt, whereas medical payments can help pick up the slack where your insurance may not cover. You'll want to thoroughly check the coverage on each policy before deciding, as you may end up purchasing something that's already covered by an existing policy. Uninsured motorist comes in handy if you're in a collision with someone else who doesn't have insurance to help pay for their damages. Property damage aids in the event that you break something of someone else's. And comprehensive covers damages not caused by a collision, like theft, vandalism, flood, natural disasters, etc.
Because highway riding is not legal in most places, anything that happens on a highway will not be covered by ATV insurance. It’s important to understand what’s covered and what isn’t. For example: Many ATV insurance policies only insure you and your vehicle. If something happens while you're driving one that's not registered to you, that's likely not covered. Take the time to read (and decipher) the fine print. Ask questions before deciding on a policy.
If you don’t already have an insurance policy for off-road vehicles or motorcycles, shop around! Rule of thumb: compare three (or more) quotes from different companies. Even if you already have a plan in place, we recommend looking around anyway. Discounts can be found for a variety of reasons, and it never hurts to check.
While you’re at it...
A few other things to update:
- Have you moved?
- Has your name changed?
- Has your current license and insurance expired?
- Are your permits in good standing? Has your ATV registration expired?
All of these are last minute small details likely forgotten in the excitement of getting ready to ride. Check them now so that when the weather is nice, you can tear off into the mud without second thought.
For detailed information on ATV requirements by state, check here.