Your off-road vehicle may need extra protection depending on how you use it.
Though it’s easy to get lost in the fun of it all, you may need coverage to protect you and your ATV in the event of an accident. Find out what ATV insurance covers and how it works.
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What’s covered with ATV insurance?
ATV insurance is liability and damage coverage for your all-terrain vehicle, also known as a four-wheeler. These vehicles are meant for off-road riding, with the potential for accidents and injuries.
ATV insurance closely resembles car insurance. You’ll find base coverage with similar categories, plus ATV-specific add-ons. Unlike cars, though, not all states require ATV insurance.
If you do opt for it, you can find coverage with many car insurance companies. However, not all companies offer this option. You can also find ATV insurance with independent providers who specialize in this policy type.
What kind of coverage should I get for my ATV?
ATV insurance will help cover damages you would otherwise have to pay for. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to get ATV insurance. Types of coverage to consider:
- Liability. This insurance covers other people’s injuries and property damage if you’re found at fault in an accident, such as if you run into a neighbor’s fence. States that require ATV insurance will usually require this coverage with a specific minimum limit.
- Medical payments. Covers medical help if drivers, riders or bystanders get hurt in an accident. Consider medical coverage if you ride at high speeds or if you have health insurance coverage with a high deductible.
- Collisions. Covers damage to your vehicle in a collision, even when you’re riding alone.
- Comprehensive. Top ATVs might need coverage for theft, vandalism or random scenarios like falling tree branches.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorists. Unlike car owners, you can’t expect ATV owners to have their own insurance. Consider this coverage if you ride with other people.
- Equipment. If you attend many events, you might find this coverage helpful for other equipment related to your ATV.
- Trailer coverage. You may want this add-on if you transport your ATV in a trailer. If your car gets into an accident while transporting the ATV, damage to your trailer and ATV would kick in.
Must read: how does ATV insurance work with car insurance?
If your ATV is involved in a car accident during transport, the car insurance is the primary source of coverage. The same goes for trailer coverage: you’re covered for damage to your ATV if your ATV is transported in a trailer and you’ve opted for trailer coverage under your car insurance policy. Whatever damages aren’t covered under the car insurance policy are assessed according to your ATV coverage.
When would I need ATV insurance?
You may need to evaluate how you’ll be using your ATV. For example, if you’re simply riding your ATV at low speeds in a backyard, you could opt for little to no ATV coverage.
However, you will benefit most from ATV insurance in these situations:
- Competing in sports events.
- Riding at high speeds.
- Riding on public property.
- Living in a state where ATV insurance is required.
When wondering whether to skip ATV insurance, consider that this vehicle type is known for accidents. In the event of an accident or rollover, the driver usually has minimal protection. Insurance could help cover damages and injuries.
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Case study: ATV insurance in action
Let’s say you compete in ATV sports races. During the race, you lose control of the vehicle and collide with another competitor. The accident damages the body and axles of both vehicles. In addition, you and the other competitor will need to get cleared by a doctor before racing again.
In this scenario, your liability insurance would kick in to cover your competitor’s medical bills and ATV damage. Then, your collision insurance would pay for repairs on your own vehicle.
Finally, your personal health insurance would help with medical bills. However, if a medical problem needed specialized attention not covered under the health insurance, your ATV medical payments coverage would then kick in.
Do different kinds of ATVs need different insurance?
Although ATVs can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, most will be covered under general ATV insurance. However, you may want to discuss special coverages with an agent based on how you use the vehicle.
In addition, the type of ATV you use may influence your insurance premium. For example,
- Utility vehicles. ATVs that are made for work are usually less expensive to insure than smaller, sportier versions.
- Off-road vehicles. Vehicles like four-wheelers and dirt bikes often go faster and use a straddle seat position with little protection and likely cost more to insure.
- On-road vehicles. Vehicles like dune buggies, golf carts and go-karts may go at slower speeds than off-road vehicles. While you may do some off-road riding, they aren’t built for all types of terrain. In addition, most include cages and seatbelts that protect riders during an accident.
- Snowmobiles. Many insurance companies offer insurance specific to snowmobiles. This may improve your rates since you’re not accountable for risks associated with other off-road vehicles.
How can I get cheap ATV insurance?
The cost of ATV insurance can vary widely, from a few hundred to a few thousand per year. A full coverage policy with state minimum liability plus collision and comprehensive could cost around $25 per month. The average annual cost of ATV insurance is in the $200, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Actual rates vary based on the driver and vehicle. You can lower an otherwise expensive policy by considering these insurance cost factors.
- Make and model. Just like a car, an ATV’s make and model affects the cost of repairs.
- Engine size. Small engines are generally cheaper to insure than larger ones.
- Level of coverage. A more comprehensive insurance policy requires more upfront cost, but could save you money during an accident. You can also lower your premium by raising the deductible.
- Driving history. Having a clean driving record lets insurance companies know you’re a safe driver.
- Riders’ age. Many companies have a minimum age requirement. Others will charge more for young riders.
- Safety features. You could get an insurance break if your ATV has a GPS for theft recovery or a factory-installed anti-lock braking system.
- Safety courses. You may get a premium cut if the driver or riders take safety training courses.
What’s not covered by ATV insurance?
ATV insurance may not cover certain situations including:
- Driver’s license. Insurance companies often want the driver to have a valid driver’s license.
- Age requirements. Your company may have a minimum age for drivers and passengers. It may not cover injuries to or damages by an underage rider.
- Policy limits. Some damages may not be included under the coverage you chose.
- Unnamed drivers. You may not have coverage for drivers who aren’t named on your policy. But this varies by insurance company.
- Unnamed ATVs. If you have more than one ATV, each one needs its own policy.
Whether or not it’s required in your state, ATV insurance could save you money in the event of an accident. Compare auto insurance options to find the best policy for your ATV.