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ATV insurance: How it works

How to find the cover you need for your all-terrain vehicle.

ATVs offer fast and furious off-road fun. But they can also be dangerous, so it’s important to protect yourself and others against a range of risks. ATV insurance accidents, theft, property damage and liability. And depending on where you use your vehicle, you may even be legally required to have ATV insurance.

Keep reading to find out how ATV insurance works, what it covers, and how to find the right policy for you.

Do I need ATV insurance?

There are lots of reasons why you should consider ATV insurance. In fact, depending on where you live and where you drive your ATV, insurance is often mandatory.

Here’s why ATV insurance is a good idea:

  • It’s often a legal requirement. Rules vary between provinces, but if you’re driving your ATV on public roads or land, you will typically be required to have ATV insurance. In some cases, the insurance requirement may be waived if the ATV is exclusively driven on the owner’s property. Check with your local Ministry of Transportation to verify what your ATV insurance obligations may be.
  • Risks of driving an ATV. 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.
  • It provides a financial safety net. If you’re involved in an accident or your ATV is stolen, ATV insurance provides important financial and legal protection.
  • Hit the (off)road with confidence. With the right ATV insurance cover in place, rather than worrying about what could go wrong, you can focus on enjoying the thrills and adventures of ATVing.

If you’re required to have ATV insurance, or if you just want cover for added peace of mind, you can find coverage with many car insurance companies as well as independent providers who specialize in this type of policy.

What type of ATV insurance should I get?

The type and level of cover you need varies depending on where you live. For example, in Quebec it’s mandatory to have at least $1 million of liability coverage. In Alberta you need ATV liability insurance if you drive on public property or roads, while in Saskatchewan you need at least $200,000 of liability coverage.

And if you live in Ontario, you need the same types of coverage you need for your car — third-party liability, accident benefits, uninsured motorist and direct compensation property damage. Check the minimum insurance requirements where you live before hitting the trails.

There are also several other types of cover available if you want to enjoy a higher level of protection for your ATV, such as collision and comprehensive insurance. Let’s take a closer look at the type of protection provided by each policy.

  • Liability insurance. This insurance covers injuries to other people and property damage if you’re found at fault in an accident. Provinces that require ATV insurance will usually require a specific minimum amount of liability coverage.
  • Accident benefits. This type of cover can help pay your medical bills or replace lost income if you’re injured in an ATV accident.
  • Direct compensation property damage (DCPD). DCPD insurance provides coverage when your car is damaged in an accident that isn’t your fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. This provides cover if you’re injured or your ATV is damaged by another motorist who doesn’t have insurance or has a low level of coverage.
  • Collision insurance. This covers repair or replacement costs if your ATV is damaged in a crash.
  • Comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive cover provides protection against theft, vandalism, fire, storm damage and risks such as falling tree branches.
  • 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.

How much does ATV insurance cost?

There are several factors that affect the cost of ATV insurance in Canada, such as:

  • Make and model. As a general rule, the more expensive an ATV is to buy, the more it will cost to insure.
  • Engine size. Small engines are generally cheaper to insure than larger ones.
  • Level of coverage. You’ll pay less for cover if you only have the mandatory level of liability insurance and don’t add comprehensive or collision insurance.
  • Your age. Many insurers have a minimum age requirement, while cover costs more for younger riders.
  • Your gender. Men tend to have higher premiums than women because statistics show that they have a higher risk of being involved in an accident.
  • Driving history. A clean driving record lets insurance companies know you’re a safe driver.
  • Where you live. The required level of insurance varies depending on your province or territory.
  • How you use your ATV. Cover is usually cheaper if you only use your ATV occasionally rather than frequently.
  • Where you store your ATV. Storing your ATV in a private, secure garage will mean it is less prone to theft and vandalism, so this will help keep your premium down.

Get multiple ATV insurance quotes to get a better idea of how much your premium will be.

How can I get cheap ATV insurance?

There are several simple things you can do to lower the cost of ATV insurance, such as:

  • Bundle policies. Your insurer may offer a discount if you bundle ATV insurance together with your car or home insurance.
  • Choose a lower level of cover. Though it’s not without risk, choosing a basic level of cover will lower your ATV insurance premium.
  • Take a safe driving course. You may get a premium discount by completing a safe driving/riding training course.
  • Choose a higher deductible. If you have comprehensive or collision insurance, choosing to pay a higher deductible in the event of a claim will lower your premium.
  • Protect your ATV. Adding an anti-theft device to your ATV can help reduce your ATV insurance cost.
    Shop around. Compare ATV insurance quotes from multiple providers to find affordable cover.

Compare free ATV insurance quotes online

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product ATV Coverage Online Claims Available Vehicle Coverage Available Provinces call to action
Surex Auto Insurance
Automobile, ATV, RV, Motorcycle, Commercial
Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, PEI, Yukon
Submit one application and receive quotes from 10+ insurers. Save up to 25% on your car insurance, plus get access to an insurance advisor.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to use an insurance broker to compare multiple pricing and coverage options.
Aviva Car Insurance
Automobile, ATV, RV, Motorcycle
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Aviva car insurance offers customizable policies, discounts and optional insurance coverage add-ons. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to customize their auto policy.
Travelers Car Insurance
Automobile, ATV, RV, Motorcycle
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Travelers auto insurance offers a selection of coverage options for just about any type of vehicle. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to get car, motorcycle, classic car, motorhome or recreational vehicle coverage.

What’s not covered by ATV insurance?

ATV insurance may not cover you in the following situations:

  • No driver’s licence. Insurance companies typically require the driver to have a valid driver’s licence.
  • Age requirement. Your insurance company may have a minimum age for drivers and passengers. It may not cover injuries to or damages caused by an underage driver.
  • Unnamed driver. You may not have coverage for drivers who aren’t named on your policy, but this varies by insurance company.
  • Damage while using an unnamed ATV. If you have more than one ATV, each one needs its own policy.

Check the fine print on your policy so you know exactly when you will and will not be covered.

Bottom line

If you’re using an ATV on public roads or land in Canada, you need ATV insurance. Choose whether you just want base liability coverage or protection against collisions and non-driving risks like storm damage and vandalism. Compare ATV insurance quotes to find the best policy for your vehicle.

ATV insurance FAQs


Written by

Tim Falk

Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, he has reported on a wide range of personal finance topics. Whether you're investing in stocks and ETFs, comparing savings accounts or choosing a credit card, Tim wants to make it easier for you to understand. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors. See full profile

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