What You Should Know About Off-Road Vehicle Insurance

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in outdoor activities that can be enjoyed while staying socially distanced. More people have taken up golf, hiking, biking and off-roading on local trails.

A four-wheeler, dirt bike or snowmobile is not the same as a standard bicycle, especially in regards to where you ride, related risks and insurance. To make sure you have proper coverage in the event of an accident, here’s what you should know.

What Off-Road Vehicle Insurance Covers

An “off-road” vehicle is used on dirt trails and other non-asphalt terrains. They include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as well as dirt bikes, snowmobiles and side-by-sides.

Many falsely assume their homeowners and auto insurance policies extend to off-road activities, based on where they ride. However, homeowners policies frequently exclude off-road injuries and car insurance only applies to your vehicle.

Considering these aspects, you’re recommended – if not required – to have off-road vehicle insurance. Beyond anticipating potential accidents, many parks expect you to have a baseline of coverage to ride the trails.

For off-road vehicles, insurance includes bodily injury and property damage. You’re also encouraged to take out collision, comprehensive, medical and uninsured/underinsured.

Furthermore, off-road vehicle coverage extends to related activities for which you would use an ATV or utility vehicle (UTV). Excluded activities include taking your ATV or UTV on the highway or local roads, with the exception of crossing at marked intersections. Additionally, policies won’t cover organized racing activities due to the risks involved.

Common Misconceptions About Off-Road Vehicle Insurance

Several misconceptions surround insuring an ATV, dirt bike or other off-road vehicle, including the following points.

1. You Don’t Need Insurance

You might learn this the hard way, after taking your uninsured ATV or dirt bike to a location that allows off-road vehicles. You try to use your auto insurance, but the park informs you this coverage does not extend to off-road vehicles.

Off-road vehicle insurance is important, as accidents can and do happen. Without this specific coverage, you’ll not only be on the hook for vehicle repairs but you may also need to pay for damaged property. Also consider the repercussions if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who might not have sufficient coverage.

2. Coverage Is Too Expensive

You choose to forego off-road coverage, only taking your vehicle to select locations because you believe insurance coverage is expensive. Yet as a baseline, most off-road vehicle coverage ranges from $100 to $350 per year. Factors that can affect pricing include what you take out for coverage and when you intend to use the vehicle.

3. Customizations Are Covered

Customizations complicate insurance coverage for all types of vehicles. Not only can changes alter your policy and limits, but your carrier may intentionally exclude work that doesn’t involve OEM parts.

As you get ready to purchase an off-road vehicle, first check to see if any customizations or after-market upgrades have been made. Should you want to make any changes, update your carrier and expect to pay a higher premium.

4. You Can Request Roadside Assistance

While towing services extend to cars, motorcycles and RVs, ATVs and other off-road vehicles are excluded – unless you add them to your insurance policy. This extension allows fuel to be delivered to your location, helps tow your vehicle in the event of an accident and provides assistance to change a flat tire. In order to have these services performed, your vehicle must be close to a public road, rather than deep within a trail network.

Are you thinking about purchasing an off-road vehicle? Contact a HUB/Ion Insurance agent to discuss coverage today!