Do You Need ATV Insurance and How Much Should You Have?

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are popular for various off-road, summer activities. Although you might be up at the dunes or along the trails for the weekend, many states require you to have insurance – especially if you’re taking the vehicle on public land. Without coverage, the high amount of damage these vehicles can cause in an accident can be financially devastating to pay out of pocket.
So, consider the following factors before taking your ATV out for a summer adventure.
Getting Coverage
In general, most states require you to have ATV insurance to ride. Like motorcycle insurance, a separate policy or rider may provide just the right amount of coverage. Additionally, if you’re purchasing your first ATV, many dealers require you to have insurance to finance your vehicle and take it off the lot.
What if you don’t get coverage? While ATVs are fun for many, they come with several risks. Mainly, serious injuries and property damage, should you crash. Without insurance in these scenarios, you’ll be stuck paying for repairs to your ATV, but also medical bills and improvements to the damaged land or building. As a result, having a policy just in case prepares you for these potentially high expenses.
How Your Policy Works
In general, ATV policies mirror auto insurance. Your coverage assists with recovering from accidents, helps recoup costs from theft and encompasses expenses related to repairs, injuries and lawsuits. However, some riders believe that once they purchase an ATV, their homeowners insurance automatically covers the vehicle. This is not the case and you’ll be expected to have separate coverage.
What’s Covered?
Your coverage applies to a few scenarios:

  • Recreational purposes, including riding through parks, public lands and various landscapes.
  • Commuting on your property, including using an ATV on private lands to travel to work.

ATVs can be unsafe and are illegal in the following situations:

  • Riding on highways and public roads.
  • Organized racing.

As a result, if damage or injuries are sustained, your carrier will deny a claim.
Who’s Covered?
Most ATV policies extend coverage to any passengers and any rider at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license. However, should a driver younger than 16 or someone without a license decide to drive it around the trails, your policy won’t cover their injuries and any damage caused to the ATV.
What Your Policy Includes
In order to have the right amount of coverage in all situations, ATV owners are encouraged to take out:

  • Liability – This covers the costs related to bodily injury and property damage up to a set amount and can assist with any legal fees, should you get involved in a lawsuit.
  • Collision – This portion assists with repairs to your ATV after an accident.
  • Comprehensive – While optional, this protects your vehicle in the event of theft, fire, vandalism or damage related to extreme weather.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured – This protects you in the event a rider without insurance or with insufficient coverage hits your ATV.
  • Medical – As ATV accidents cause serious injuries, this part of your coverage assists with any related medical expenses.

Before planning your off-road adventure, work with an agent at Ion Insurance to explore your options. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 203.439.2815.