Do you own an ATV (all-terrain-vehicle) or are considering buying one, but don’t fancy the idea of your four-wheeler getting damaged on duty? Considering the risks inherent in most off-road journeys, you definitely wouldn’t want your investment to go to waste.
You may think to yourself that the purpose of your purchase is to ride it around your farm and on roads far from the madding traffic of the city. Our article tells you why, without insurance, you are exposed to a plethora of risks which are likely to cost you a great deal of money in the long run.
Requirements for ATV owners
Given that ATVs are not operated on highways, there is a wide array of rules and procedures regulating their use, which vary from state to state. It is debatable whether or not insurance is a mandatory legal requirement, although it is always better to err on the side of caution. However, some policies are universal and create the basis for safe, incident-free driving.
First of all, for an individual to be allowed to drive an ATV legally without supervision, he or she needs to be at least 16 years old and to have obtained a safety certificate. Because these vehicles were specially designed to be used off-road, you must own a driving license for any occasional driving on a public road or street, regardless of the purpose or duration of your presence there.
In addition to this, one is generally requested to be equipped with a minimum of protective and safety gear while riding an ATV. This can include everything from protection for the eyes and ATV helmets to gloves, boots, and specific attire. Needless to say, it is illegal to operate an ATV under the influence of substances such as drugs and alcohol, as well as to hunt while riding one.
Coverage of ATV insurance
ATV insurance is specifically tailored to cover the mishaps which can occur during off-roading, offering you protection against losses which may ensue from accidents while operating an ATV or damages to the vehicle. Besides damage or loss, it may include theft and injuries to yourself or to others.
The basic thing that everyone thinks of when considering an insurance scheme for their property is damage liability. This refers to the cost of repairing your vehicle in case of structural damage, but can also include coverage toward the purchase of a new ATV.
Although restricted to use on designated trails, riding an ATV can potentially cause liabilities to third parties. Liability coverage can include both personal liabilities and property damage and is meant to cover the costs that may result from you being involved in an accident, such as medical bills or property losses.
Collision insurance makes it possible for you to recover the costs incurred to repair damage to your ATV following a collision with another vehicle or object.
If you want to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that your vehicle is insured against events which might damage it other than a collision, such as theft, vandalism, flooding or fire, then a comprehensive insurance will put your mind at rest.
There are some unfortunate cases where the person liable for an accident doesn’t have insurance and therefore is unable to reimburse you for your losses or medical bills. If you fear such a thing might happen, you can ask for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Cost of ATV insurance
On average, it is generally cheaper to insure your ATV than it would be to insure, let’s say, a motorcycle. This is because ATV drivers spend less time on their vehicles and ride for shorter distances and at lower speeds than their motorbike counterparts, which results in fewer accidents and, therefore, fewer insurance claims.
While liability policies are quite affordable for the ease of mind they offer, you may expect your premium to increase exponentially if you want additional types of coverage.
Because ATVs are easier to steal than a car, for example, and are rather prone to incidents, supplementing your policy with collision or comprehensive coverage will likely make you take out a good amount of money out of your pocket.
How to choose an ATV insurance
When it comes to the type of insurance you should purchase for your ATV, there are a few things to consider so that you get the most value for your money. First of all, you should get yourself up to date with the latest regulations and local policies so that your insurance scheme is compliant with all the legal requirements.
While investing in an insurance for your ATV can save you huge expenses in the future and is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it offers, you want to make sure that you get the best rate for your premium.
Many insurance companies provide coverage for ATV-related risks, some of which are specialized and others which handle a broader moto portfolio. You can, therefore, choose between adding your ATV on another policy or insuring it by itself.
If you prefer to add your ATV to another insurance policy, such as the one you have for your home, farm or rented accommodation, you can get comprehensive and liability coverage. The downside is that any claims you may have on your ATV will very likely be reflected upon your entire policy.
In order to make the choice of an insurance provider much easier, ask yourself where you intend to use the ATV. If you are planning on riding it off your property, then perhaps a better choice would be resorting to a specialized company, since homeowner policies only get you covered for as long as it stays on your property.
It’s always a good idea to check with several insurance companies before making a final decision so that you get the best products out there for the best possible price. Alternatively, you may consider consulting an independent insurance broker who will present you with a variety of offers, pointing out their benefits and drawbacks.