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Insuring Your Snowmobile and ATV

Hitting the trails on your snowmobile or riding through rough terrain on your all-terrain vehicle (ATV) may seem like all fun and games. But snowmobiles and ATVs can be dangerous, so you'll want to make sure that you're properly insured before you use them.

What is a snowmobile?

A snowmobile is a motor vehicle that operates on ice and snow, using steerable skis in the front and a track system in the back.

What is an ATV?

An ATV is a small motor vehicle with three or four wheels that operates on various types of terrain.

Do you need to purchase snowmobile or ATV insurance?

It depends. Most homeowners policies specifically exclude snowmobiles from physical damage and liability coverage. As for ATVs, they may be covered to some extent under your homeowners policy. In general, homeowners policies provide some protection to vehicles that don't need to be registered, especially if the vehicles are used to service the property (e.g., riding mowers). You'll want to purchase enough snowmobile or ATV insurance to adequately cover you for physical damage and liability claims.

What is covered under a typical snowmobile or ATV insurance policy?

Similar to your auto insurance policy, snowmobile and ATV insurance typically provides coverage for both physical damage and liability claims. The physical damage portion of a snowmobile or ATV policy usually pays to repair or replace the vehicle if it is damaged. The liability claims portion of the policy usually provides coverage for injury to others or damage to their property. Liability coverage should protect both you and a guest driving with your permission, but check your policy to be sure. You can also purchase additional options such as uninsured/underinsured motorists, medical payments, accessory, and trailer coverage.

Where can you purchase snowmobile and ATV insurance?

Although some of the larger insurance companies offer insurance coverage for recreational vehicles, a number of insurers are beginning to specialize in policies geared specifically toward snowmobiles and ATVs. Check with your insurance agent, surf the Internet, or consult your local snowmobile or ATV association for more information on companies that offer these types of policies.

How much does snowmobile and ATV insurance cost?

In most cases, it should be less expensive to insure your snowmobile or ATV than to insure your automobile. The cost of snowmobile and ATV insurance varies, depending on several factors. These factors may include the insurance company, your driving record, the make and model of your snowmobile or ATV, your completion of safety courses, and your experience driving the vehicle. However, many insurance companies offer discounts for multiple vehicles, experienced drivers, snowmobile or ATV association members, and so on. Some insurers even offer more affordable seasonal coverage. So, it pays to shop around.