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Basics of Snowmobile and ATV Insurance

Snowmobile and ATV Insurance: Coverage Types, Costs and Exclusions

Regardless of experience, it’s important for snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders to have insurance. Going off-road without proper coverage could spell disaster in the event of an injury, collision or another unforeseen issue. Looking for answers to the basic snowmobile/ATV questions? AAA Washington Insurance Agency has you covered.

Snowmobile ATV By Angelov AdobeStock
Photo is by Angelov/AdobeStock.

What is snowmobile/ATV insurance?

Snowmobiles and ATVs are usually not covered under homeowners (especially off-premise), renters or auto insurance plans, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Instead, owners of such vehicles typically buy separate insurance policies to protect themselves financially.

Snowmobile and ATV insurance generally works like auto insurance. A policy may provide coverage for personal injuries, vehicle repairs or legal liability in case you turn out to be responsible for someone else’s injuries or damaged property.

Some insurance companies offer snowmobile- or ATV-specific plans, while others offer off-road vehicle policies that offer coverage for snowmobiles, ATVs, dune buggies, dirt bikes and even golf carts. Yet other insurance companies may cover ATVs under motorcycle insurance policies.

What does snowmobile/ATV insurance cover?

Generally, basic snowmobile and ATV insurance may include the following coverages:

  • Collision coverage helps cover repairs to your vehicle if it’s damaged in a crash with another vehicle or object.
  • Bodily injury liability coverage is important if you injure someone in an accident and are found legally responsible for their medical expenses. Bodily injury liability may help cover their medical bills.
  • Property damage liability coverage protects you if you’re found at fault in an accident that damages another person’s property. If you damage someone’s house or fence while riding an ATV, for example, property damage liability coverage may help pay for their repairs.
  • Comprehensive coverage protects you financially if your vehicle is stolen or damaged in some other way than a collision. Such cases may include fire, vandalism, falling debris or weather-related events such as floods and hail.
Snowmobile ATV By Tiffany AdobeStock
Photo is by Tiffany/AdobeStock.

Some insurance companies offer additional coverages that can be added to your policy. Such coverages could include:

  • Uninsured/underinsured driver coverage for both bodily injury and property damage, which protects you if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or lacks enough coverage to pay for damages. If you are hurt or your vehicle is damaged and they are found at fault, this coverage may pay for your medical bills or repairs.
  • Towing coverage provides towing (or reimburses the cost) to a repair facility if your machine is disabled.
  • Equipment/accessory coverage, which may cover additional equipment and accessories like saddle bags, cargo racks, electronic equipment and aftermarket additions like windshields or gripper skis.
  • Trailer coverage gives you coverage for the trailer you use to transport your off-road vehicle.

Shop around and talk to various insurers to see what they have to offer. Chances are good that you’ll be able to find the right package of coverages to suit your needs.

How much does snowmobile/ATV insurance cost?

That depends on the type of coverage you purchase and the type of vehicle you are insuring. Other factors may also affect your rate, including where you live, your age and your driving record — much like automobile insurance. Standard snowmobile plans start at about $120 per year.

ATV policies vary similarly, with standard coverage starting at around $100 per year. Again, your agent will help you compare quotes from various companies to find the best coverage at a rate that fits your budget. And remember that if you buy an off-road policy from the same insurance company that provides your home or auto insurance, you may be able to save money by bundling your plans for a discount.

Snowmobile By Studio Kwadrat AdobeStock
Photo is by Studio Kwadrat/AdobeStock.

Are there exclusions to snowmobile and ATV insurance?

Often, there are, and you should check your policy to be aware of them and make sure you’re protected. One big example: Standard policies for both snowmobiles and ATVs only cover recreational use or commuting, but not damages from organized, competitive racing. And of course, your policy most likely won’t cover you if you are injured or your vehicle is damaged while you’re doing something illegal, like riding on a highway.

Is snowmobile/ATV insurance required?

Insurance for snowmobiles isn’t required in Washington state or Idaho. While there are no laws specific to ATV insurance in Washington, Idaho requires liability insurance when riding an ATV on federal, state, county or city roads. Still, it’s a good idea to keep yourself covered, just in case.

– Written by Arnie Aurellano, last updated in December 2022.

–Top photo is from Wlad Go/AdobeStock.

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