Auto insurance is getting more complicated all the time because of all the different kinds of vehicles on the road. A classic example of this are the four-wheeled machines called All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).
These vehicles are not motorcycles but they are not car either. Many people will wonder if an ATV needs insurance after all you don’t operate on them on the highway or use them for commuting.
The best answer to this question is yes, an ATV needs insurance if you ride it off of your own property. If you’re riding an ATV on your property your home, farm or business insurance should cover you. If you go off your property say on a hunting trip you probably are not covered.
Auto Insurance Does not Cover ATVS
To make matters worse your auto insurance probably will not cover if you are riding an ATV. A standard auto insurance policy is only designed to provide the liability coverage required in your state and collision. Generally, such a policy only covers the drivers and vehicles specifically mentioned in it.
The only time a car insurance policy will cover an ATV is if it is a bundled a policy. A bundled policy is really a collection of separate polices issued by one insurance company.
A bundled policy can only cover additional vehicles if they are specifically added to it. If you buy an ATV or a new ATV you will have to add it to the policy.
Why you need ATV Insurance
There is a big reason why you need ATV insurance: liability. If you are operating an ATV off of your property you can be held liable for any damage that it causes or any accidents you are involved in.
If you are riding one on the public road and a car swerves to avoid you and gets into an accident you could be held liable. If you don’t have insurance the driver or her insurance company could come after your salary, your property or your bank accounts.
An ATV insurance policy will usually protect you in such a situation but not always. You will have to be obeying the law if you’re operating on the public road or a trail. License plates are required for ATVs are required in some states.
Something else to be aware of is that you will be held liable if your children cause an accident while operating an ATV. If a child is under 16 and does not have a driver’s license standard ATV policies will not cover him. That means it is not a good idea to let your kids ride ATVs off your property.
Another restriction to be aware of is that your insurance probably will not cover you if you ride somebody else’s ATV. You might be covered by the owner’s insurance.
If you rent an ATV while you are on vacation make sure you get ATV insurance. Your policy will only cover you if it specifically mentions, rentals, you can ask about rental coverage if you get a new policy.
How to Get ATV Insurance
There are many companies that offer ATV insurance the best way to find it is to do a basic online search. Check with several different companies and get several different quotes.
The good news is that ATV insurance is fairly cheap. If you have a new or expensive ATV you should get comprehensive insurance which covers both liability and the replacement of the machine. Comprehensive will pay to replace or repair the machine if it gets stolen, damaged or destroyed.
The best course for the average person is to get comprehensive coverage because it also provides Medical Payment and Uninsured Motorists’ coverage. These will cover the majority of claims arising from accidents which are related to injuries stemming from accidents.
So yes you will need ATV insurance. The truth is that you will need insurance for any almost any motorist vehicle you operate off of your property including scooters. Contrary to popular belief you might need such insurance even if you aren’t required to get a license to operate the vehicle. You can be sued over an accident involving any kind of vehicle.