Millions of Americans own off-road vehicles, using them for weekend recreation, duties on the farm, or even racing. Such vehicles range in price from a few thousand dollars to the cost of a new car. As such, these vehicles represent a sizeable investment and protecting that investment is something not enough owners do. Protecting yourself with physical gear like helmets and protective clothing is only part of the puzzle; protecting your finances is the other. Off-road vehicle insurance is designed to provide financial protection in case of damage or loss to the vehicle, property damage, and for physical injury caused to another person. In this guide, we will introduce off-road vehicle insurance policies and talk about its major components, helping you to make informed decisions about protecting your off-road investment.
What is Off-Road Vehicle Insurance?
Sometimes called ATV insurance, off-road vehicle insurance is a specialized insurance policy that protects against financial losses due to vehicle damage during operation, an injury that occurs during use, theft, or accidents. Individual policies may differ; some may cover ATVs only, while others cover designated off-road vehicles (ORVs). In many ways, these policies are similar to automotive insurance in that they offer many of the same policy features. These features include:
Collision coverage – this part of the policy covers the expenses associated with damage repairs or vehicle loss arising from an accident.
Medical payments coverage – if the vehicle’s owner causes injury through an accident, this portion of the policy can help pay the injury victim’s medical expenses.
Liability coverage – liability insurance coverage is designed to cover the costs associated with property damage and person injury if the vehicle’s owner causes an accident. This portion of the off-road vehicle insurance policy may even cover legal expenses if the vehicle’s owner is sued by property owners or those injured in the accident.
Comprehensive coverage – this optional insurance coverage provides financial protection from certain events, such as natural disasters, vandalism, theft of the vehicle, or fire, resulting in damage or loss to the off-road vehicle. Not all policies have comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – another optional part of the typical off-road vehicle policy, this insurance helps to cover the financial costs if the vehicle owner is involved in a crash or accident caused by someone with insufficient insurance of his/her own, or by someone with no insurance coverage.
How Much Does Off-Road Vehicle Insurance Cost?
There are many factors that go into off-road vehicle insurance policies, each influencing the cost of annual premiums. These factors may include:
1. The type of intended use, such as agricultural applications, racing, or simple recreation
2. The model and type of vehicle itself, such as ATVs, dune buggies, go-karts, or designated off-road motorcycle. The insurance company may evaluate the power output and speed of the vehicle as well.
3. The owners’ driving record and claims history
4. The age(s) of the driver or drivers
5. Any specific state or municipal regulations and insurance requirements
6. The credit history of the vehicle’s owner
Do I Need to Have Off-Road Vehicle Insurance?
In very broad terms, most states do not require off-road vehicle owners to obtain and maintain an insurance policy on those vehicles. There are exceptions, however. Certain areas may require insurance coverage if the vehicle is to be operated on public lands, such as state-designed off-road recreation areas. Many lenders may also require off-road vehicle insurance before issuing a loan to purchase the vehicle.
Speak to an insurance agent today to learn more about the protection an off-road vehicle insurance policy can provide. Your agent can help you select the right policy for your needs, giving you the peace of mind that your investment is protected from loss, damage, or disaster.