Your property insurance, including a homeowner insurance policy or tenants package specifically excludes your ATV from being covered. You may wonder why since you store it at your property in the garage similar to your riding lawnmower or snow blower. Although they are all motorized items, only a select few would be considered normal to a household use and therefore be insurable under the personal property section of your insurance policy.
Snowmobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs are all required to be insured separate from your property policy, and require an auto application to be fully insured and protected properly. We understand that this may not make sense to begin, but these items all may be driven across, alongside or on the roadway with other automobiles. An auto insurance policy will allow you to select which coverage you require, same as you would your private passenger vehicle. Options include liability, collision and/or comprehensive. Sorry, but physical damage coverage will not normally be written alone without including liability insurance under your policy. In some cases, you may also be subject to a surcharge for stand- alone insurance for these items. You should contact the insurance company that already insures your other personal lines of insurance, they may often be able to offer a discount even!
An ATV is typically a high theft item from properties, making it essential that you include comprehensive coverage under your policy. Without this coverage, you can expect that an attempt to claim under your house insurance will denied by your company. Collision will protect against damage to your equipment as a result of riding. For example, hitting a ditch and rolling the ATV. The most important elements of your insurance on an ATV is liability, required whenever you operate this vehicle off of your own property where there is always a risk of property damage or injury to others. Most trails, especially in northern Ontario, will require that you carry proof of insurance in order to have access and use of the trails (similar with use of snowmobiles in the winter).
Liability is essential not only to provide protection while off your own property, but this coverage includes accident benefits. An increasing number of injuries on ATVs has been the driving force behind an increase in insurance premiums over the years. Those accidents resulting in major and more severe injury can cost an insurer thousands of dollars, all of which is covered under your accident benefits limits.
When reviewing your insurance portfolio with an insurance agent be sure to include questions and concerns about your ATV coverage and be sure you understand the limitations both on and off your property. Consider the potential for theft or injury and insure properly!
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance Manager (Sales, Marketing & Business Development)
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