An all-terrain vehicle is a great way to explore the great outdoors. If you have a new ATV – a new utility task vehicle or side by side – you’re no doubt eager to take it out for a drive. Before you do, however, you need to make sure you have the right insurance coverage.
In Wisconsin, we can help you make sure you’re complying with state laws and protecting your assets. Here are some of the issues to consider when shopping for ATV insurance.
ATV Coverage and Other Insurance Policies
You might be wondering if you really need ATV insurance coverage. You probably already have auto insurance and homeowners insurance – do you really need ATV insurance on top of that?
A standard auto insurance policy won’t cover your ATV or UTV. Your homeowners insurance policy may provide some limited coverage, but this probably won’t cover the risks adequately. ATV insurance is designed specifically for your off-road vehicle, and it’s what you want.
State Laws and Insurance Requirements
ATV insurance isn’t just a good idea – it might be a legal requirement. Depending on where you live, your state may require insurance for your ATV, just like it requires insurance for your regular vehicle.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, many states require ATV insurance for any ATVs operated on state-owned land. While Wisconsin does not require liability insurance on atv’s, utv’s & side-by-sides, it is highly recommended. Your homeowners liability insurance may cover an ATV accident if another party was injured or had their property damaged. For example, if a friend was riding a UTV on your property, injured themselves, and sued you for damages, your homeowners liability insurance would typically cover the incident. Just keep in mind that some homeowners policies have limitations on their coverage, and riders may have to be a certain age or related, so it’s good to get an ATV insurance policy if you’re concerned about a gap. Please call us for more information.
What are the Licensing and Registration Requirements?
What are the age requirements? Wisconsin State law requires anyone operating an ATV between the ages of 12 and 18 must have completed a safety training course when using an ATV on public land. There may also be additional requirements based on age.
What are the safety requirements? Wisconsin requires the use of a helmet for all riders under the age of 18. Drivers and passengers who are 12 and older and traveling to fish or hunt can bypass this rule, and people riding on private property owned by an immediate family member don’t have to wear a helmet. However, helmets are a smart idea regardless of the legal requirements where you live.
Where are ATVs allowed? ATVs are off-road vehicles, and they may be banned on highways and other roadways. ATVs may also be banned from certain areas, such as beaches or protected lands. Before you take your ATV somewhere, make sure it’s allowed.
Avoid legal problems. Check the ATV laws in your state. If you take your ATV to another state, remember to check the laws there, as well.
ATV Coverage Types and Limits
Although your ATV will not be covered by your standard auto insurance policy, ATV insurance is similar to a typical car insurance policy. There are different types of coverage that provide protection against various common risks.
- Bodily Injury, UI/UIM, and Property Damage Liability Insurance: What happens if you’re riding your ATV and you accidentally hit someone? The injuries could be extensive – and expensive. You’re looking at immediate medical bills, as well as the possibility of long-term medical expenses and lost wages. Without insurance, you could be sued and held personally liable, but bodily injury liability insurance coverage can shield you from this possibility up to the policy limits.
Property damage liability insurance can also cover the resulting costs if you accidentally damage another person’s vehicle or other property. Liability insurance offers important protection, and it is the coverage type most likely to be required under state laws.
- Collision and Comprehensive Insurance: You probably spent at least a few thousand dollars on your ATV. You may have spent upwards of $20,000 or more on it. If you plan to get a lot of use out of it, you might consider this a good investment. But what if something happens to your ATV? You could be out a good chunk of money. Collision and comprehensive coverage protect you against this possibility. Collision insurance covers damage to your ATV arising in a crash. Comprehensive insurance covers other types of losses to your vehicle, including fire damage and theft.
- Medical Costs: Bodily injury liability insurance covers medical costs if you accidentally injure a third party, but it doesn’t cover injuries that you or your passengers may experience. Medical payments coverage is part of an auto insurance policy. It may help pay your or your passengers’ medical expenses if you’re injured in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This coverage is optional and not available in all states.
- Additional Coverages: If you have expensive equipment or upgrades on your ATV, you may need to insure it separately.
These are some of the most common coverages, but your needs may be different. An insurance agent can make sure you have the right coverage for your unique situation. Give us a call to help you review your coverage needs.
ATV Insurance Costs and Other Considerations
Just as with car insurance, there’s going to be a lot of variation in the cost of ATV insurance. How much you pay will depend on many factors, including how much coverage you need.
If you have a high-end ATV with a lot of after-market improvements, you may need additional comprehensive and collision coverage to protect it fully. These higher limits will result in higher premium costs. Likewise, if you want to increase your liability limits to make sure your assets are well-protected in case something goes wrong, this will also increase your premiums.
Another issue to consider is the deductible you choose. The deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket if you file a claim. You may be able to lower your premium by selecting a high deductible. This can result in savings now, but if you have to file a claim, you will pay more at that time. It’s a tradeoff that you should consider carefully.
Not everything raises your costs, however. Some factors may lower your costs. If you qualify for an ATV insurance discount, you could save a lot on your premiums. Give us a call to see if you qualify for any ATV insurance discounts.
Your Adventure Awaits
When you own an ATV, you don’t need roads – but you do need insurance. Don’t let your off-roading adventure turn into a regrettable misadventure. Without insurance, one bad day could cost you your ATV. If you get hit with a lawsuit, it could cost you much more than that, too. Protect your investment, your assets, yourself, and your passengers with insurance coverage designed for ATV risks.
Talk to your independent insurance agency for assistance getting the coverage you need.