Car Insurance for Off-Road Vehicles

By Desiree Baughman
Desiree maintains insurance licensure in 46 states, and by combining years of experience as a writer and insurance professional, she delivers information consumers can easily relate to and understand. A graduate of Sweet Briar College with a diverse writing portfolio, she regularly serves as an expert source and commentator for respected outlets like CBS Money, Bankrate, and Ragan.com.

Car Insurance for Off Road VehiclesOwn a dirt bike? Dreaming of going snowmobiling when winter hits? If you plan on driving any type of off-road vehicle, you’ll need to invest in an off-road vehicle insurance policy. Take ATVs for example — in 2011, there were a reported 327 deaths due to ATVs and an astounding estimated 107,500 emergency room treated injuries because of 3-wheel, 4-wheel or other all-terrain vehicles. Without insurance, owners can be put into severe financial debt to the point where it cripples them beyond the point of recovery.

What’s Considered an Off-Road Vehicle?

Your insurer will be able to provide you with an extensive list of off-road vehicles that could require insurance, though some of the most common include:

  • Dune buggies
  • Snowmobiles
  • Dirt bikes
  • ATVs
  • Golf Carts

Doesn’t My Home Insurance Cover This?

For the most part, no. If you’re planning on doing any trail blazing or using the off-road vehicle on property not owned by you, or if you’ll be crossing public roads or public parking lots, your ATV must be registered and insured.

The only exception here is your possessions. Any items you carry in your vehicle could be covered under your home or residential insurance policy, though you should read the fine print and check with your insurer before purchasing more coverage than you may need.

What Can One Expect from Off-Road Vehicle Insurance?

Off-road vehicle insurance includes the standard and expected items such as liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. However, additional endorsements can also be added to your plan to further cover your assets, such as:

  • Medical payments coverage
  • Towed trailer (or sleds) coverage
  • Safety apparel coverage
  • After-market parts and accessories options
  • Transport trailer coverage

Many companies will also offer optional increased limits on liability coverage.

Can Anyone Obtain Off-Road Vehicle Insurance?

Not necessarily. This depends on the insurance company, though you could see either an increase in premiums or be denied such coverage outright if:

  • You’ve been found to be at fault in one or more accidents in the past five years.
  • You or any driver listed on the vehicle has had anywhere from two or more minor convictions over the past three years.
  • You’ve had one or more insurance cancellations due to non-payment over the past three years.

That said, there are always exceptions to every rule. Even if any of the insurance denial reasons list above fit your current circumstance, it’s more than worth it for any off-road vehicle owner to shop around, find a handful of great insurance companies and obtain the best quotes. Insurance doesn’t mean just protecting your vehicle, but it means protecting all of your assets in the event of a serious or fatal accident, and too many Youtube “fail” clips involving off-road vehicles prove such accidents are extremely possible.