Will Standard Auto Insurance Cover Off-Road Vehicles?

Off-road vehicles like ATVs and UTVs are a common form of entertainment and leisure in the US. The activity is especially popular during July 4th celebrations, for riders of all ages — including children. Unfortunately, the popularity of their use also correlates to the frequency of accidents occurring. For riders who aren’t compliant to safety measures and proper equipment, this is bad news. In fact, nearly 4,000 people have died in the US from ATV-related accidents since 2004, often due to an absence of safety helmets and proper equipment.

In spite of its risks, ATV and UTV action is still considered a major source of thrill entertainment to many — especially when done professionally and with all safety precautions heeded. However, accidents tend to happen out of our control, and when they do, it’s great to know whether your auto insurance covers your off-road vehicle to cut costs. In this post, we’ll discuss key things you should know about off-road auto insurance:

Standard Auto Insurances

While details may vary depending on provider and state, standard auto insurance policies should cover the minimum level of liability coverage with premiums that are based on a driver’s driving records. Sound Dollar notes that car insurance costs pay for three types: liability, collision, and comprehensive, and the average cost of a full-coverage policy is at $1,202 per year. However, this is only if you’re younger than 65 and have more than six years of driving experience, with no accidents and reside in a suburban location. Generally, car owners are encouraged to get at least the most basic car insurance available to them as it may save them significant amounts of money in case of accidents or theft.

How Do I Get Auto Insurance For My Off-Road Vehicle?

This may widely vary depending on the insurer you’re inquiring from, but it’s generally helpful to ask about additional off-road policies with regards to your auto insurance to know what coverage applies to your off-road vehicle and to what extent. The following coverages will sound familiar as they are available in standard non-off-road insurance policies as well, but always ask your insurer if they apply to your off-road vehicle:

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers costs and damages you may have to pay when you hit someone. In the case of off-road vehicles such as UTVs and ATVs, it’s very unlikely that you would be hitting other people, especially if you do your riding in designated parks and tracks where pedestrians wouldn’t be walking in proximity.

We’ve previously written about Templex Park being sold to make way for a housing development. Closing off safe spaces where off-roading is legal and done with safety in mind can be dangerous, as it pushes people to ride in unsafe environments instead, putting themselves at risk of dangerous terrain not fit for off-road tires, or in civilians’ way. When that happens, liability coverage may be your solution.

Collision Coverage

As with liability insurance above, ATV collisions may seem rare, especially if you’re a rider who prioritizes the safety of yourself and others around you. However, it happens more often than you think, and having collision coverage can help you pay for any damages to your off-road vehicle resulting from collisions or from hitting obstacles.

Bodily Injury Protection

Insights from Dr. Bret Nicks from Wake Forest University emphasize a recent increase in injuries related to ATVs as the vehicle’s popularity grows. Common bodily injuries span from arm, leg, and ankle fractures, to serious head and organ injuries. Off-road vehicles such as ATVs and UTVs may seem small, but are generally heavy and built to be durable. Since they also operate at high-power speeds, accidents are prone to happen and bodily injuries are a frequent consequence.

Even when we’re fully protected by gear and safety measures, accidents can happen. Inquiring about bodily injury protection as part of your auto insurance can save you major hospital costs in case of an accident.

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