By All Means, Enjoy Your ATV, but Don???t Go Naked
We face this mix of conditions every day when we get behind the wheel of a car. And that is why having car insurance is a no-brainer.
However, when it comes to driving ATVs, an activity that encompasses—you guessed it—heavy metal, high speeds, variable terrain and unpredictable weather, many people don’t think about insurance. Silly, isn’t it?
In a June 2008 press release, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a non-profit organization of state insurance regulators, cautioned drivers of all-terrain vehicles:
[ATVs] are also not covered by standard automobile insurance policies; however, your homeowners policy might partially cover your liability on an ATV. Ask your insurance agent or company if this coverage is enough to protect you and your family. You might want to consider a separate ATV policy to make sure you are properly insured.
What’s more, many states require minimum levels of liability coverage if you drive your ATV or quad on state-owned land. If you have an ATV and are unsure about your insurance situation, call your agent for some advice.
Here are the typical coverages available in ATV insurance policies:
- Comprehensive—pays for all damage (minus your deductible) that is not the result of a collision (vandalism, hail storm, flood, etc.)
- Collision—pays for damage resulting from a collision with another car (minus your deductible)
- Liability—pays for property damage and medical costs that you cause, as well as any subsequent legal expenses you incur
- Medical payments—pays for any medical costs that you incur after an accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage—pays for damage and medical costs that are the result of an accident with a underinsured or totally uninsured driver
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a group that represents U.S. insurers, ATV policies typically cost around $200.
“A small price to pay for peace of mind,” says III media relations representative Michael Barry.