Contributor, Benzinga
September 4, 2020

Because ATVs aren’t usually street legal, you typically aren’t required to have insurance to ride one. However, some states do require that you have insurance if you’re riding your ATV on public land. And if you lease your ATV, you’ll almost always need to maintain insurance until you own the vehicle in full. 

If you don’t already have ATV insurance, our guide to policy options will help you get started.

Types of ATV Insurance

There are multiple types of ATV insurance, and the insurance company you work with will determine which coverages you have access to. If you live in an area where ATV insurance is required, you’ll typically need both bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. 

Some of the most common ATV coverage options include the following:

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage compensates anyone who you injure while riding your ATV. For example, if you crash into someone while riding your ATV and that person incurs medical bills, your bodily injury liability coverage will help cover any court-awarded judgements.

Bodily injury liability coverage will not compensate you for any of your own injuries. If you want coverage for your own medical bills should you get into an accident, you may want to purchase a medical payments policy add-on. 

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage compensates anyone whose property you damage during an ATV collision. For example, if you collide with another vehicle while riding your ATV, your property damage liability coverage would help pay for damage to the other rider’s vehicle. 

Like bodily injury liability coverage, your property damage liability coverage won’t cover damage to your own vehicle. Property damage liability coverage usually extends to other vehicles, homes and buildings. 

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will help pay for your medical bills or damage to your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who’s riding without insurance. Some insurance companies split this coverage into 2 separate coverages for property damage and bodily injury. 

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage compensates you for damage to your own vehicle after a collision. Most collision coverage policies will also cover damage to your ATV if it rolls over. When you sign onto a collision coverage policy, you’ll typically choose a deductible. 

If you’re involved in an accident and you need to use your insurance, you’ll 1st pay your deductible before your insurance will cover damage to your ATV. For example, if you have an insurance policy with a $250 deductible and you’re in an accident that results in $1,000 worth of damage to your ATV, you would be responsible for paying $250 of your $1,000 bill. 

Your insurance company will cover the remainder up to the value of the ATV. 

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage compensates you for damage to your ATV resulting from a non-accident context. For example, if your ATV is damaged during a fire or hurricane, your comprehensive coverage would pay to repair the damage. 

Comprehensive coverage also pays you if someone steals your ATV. Before you purchase a comprehensive insurance policy, remember to read through the list of inclusions and exclusions. Most comprehensive coverage policies include exclusions for damage from flooding, police seizure and more. 

Cost of ATV Insurance

Like most types of insurance coverages, the price you’ll pay for your ATV insurance may vary depending on a range of factors. Some factors that may influence what you’ll pay for coverage can include:

  • The type of vehicle you ride. Utility ATVs are usually more affordable to insure because they’re typically only used for work-related purposes. 4x4s are the most expensive type of ATV to insure because they can drive in almost every type of terrain.  
  • The year, make and model of your ATV. The newer your ATV, the more expensive it will be to repair or replace. As a result, expect to pay less for your coverage if you bought your ATV used. Additionally, ATVs with smaller engines tend to cost less to repair or replace, which also makes them more affordable to insure.
  • Coverage options. If your ATV is legal to drive on the road, you’ll almost always be required to purchase both bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage — just like if you were driving a car. If you add additional coverages to your policy, you’ll pay more for insurance.
  • Age of riders. Some insurance companies have minimum age requirements for ATV policies. As a general rule, expect to pay more for coverage if you have younger drivers included on your policy.
  • Driving history. Have you been in a collision on your ATV in the past? If you have a prior accident on your driving record, expect to pay more for your coverage.
  • Alcohol and drug related charges. If you’ve been convicted or a DUI or DWI in the past, you’ll pay more for your insurance.
  • Safety and security features. Most insurance companies will offer you a discount if you have a security system or anti-theft device installed on your ATV. You might also be able to save by combining your ATV insurance with your home or auto insurance or if you take an ATV safety course. Discount availability varies by insurance provider.
  • The deductible you choose. The higher your deductible, the more you’ll need to pay if you use your insurance. However, choosing a higher deductible will also lower what you need to pay in monthly premiums.

Most ATV owners can expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 per year for their insurance coverage. However, it’s impossible to know for-sure what you’ll pay before you get a quote. We recommend getting a few quotes from competing insurance providers before choosing where to get your coverage. 

How ATV Insurance Works

The definition of an ATV varies from state to state. Most rules state that an ATV is any motorized off-highway vehicle designed for off-terrain riding, with 4 wheels and control from a set of handlebars. It is against the law for ATV drivers to operate their vehicles on public or paved roads, which means that insurance isn’t usually a state requirement like it is for car and truck drivers. 

If you own a type of ATV that is legal to drive on a highway or public road, you’ll need to purchase bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. You may also be required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection depending on your state.

ATV insurance works very similarly to car insurance — you might notice that many of the coverages available through your car insurance provider are identical to the options you can choose for your ATV. If you’re involved in an accident or someone damages your ATV, you’ll contact your insurance provider to file a claim. 

Be sure to take photos of the damage and collect the other party’s insurance information if relevant. From there, an insurance adjuster will help you file a claim and examine your policy. If you’re covered for your specific accident, the adjuster will contact you and inform you how much you qualify for in compensation. 

Insure Your ATV

Though ATV insurance might not be required, an ATV can be very expensive to replace or repair after a collision or theft. It’s a good idea to insure your vehicle so that a lawsuit or accident doesn’t financially devastate you. 

Getting ATV insurance doesn’t need to be tough or expensive. Start by collecting a few quotes right here on Benzinga to learn more about your coverage choices. 

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