Although they’re generally dismissed as “toys” and many states have no age restrictions regarding their use on private property, ATVs (or All-Terrain Vehicles) are anything but child’s play. With engine sizes ranging from 49 to 1,000cc’s, ATVs are powerful machines and were responsible for over 150,000 serious injuries and nearly 600 deaths in 2007, according the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In fact, CPSC points out that the number of ATV-related serious injuries has increased eight years in a row, with kids under 16 suffering a large share of injuries. So while state laws vary greatly in their requirements for ATV insurance coverage, those statistics ought to make you think twice. Before you head for the hills or dunes, head to your computer and get ATV insurance coverage quotes.
If you use your ATV on the job, say a ranch or farm, and let your employees operate it, ATV insurance coverage is not an option. You should discuss your legal responsibilities and liabilities with an attorney.
When looking for an affordable ATV insurance policy, check your state laws first. Many states have no age restrictions, nor do they require licensing or operator training. Some states do restrict the engine size that children under a certain age can operate. And some states require that you carry ATV insurance when operating your vehicle on state-owned land. Most municipalities forbid the use of ATVs on city streets and they are never permitted on highways or freeways.
Read the fine print on your homeowners insurance policy. Some policies may cover your ATV while its parked or ridden on your property, but not when you’re riding it off property. In addition, your homeowners liability coverage could prove inadequate for an injury sustained running into a tree while going 40 mph without a helmet. A dedicated ATV insurance policy will provide much broader coverage.
Depending on your ATV insurance provider, your ATV insurance policy will usually cover loss of or damage to your vehicle on and off the road, bodily injuries to you and any others involved in an accident, and property damage to other vehicles. A good policy will also cover any aftermarket equipment or custom parts on your ATV. Check the exclusions and limitations to see if trees, fences and buildings are covered. Don’t settle for the cheapest ATV insurance coverage, get the best comprehensive, collision and bodily injury and property damage liability you can afford.
As with most vehicular insurance policies, there are often ways you can control the costs of your ATV insurance coverage. You may qualify for discounts if you have multiple policies or multiple vehicle coverage with one company. Some companies offer discounts if the operator completes a safety course.