When diving into the world of ATV driving and entertainment, newbies and veterans should ask the question of if they need ATV insurance. If someone buys a new or used ATV vehicle, what are the benefits and drawbacks of getting insurance for it? Here are the best ways to determine if ATV insurance is a worthwhile investment or not!

Most states in the United States require all ATV owners to possess liability insurance and register their ATV vehicles. Most insurance plans will cost around $60 for liability coverage and around $350 for full coverage annually. However, exactly how much liability insurance costs varies.

What makes some ATV insurance plans worthwhile? What should interested parties know and consider before they go all-in with their vehicular insurance? Let’s go over in depth what to look for and think about with ATV insurance details.

1. How Does ATV Insurance Work?

ATV insurance works very similarly to auto or home insurance policies. Insurance helps cover costs that are the result of an ATV-related accident, and the right kind of insurance plan can also help pay for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and even legal defense in case of a lawsuit!

If damages or accidents happen, the ATV owner should contact their insurance agent, who will then open a claim. After a claim number is issued, documents such as photos, repair quotes, and statements will need to be submitted to the insurance company. Sometimes claim adjusters will arrive in person to assess the damage caused by the accident. The adjuster then reviews the damage and determines the compensation for the client based on numerous factors, like the type of coverage the client has, the nature of the accident, and what the deductible is. Then the compensation will be set, the company will issue a payment to cover costs like machine repair, and the client can get back to ATV riding as soon as possible!

2. Benefits of ATV Insurance

One of the biggest benefits that come from ATV insurance is the peace of mind that comes from legal and financial protection against ATV accidents. Similar to auto insurance policies, ATV insurances offers legal and financial protection should loss, accident, damage, injury, or theft occur. Every insurance policy is different and is based on state minimums and any added-on additional coverages that the customers opt in for.

Liability coverages such as bodily injury and property damage are often required by the state in order to register your ATV but even if it’s not required it’s worth having if you ever intent on riding off of your own property. Bodily injury liability insurance protects the ATV operator against damages in case injury or death should occur as a result of driving the ATV and includes the cost of legal defense if necessary. Property damage liability is there to protect an ATV owner against damages caused to someone else’s property while driving the machine and it offers legal defense if someone files a lawsuit against the ATV owner.

Some helpful coverage options that can come up on ATV policies include comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and medical expense coverage. Comprehensive ATV coverage can pay for covered losses that result from incidents other than collision, such as theft or fire. Collision coverage pays for damage to the ATV if it should hit or get hit by another object or vehicle. Uninsured or underinsured motorists’ coverage is activated if a different driver is at fault but does not have proper or sufficient coverage to pay the correlated costs of an accident. Finally, medical expense coverage is potentially one of the most useful add-ons to insurance, since it insures an ATV driver against any hospital bills that may pile up as a consequence of an ATV accident.

All of these different insurance coverages can be more than a bit confusing, so try to hire an insurance agent to help explain what coverages are best to buy and which ones are optional. Picking the best types of insurance options is an important task, and it is worth it to consult with a professional.

3. Downsides of ATV Insurance

The biggest and key downside of ATV insurance is the same downside of all insurances–the cost can add up quickly and be pretty expensive by a year’s end! Additionally, sometimes ATV coverage or insurance plans are not even required, depending on the state or ATV park, so buying it could be seen as useless and a waste of funds. It is important to note that the cost of ATV insurance is usually worthwhile, and even if some states do not require ATV insurance, it is still strongly recommended to carry active insurance.

Usually, the cons of not having insurance outweigh the cons of having it. This is because if an ATV driver is operating their vehicle while uninsured, they are then responsible for paying 100% of the associated costs of an ATV accident. While this cost will not be great if the accident is minor and just requires repaired bodywork or a replaced windshield, most ATV accidents are severe and involve expensive medical bills. If an ATV driver risks driving without insurance, they risk the linked financial distress that could come from an unforeseen accident. Paying a monthly insurance premium is never fun, but insurance is usually worth the cost in case theft, fire, hospitalization, or accidents should happen.

4. Do All ATV Owners Need Insurance?

One of the first questions that an ATV owner and user need to ask is if they even need insurance for their vehicle in the first place. An ATV owner’s insurance needs depend on the specific laws and requirements of their state or if the ATV is financed. Many states require liability coverage because they want everyone riding in public places to have “financial responsibility” in case they were to cause an accident. Below there is ATV insurance information listed on a state-by-state basis. Usually, the average ATV owner will need to have either liability or full coverage of their vehicle. ATV insurance operates in much the same way as car insurance does.

If your ATV is financed the lender will require that you carry full coverage insurance on your ATV since the loan is being backed by the ATV, otherwise, if you were to total the ATV there wouldn’t be a way for the bank to collect on your loan. Therefore they require that you carry full coverage insurance and have the bank listed as the lienholder so if the ATV were to be totalled, the insurance company would pay off your debt with the lender first.

To discover if you need insurance, you should look up online or call their relevant government officials to ask and find out if your ATV needs insurance. Dozens of vehicular insurance companies offer unique and varied insurance packages for all kinds of vehicles, including ATVs! Even if a state does not strictly require ATV insurance, popular ATV parks, and driving locations likely will! Government-owned, national parks, and even public ATV driving locations will often request that visitors show their proof of ATV insurance before they are even allowed to ride in the location. So, if an ATV enthusiast wants to drive in the best spots around town, they will likely need to purchase qualifying ATV insurance!

5. Average ATV Insurance Costs

ATV insurance plans can vary in cost depending on state, individual, and type of plan and coverage. Some of the most basic ATV insurance policies will cost less than $60 per year. The average costs of ATV insurance will span from $100 per year to up to $1,600 per year, depending on the ATV owner’s desired coverage. The factors that can greatly affect the cost of ATV insurance plans and the tier of desired coverage include uninsured statuses, comprehensive plan statutes, collisions, underinsured statuses, and medical payments.

Luckily, ATV owners can lower the cost of ATV insurance by comparing what kind of insurance plan best fits their needs. ATV plans can be standard and mainly cover property damage and bodily injury, or the ATV plan can have specific additional options added for a higher price.

ATV liability coverage can cost anywhere from $58 to $126 per year. The most affordable to most expensive companies to buy liability insurance from is Markel at $61, Geico at $70, Progressive at $75, Average at $88, Dairyland at $106, and Allstate at $126 (as of June 2023). Keep in mind, liability coverage is limited and most governments and special ATV riding areas will require proof of full coverage insurance. When in doubt, double check with what kind of insurance that states and ATV parks require.

Full ATV coverage is more expensive and will cost around $165 to $510 per year. The most affordable to most expensive companies to buy full ATV coverage plans from include Dairyland at $165, Progressive at $188, Average at $327, Markel at $352, Geico at $421, and Allstate at $510. Although full coverage plans are more costly, they offer a lot more security and benefits than more limited insurance plans.

6. General ATV Laws for Each State

After determining how this type of insurance works and how it is helpful, it is no wonder why most states in the United States require coverage for all ATV drivers! Some states, surprisingly, do not require operators to have an insurance plan while using an ATV. The below information will help to determine which states require outright ATV insurance and which ones do not. Figuring out a home state’s laws and requirements will help with determining if buying insurance is necessary.

The state of Alabama allows drivers to title their ATVs with no requirement to possess liability insurance or to register an ATV, with the only requirement being that no ATVs may be operated on the dunes or beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. In Alaska, since the state is mostly wilderness, ATVs do not need to be titled, but there is a requirement to register and provide proof of insurance to the state’s DMV. In Arizona, every motor vehicle driven on roads in the state needs to be titled, registered, and covered by liability insurance. Since ATVs are not often driven on roads, there is no legal requirement to possess liability insurance unless the driver has plans to use their ATVs on roadways.

This linked website can help give further details about the ATV laws and guidelines in each state. If the information about required ATV insurance can’t be found online, feel free to contact a local DMV or governmental office to determine if ATV insurance needs to be purchased!

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