Riding an ATV or side-by-side is a fun experience, offering adventurers a unique blend of speed, versatility, and closer interaction with nature.
Yet, as with most vehicles that provide such thrills, they also come with their set of risks. Whether you’re dashing through rugged trails, muddy paths, or even on open fields, the question of insuring your ATV or side-by-side often comes up.
Do you really need insurance for these off-road machines? In this post, we delve into the reasons, risks, and regulations surrounding ATV and side-by-side insurance to help you make an informed decision.
Do You Need Insurance On Your ATV?
Needing insurance on your ATV depends on a combination of where you ride, how you use it, and the laws or regulations of your local area. Here are some factors to consider:
- State or Local Laws – Some states in the U.S. and jurisdictions worldwide require ATV owners to have insurance, especially if you plan to ride on state-owned land or public trails. Always check your local regulations.
- Financing – If you have taken out a loan to buy an ATV, the lender might require you to carry insurance, much like they would for a car or motorcycle, to protect their investment. Not every bank requires this, but still a good idea to get it.
- Where You Ride – If you’re only riding on your private property, you might not be legally required to have insurance. However, many trails and parks you ride on may require insurance before they give you a riding pass.
- Liability Concerns – ATVs are dangerous. If you injure someone or damage someone’s property, you could be held financially responsible. Liability insurance would be a smart idea.
- Protection of Your Investment – Accidents, theft, and damage can occur even with the best of riders. Insurance can help cover repair or replacement costs, in some situations.
- Organized Events – If you do ATV racing or organized rides, the event organizers might require all participants to have insurance. I’m seeing this be more common these days in large riding groups.
- Road legal – Some states, counties and countries allow ATVs to use the road which require them to have insurance.
Do You Need Insurance On Your Side By Side?
Side by sides have all the same concerns when it comes to needing insurance as ATVs, but more so on the road-legal part.
You’ll find more states allowing side by sides to be driven on the road with the right gear and, of course, with insurance.
Not every ATV can be driven on the road, but many side by sides are starting to be allowed by many places.
How Much Is ATV Insurance?
ATV insurance can cost anywhere from $80 to $300+ a year, depending on what you need and your ATV.
Side by side or UTV insurance tends to cost more than ATV insurance.
Why Is ATV Insurance So Expensive?
Compared to car insurance, many ATV riders are shocked by the cost of ATV insurance. Below is the list of reasons why ATV insurance can be so high.
- ATVs are more dangerous.
- No extra protection like you would have from the roll cage and airbags of a car.
- Easier to steal.
- No ATV driving school required, so you end up with more inexperience drivers on ATVs.
- Power sports things cost more, like parts, so insurance will cost more.
- Not many safety features or requirements in many states for safety gear.
Most things that are seen as “toys” tend to have a higher cost to them, especially on insurance. Combined with all the things listed above, ATV insurance can be expensive. You can often save money by bundling your insurance, but it’s always best to shop around for quotes.
Is ATV Insurance Worth It?
Overall, having insurance on your ATV is worth it if you ask me.
Things happen, and the last thing you want is to be stuck with an ATV payment, cost of repairs, or some unforeseen event that destroyed your ATV.
Insurance won’t cover everything, but it’s better than not having it.
It’s just the cost of owning the machine, and when the time comes that you need to use the insurance, you’ll be glad you had it.
Not every state or location requires ATVs to have insurance, but it seems silly to not have it with how crazy things are in the world. Plus, if you have stupid friends like me, insurance is always worth it.
Does Insurance Cover Maintenance Costs?
Insurance does not cover maintenance on your ATV.
Many ATV dealerships have maintenance contracts that you can buy to help with the cost of the maintenance.
Wear items like tires and brakes are not something insurance will cover due to normal riding and wear. Insurance is more for the things that you don’t expect, like someone stealing your ATV, or it falling down the side of the mountain.
Get The Insurance?
While the decision to invest in ATV insurance hinges on personal circumstances, local regulations, and individual risk assessment, it’s essential to remember that such coverage serves as a protective barrier against unexpected financial burdens.
Whether you’re navigating rough trails, participating in organized events, or merely enjoying leisurely rides on your property, the peace of mind insurance offers can be invaluable.
It’s always important to weigh the potential costs of unforeseen incidents against the cost of insurance. Often, the saying holds true: it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.