ATV Car Insurance (Is it necessary?)

ATV car insurance coverage is needed if you ever drive it on public roads or private property besides your own. This ATV accident car insurance will provide liability coverage for you in the event of an accident. Driving without car insurance, even with an ATV, is illegal in 48 states. In general, off-road vehicle insurance isn't expensive.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • In most cases, an ATV or other off-road vehicle represents an investment of thousands of dollars
  • You will most likely need at least liability on your ATV if you plan to ride it anywhere other than your own property
  • In general, insurance for your off-road vehicle isn’t expensive

Whether your ATV requires car insurance will differ based on where you live. Chances are you will need liability coverage if you ride on public land.

Although some states will not need you to provide proof of having full coverage for your ATV, many areas still demand by law that you hold at least minimal liability coverage for your recreational vehicle.

Have you thought about what would happen if you injured yourself or another party while riding this recreational vehicle?

Make certain you familiarize yourself with the state and local car insurance laws as they pertain to who can drive the ATV and any and all insurance procedures for this trail blazing motorized machine.

Enter your zip code now to compare insurance quotes on your off-road vehicle!

Should I buy car insurance for my ATV vehicle?

The bottom line is that you have the same risk of accident in an off-road vehicle as you do in your car.

In all likelihood, you have a higher risk of having an accident because there are no rules and regulations keeping off-road drivers in check.

In most cases, an off-road vehicle represents an investment of thousands of dollars.

If you have an accident and you don’t have insurance, the question you need to ask yourself is if you can afford to replace that vehicle outright.

In addition, if you are the cause of an accident while driving an off-road vehicle, you can be held financially responsible for damaging someone else’s property as well as for any medical costs that come up.

If you are found negligent in a lawsuit, then you could end up paying even more.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, off-road vehicles are frequently stolen out of yards and garages. If you maintain an insurance policy that includes comprehensive coverage, then the theft of your vehicle will be covered as well.

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Can I ride on public land with my ATV?

If you own private acres and acres of woods, sand dunes, and trails, then in nearly every state you wouldn’t need insurance by law; but most of us take our ATV onto more open spaces, which are primarily public or state-owned lands.

When riding on public or state-owned land, you will be required to carry some set amount of liability insurance.

In some states, you should be prepared to have more than liability coverage.

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Is it mandatory that I register my ATV?

This will all depend on the state you reside in. Do your due diligence and jump on your state’s DMV website and see if you can find out the laws with regard to ATV ownership.

If the website doesn’t provide any help, make a call or trek down to one of their offices and find out if you need to register your vehicle.

Will my homeowner insurance policy will cover my ATV?

Unfortunately, your homeowner’s policy will most likely not cover your ATV.

You may be able to wrangle away some minimal or partial coverage through your homeowner’s policy, but you shouldn’t bet on it. Nearly all motorized vehicles are not allowed to be in a homeowner’s insurance policy.

You will have to seek out a car insurance company that specializes in ATV insurance, or find a different branch in your current insurance provider company that deals with recreational vehicle insurance.

Here is an array of covers you should consider before purchasing an ATV:

  • Comprehensive & Collision – Collision coverage will assist in helping you if your ATV is in a collision with another ATV or motorized vehicle. The comprehensive element of the policy helps you with any incidents no matter who is at fault.
  • Bodily and Property Damage Liability – This type of coverage will help you in the event you damage or injure another party or property while driving your ATV.
  • Medical Payments Coverage – Medical Payments provides compensation for the medical services given to you after you’ve been hurt in a ATV accident.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Cover – This coverage takes care of any costs if you find yourself in a horrific accident where the other party who was driving has little to no insurance coverage. Rather than paying out-of-pocket, Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage will pay the gap in insurance coverage.
  • Accessory Coverage – This coverage protects any and all electronic devices already a part of the ATV, as well as any upgrades and modifications installed in your ATV that were not originally there when you purchased it from the dealer.

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Is car insurance for an ATV expensive?

In general, insurance for your off-road vehicle isn’t expensive. Part of the reason is that it is unusual for an off-road vehicle to cost as much as a car.

What’s more, the expectation is that you won’t be driving your off-road vehicle all of the time, which reduces your costs.

The reason that it won’t be dirt cheap, however, is because of the type of use an off-road vehicle gets. You won’t be traveling paved roads or be confined by any traffic laws, so this will prevent your insurance from being unbelievably low.

What other factors can affect my ATV insurance coverage?

Your driving record, the type of safety equipment you have with the ATV, your age, your gender, and the cost of your ATV will affect your insurance coverage to some extent.

Your insurance premiums can go up or down depending on whether your state has environmental concerns that can be affected by riding your recreational vehicle.

To get a thorough understanding of how ATV insurance coverage works, compare quotes online by entering your zip code below!

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