Is insurance required for snowmobiles?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...

  • State laws differ, but generally agree that liability insurance is required when riding your snowmobile on public land and roadways
  • Familiarize yourself with your state’s laws on minimum age and other requirements
  • The value of your sled and how you use it can help you decide if you should get additional insurance protection

Whether or not your snowmobile requires car insurance (or snowmobile insurance) varies from state to state.

While some states may not require you to carry full coverage for your snowmobile, many states still require you hold some sort of liability coverage for your motorized winter whizzing sled.

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Before you go and purchase a snowmobile, make sure you are familiar with the laws of your state in regards to who is able to drive the vehicle and any and all insurance requirements for this motorized snow mountain mauler.

If my state only requires liability, why should I get more comprehensive coverage?


This is ultimately a personal choice, but ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the purpose of having a snowmobile?
  • Is it purely recreational, or do you use it for your work?
  • What sort of financial investment are you making into this snowmobile?
  • Are you buying a brand new top of the line machine or a fairly used one?

All these factors will play a part in your decision to purchase or not purchase more extensive snowmobile insurance coverage.

What sort of coverage can I get or do I need for my snowmobile?


Here are the types of coverage you may want to consider when buying a snowmobile:

  • Comprehensive & Collision Coverage – This coverage will protect you in the event that your snowmobile gets into an accident with another snowmobile or any other type of motorized passenger vehicle. Also, if your snowmobile damages any sort of edifice or structure that is not a vehicle you will have protection.
  • Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments Cover – These provide financial reimbursement for any medical treatment performed on you due to being hurt in a wreck or accident involving your snowmobile, no matter if you are found to be at fault for the incident or not.
  • Liability for Personal Injury and Property Damage – Coverage of this ilk will protect you from damages or injuries you are found to have caused to another individual or property.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Again, like car insurance, if you have the unfortunate fate to get into an accident where the other motorist either has minimum coverage, or no insurance at all, this type of cover provides you peace of mind that your medical and damage to your vehicle is covered.
  • Accessory and/or Safety Apparel Coverage – This protects all electronic devices, equipment and accessories, as well as any enhancements made to your snowmobile that were not originally part of the vehicle when it was manufactured. Also, trailer, covers, helmets, and other safety apparel would be covered.

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Do I need a license to drive my snowmobile?

In most states, a driver’s license isn’t needed in order to drive a snowmobile, but in some states, if you are going to have to cross a major highway, then you may be required to have a license.

Although you may not need a license to enjoy your snowmobile, many states do have minimum age requirements for individuals who wish to drive on a snowmobile.

What is off-season coverage for my snowmobile?


If you do need to purchase snowmobile insurance for your sled, make sure you understand how long your coverage is for. Does your coverage only cover certain times of the year or are you covered even in the “off-season?”

It’s important to find out how your insurance plan works before you go off riding your snowmobile in months or times that are not covered by your particular insurance plan.

Every winter we take our snowmobile out of the country to Canada, am I insured?

Some policies in the United States actually do have coverage for snowmobiles if they are brought to Canada, but again, you need to first check the rules of your particular insurance policy (and local and state laws).

Check with your insurance provider and to read up on the laws of the area you will be visiting before taking your snowmobile on vacations.

Whether you are planning to leave your state or not with your snowmobile, you need to compare car insurance rates from America’s top companies by typing in your ZIP code below!

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