The Truth about Insurance for ATV’s, 4-Wheelers, and Dirt Bikes
What’s the difference between an ATV, four-wheeler, Gator, and a dirt bike? If you’re an ATV insurance policy, there is absolutely no difference. For example, did you know that ATV’s, also known as 4-wheelers, don’t always have four wheels? All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) can have two wheels, such as dirt bikes, and up to six wheels for some utility vehicles like Gators. The point is, all these types of off-road vehicles are classified as ATVs, and they all need the proper insurance coverage.
Let’s do some myth-busting first. ATV’s are NOT covered under your homeowners policy; the same goes for your auto insurance policy. You may also want to check with your health insurance policy to find out if it covers accidents that involve ATV’s. Some do not. The point is, do not ride blindly into the sunset assuming that the insurance policies you currently have will cover any ATV mishaps. Proper ATV insurance is essential and very similar to your auto insurance policy (although not covered under that policy). If you own an ATV, here’s what you need to look for in an ATV policy at the bare minimum:
- Bodily Injury and Liability
- Property Damage Liability
Most policy-holders opt to add the following coverages for piece of mind:
- Medical Payments
There are also some ATV insurance exclusions that you should be aware of. Know the ATV laws in your state and abide by them. If you don’t and you experience an accident with your ATV, you may not be covered. For example, did you know that in most states, Pennsylvania included, it is illegal to drive an ATV on the road? Some states allow ATV’s to cross roads at designated points if an off road trail intersects with a roadway; however, even then, ATV operators must abide by all traffic laws at the crossing point.
While roadway safety and knowledge of your state’s off-roading laws are essential, so is proper ATV operation. Many ATV accidents occur due to careless operation or unsafe conditions. Make sure that you do not overload your vehicle or carry more than the designated number of people on the ATV per manufacturer guidelines. Also, do not allow just anyone to operate your ATV as you may not be covered if there’s an accident. When permitting children to operate ATVs, make sure that the child is the proper size for the ATV he or she is driving and take safety precautions like providing helmets to all operators and riders.
Off-roading is a popular past time and all ATV owners must take the proper precautions to protect themselves and others as well as their property. Talk to your insurance agent today to make sure you have the proper coverage for your ATV. As always, stay safe and never operate an ATV while under the influence.