Insurance and Off-Road Vehicles: What Your Clients Think They Know Can Hurt Them

Summertime is right around the corner, and for many of your clients, off-roading is part of the fun. But as they pull an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), dirt bike, golf cart, or dune buggy, etc., out of the garage and onto the trails, people often give little thought to the risk exposures. The fact is, the costs associated with an ATV accident that is not protected by the proper insurance coverage can be high, resulting in expensive lawsuits involving property damage, liability claims and medical expenses.

Every year, there are over 100,000 emergency room visits by people involved in an ATV accident, with injuries that range from bruises to severe fractures. In 2019, the CPSC reported approximately 295 deaths that year due to ATV-related accidents.
 Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

Homeowners insurance and ATVs
The No. 1 misconception among policyholders is believing that their home insurance policy will cover their off-road vehicle. The truth is that most homeowners insurance policies will specifically exclude coverage for off-road vehicles of all kinds — especially when the vehicle is driven off of the insured’s property. You can explain to your clients that much like coverage for a motorcycle, an ATV requires a separate insurance policy. However, because a homeowners policy will provide coverage for accidents that occur on the insured’s property, there may be some liability protection if an incident occurs on the premises, but that depends on the individual policy. 

Coverage under a personal auto policy
It is an all-too-common misconception for an insured to think that his or her personal auto policy will automatically extend to an off-road vehicle and provide protection. Again, the answer is no. Policyholders need to know that their personal auto policy will only provide coverage for personal vehicles that are insured under the auto insurance contract. Policyholders need to understand that without liability coverage, they could be putting their assets at risk in the event of a serious accident. This can be a great opportunity for you to offer them a separate ATV insurance policy to ensure they have the coverage they need. While policies will differ, most standard ATV insurance will include bodily injury liability, bodily injury property damage, comprehensive and collision coverage.

Take note!
In many states, ATV insurance is required by law. However, even if there are no insurance requirements in your state, you should consider offering ATV coverage to your clients, as there is a higher risk for injuries with these vehicles because they are ridden on rough terrain.
Source: Progressive Insurance

Conclusion
ATV insurance, along with safety precautions, can ensure that your clients have the coverage they need to hit the trails without worry. This summer season, consider sending an email update or policyholder newsletter that addresses these common misconceptions regarding insurance coverage and off-road vehicles.

About FastrackCE
Do you need to complete your continuing education credits this summer? At FastrackCE, we make it easy for insurance professionals to maintain CE licensing requirements conveniently online. For information, call 800-544-3605 or visit fastrackce.com.

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