All-terrain vehicles aren’t cheap to buy so you want to make sure they are protected properly against theft and damage. One likely source for this protection comes from an unlikely source -- your homeowners insurance. However, it may not offer you the complete protection you want, so there are some things to consider about using your homeowners insurance to protect your ATV.
Damage and Theft Coverage
If your homeowners insurance offers coverage for your ATV, it will be limited. For instance, protection against damage to your ATV will be limited to where the damage happens. If you damage your ATV while it is on the insured homestead, then the damage will be covered. If the damage happens while you’re driving your ATV off road somewhere, which is the more likely case, then damage won’t be covered. The same is true for theft coverage. It needs to happen while the ATV is on the insured property.
Not a Registered Vehicle
Motorized vehicles are generally excluded homeowners policies. However, this exclusion has a loophole in that the vehicles need to be registered and ATVs do not need to be registered. Even if the ATV is covered, you need to check what your deductible and coverage limits are. Limits on the replacement value or a high deductible may only offer you partial coverage of your ATV.
Protecting Against Liability
Because of the nature of ATV use, you need liability coverage for both yourself and others you may injure with your ATV. This is something your homeowners insurance will not offer you regardless of whether it covers the ATV as a home possession or not. You may be able to purchase uninsured and underinsured coverage. This will offer you some protection if another rider injures you and that rider doesn’t have insurance.
It is more likely that you will need ATV insurance. It is required if you use your ATV in some state parks. ATV insurance works much like motorcycle or car insurance. It will insure the ATV both on road and off. You can choose whether you want damage protection only or liability coverage. You can reduce the amount of your premium by setting a higher deductible, keeping your record clean and not making claims. Also, some models of ATVs are more expensive to insure so you should ask your insurer about what various models cost to insure before you purchase an ATV.
- CarJunky.com: Tips To Ensure Your ATV Is Properly Covered; September 2007
- Geico: About ATV Insurance
- Insure.com; Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover the Loss?; December 2009
- Insurance Information Institute. "Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws By State." Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Insurance Information Institute. "Auto Insurance Basics—Understanding Your Coverage." Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Insurance Information Institute. "What if I Can't Find Auto Coverage?" Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
James Rada, Jr. was a newspaper reporter for eight years and earned 23 awards from the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland State Teachers’ Association and CNHI. He also worked for 12 years as a marketing communications writer, earning a Print Copywriter of the Year Award from the Utah Ad Federation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.